What To Do About Exposure If You Have Psoriasis
Just because there doesnt seem to be a link between coronavirus and psoriasis doesnt mean you should stop taking precautions.
Heres what the CDC recommends for *anyone* whos come into close contact with someone infected with COVID-19:
- If youre not fully vaccinated, quarantine for 14 days. Contact your local health department about testing options that could shorten your quarantine.
- Most fully vaccinated folks can just self-monitor for symptoms. No quarantine or testing necessary unless you get sick or you live or work in a correctional facility, detention center, or shelter.
Again, COVID-19 and psoriasis do not seem to be related in any way. But you might be wondering how psoriasis and coronavirus treatments play together if you end up with both.
Signs And Symptoms Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis plaques can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. The diseases symptoms and appearance vary according to the type and severity of psoriasis.
Some common signs and symptoms include:
- Discolored patches or raised plaques of skin that are covered with scales
- Burning, itching, or soreness near the affected areas
- Pitted or thickened fingernails or toenails
Causes And Risk Factors Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis, in general, is a genetic condition passed down through families. “It’s likely that multiple genes need to be affected to allow psoriasis to occur and that it’s frequently triggered by an external event, such as an infection,” says James W. Swan, MD, professor of dermatology at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Illinois.
Certain risk factors, such as a family history or being obese, may increase your odds of developing psoriasis.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation , at least 10 percent of people inherit genes that could lead to psoriasis, but only 3 percent or less actually develop the disease. For this reason, it is believed that the disease is caused by a combination of genetics and external factors or triggers.
A psoriasis outbreak may be provoked by:
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The Importance Of Treatment
Getting treatment for psoriasis can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
The NPF COVID-19 Task Force recommends that in most cases, people who do not have the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 should continue taking biologic or oral treatments that their doctor has prescribed.
The task force encourages people to avoid long-term systemic steroid use for psoriatic disease if possible. When long-term systemic steroids are necessary, the task force recommends taking the lowest dose possible.
A person should not stop taking any prescribed medications without speaking with their doctor first. A healthcare professional can help them understand the potential benefits and risks of changing their treatment plan.
People should let their doctor know if they have felt frequently stressed, worried, angry, sad, or disinterested in things they usually care about. These may be signs of anxiety or depression.
Their doctor may prescribe antidepressants or refer them to a mental health specialist for support.
Are There Complications Of Psoriasis
In some people, psoriasis causes more than itchiness and red skin. It can lead to swollen joints and arthritis. If you have psoriasis, you may be at higher risk of:
- Use medicated shampoo for scales on your scalp.
Other steps you should take to stay as healthy as possible:
- Talk to your healthcare provider about lowering your risk for related conditions, such as heart disease, depression and diabetes.
- Lower your stress with meditation, exercise or seeing a mental health professional.
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What Type Of Psoriasis Treatment Will I Need
Several treatment options can relieve psoriasis. Creams or ointments may be enough to improve the rash in small areas of skin. If the rash affects larger areas, or you also have joint pain, you may need other treatments. Joint pain may be a sign that you have arthritis.
Your provider will decide on a treatment plan based on:
- Severity of the rash.
- Vitamin A or retinoid creams.
What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
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Is It Scalp Psoriasis Or Dandruff
More than half of all psoriasis patients have scalp psoriasis, according to the NPF. Itchy plaques can extend beyond the hairline onto the forehead, neck, and around the ears.
“Most people with scalp psoriasis have it on other parts of their body as well,” says Dina D. Strachan, MD, a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
Scalp psoriasis is sometimes confused with seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff. According to Dr. Strachan, dandruff which causes a flaky, itchy scalp without signs of inflammation tends to itch more than scalp psoriasis. It has a greasy-appearing yellow scale, Strachan says. In contrast, psoriasis whether it’s on your scalp or any other body part tends to have a thick, silvery scale.”
What Is Psoriasis Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes plaques, which are itchy or sore patches of thick, dry, discolored skin.
While any part of your body can be affected, psoriasis plaques most often develop on the elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms, and feet.
Like other autoinflammatory diseases, psoriasis occurs when your immune system which normally attacks infectious germs begins to attack healthy cells instead.
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Risk Factors For Herpes
In the United States, around 1 in 8 people between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes.
Youre at risk of herpes if you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a person who has the infection.
Women are more likely than men to contract herpes. Your risk of herpes also increases as the number of sex partners you have increases.
How Do You Develop Psoriasis
The exact cause of psoriasis isnt fully understood. Its thought that overactive T cells, which are cells that fight off viruses and bacteria in your body, are involved. In people with psoriasis, T cells attack healthy skin cells and activate other immune responses. This increases the production of healthy skin cells, T cells, and other white blood cells.
As a result, too many skin cells accumulate on the skins outer layer. This is why some types of psoriasis cause the skin to have a scaly appearance. It normally takes weeks for new skin cells to form, but in people with psoriasis, skin cells form within days. The body doesnt shed the excess cells and psoriasis lesions occur.
People with a compromised immune system, including those with HIV or those who get repeated infections, have a higher risk of getting psoriasis.
Many environmental and lifestyle factors may trigger psoriasis flares. Not everyone with psoriasis has the same triggers. Common triggers are:
- sun exposure
- skin trauma, such as cuts, bug bites, and burns
- certain medications, such as lithium, blood pressure medications, and iodides
- heavy alcohol use
Smoking isnt just a psoriasis trigger. It may also be involved in its development and increase the severity of the disease.
Research shows that smoking may cause one in five cases of psoriasis and doubles your risk of getting the condition. This may be due to the effects of nicotine on skin cells, skin inflammation, and your immune system.
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Follow Cdc And Local Government Recommendations For Social Distancing
If youre on immunosuppressing medications or have other underlying health conditions that place you at a higher risk for coronavirus complications, you should avoid leaving your home as much as possible and avoiding close contact with other people if you need to go to work or run an essential errand. Wear a cloth face mask when youre out in public places.
Any Issues With Psoriatic Arthritis And Covid
Maybe. Some folks with psoriatic arthritis take prescription steroids to manage their symptoms. The National Psoriasis Foundation says you should talk with your doctor about limiting steroid use during the pandemic. Steroids might result in more serious illness if you get COVID-19.
Theres also been one case of COVID-19-triggered psoriatic arthritis . In this situation, a woman with a family history of psoriasis developed psoriatic arthritis after getting infected with the coronavirus.
Even though researchers have recorded several instances of COVID-triggered autoimmune issues, theyre still digging into how, why, and in which situations this is likely to happen.
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Several Types Of Psoriasis Exist These Include:
- Plaque psoriasis. The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes dry, raised, red skin lesions covered with silvery scales. The plaques itch or may be painful and can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and the soft tissue inside your mouth. You may have just a few plaques or many.
- Nail psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth and discoloration. Psoriatic nails may become loose and separate from the nail bed . Severe cases may cause the nail to crumble.
- Scalp psoriasis. Psoriasis on the scalp appears as red, itchy areas with silvery-white scales. The red or scaly areas often extend beyond the hairline. You may notice flakes of dead skin in your hair or on your shoulders, especially after scratching your scalp.
- Guttate psoriasis. This primarily affects young adults and children. It’s usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It’s marked by small, water-drop-shaped sores on your trunk, arms, legs and scalp. The sores are covered by a fine scale and aren’t as thick as typical plaques are. You may have a single outbreak that goes away on its own, or you may have repeated episodes.
Uncommon Types Of Psoriasis
Some uncommon types of psoriasis can have more serious effects.
Erythrodermic psoriasis causes all of the skin on the body to become red and scaly. This form of psoriasis is serious because, like a burn, it keeps the skin from serving as a protective barrier against injury and infection.
Pustular psoriasis is another uncommon form of psoriasis. In this form, large and small pus-filled blisters are scattered widely on the body.
Palmoplantar psoriasis is a form of pustular psoriasis in which pustules occur primarily on the hands and feet. It is sometimes called palmoplantar psoriasis of the palms and soles.
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Concerns About Psoriasis Treatment
Some people worry about how psoriasis treatment might affect their risk of developing COVID-19.
Healthcare professionals often treat moderate to severe cases of psoriasis with systemic therapies, including biologic drugs and other injected or oral medications.
Many systemic treatments affect the immune system, which has raised concerns about how they might affect a persons ability to ward off COVID-19.
Although research remains limited, results from a small 2021 survey of Americans with psoriasis suggest that systemic treatments for psoriasis do not increase the risk or severity of COVID-19. However, some people with psoriasis may still have concerns and experts must perform more research on the topic.
A 2021 global study looking at people with psoriasis who potentially had COVID-19 found that those on biologics had a lower risk of hospitalization than those on nonbiologic drugs.
In the international survey mentioned earlier, 18.5% of people with psoriasis had not taken systemic treatments as prescribed during the pandemic. Many expressed concern about how the treatments might affect their risk of developing COVID-19.
Those who had not followed their prescribed treatment plan were more likely to say their psoriasis had worsened.
In the 2021 survey of American adults with psoriasis, people who took biologics expressed more concern than others that their treatment might raise their risk of developing COVID-19.
What Can Trigger Psoriasis
Plenty of everyday things can act as a trigger, causing psoriasis to appear for the first time. Common psoriasis triggers include:
Skin injury, such as a cut or bad sunburn
Infection, such as strep throat
Some medications, including lithium, prednisone, and hydroxychloroquine
Weather, especially cold, dry weather
These triggers can also cause psoriasis flare-ups. Different people have different triggers. For example, periods of intense stress may trigger your psoriasis but cold weather may not.
Thats why its so important for people who have psoriasis to know what triggers their psoriasis. Avoiding triggers can reduce psoriasis flares.
Youll find common triggers and what you can do to avoid them at: Are triggers causing your psoriasis flare-ups?
If you think you have psoriasis, its important to find out. Treatment can help relieve your discomfort and lead to clearer skin. You can find out how board-certified dermatologists diagnose and treat psoriasis at: Psoriasis: Treatment.
Related AAD resources
1 Gottlieb A, Korman NJ, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol 2008 58:851-64.2 Alexis AF, Blackcloud P. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014 7:16-24.
References Alexis AF, Blackcloud P. Psoriasis in skin of color: epidemiology, genetics, clinical presentation, and treatment nuances. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014 7:16-24.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
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What To Do If You Get The Flu
While the flu vaccine helps, it does not always prevent the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding close contact with people who are sick, washing your hands often, and keeping your hands away from your face especially your mouth, nose, and eyes.
You should also take steps to stay healthy during the flu season. Exercising regularly, eating well, and getting enough rest are all important. Vitamin supplements may also help, but check with your doctor before deciding which are best, or if they’re recommended at all. Managing stress is also important, because when stress levels are high, your immune system may not be working optimally.
If you do get the flu, stay home and take care of yourself. Contact your doctor right away, especially if you are on immunosuppressant medications, as you may need to discontinue these medications while you are ill. There are antiviral medications to treat the flu that are more effective when taken within 48 hours of the appearance of symptoms.
Matts Psoriasis Pictures November 21st 2019
These I took just before the healing rashes and swollen lymph nodes began. I was zapped of energy for about 48 hours as the systemic healing process started, since then the plaques have been receding and fading as the rash builds around them. I went through this in November 2012 – April 2013, then I
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What You Should Know About Vaccines With Psoriasis
Vaccines and psoriasis don’t always go well together. For staying healthy with psoriasis, find out why some vaccines need to be used with caution in psoriasis and why any vaccine might cause a psoriasis flare.
Getting vaccines with psoriasis is important because some medications you may be taking for the condition can increase your risk for certain diseases that vaccinations help prevent.
There can, however, be side effects of immunizations. Knowing the whole story will help you make the right choices.
Vaccines made from dead viruses are not usually a problem for people with psoriasis. Two live viral vaccines should be used with caution in psoriasis — these are the shingles virus and the live flu virus. Fortunately, you can take the killed version of the flu virus, explained Julie Anne Moore, MD, a dermatologist at Loyola University Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill.
The second thing you should know is that getting vaccines with psoriasis could cause psoriasis symptoms to flare, no matter what type of vaccine it is.
Thats because just putting a needle through your skin can cause a type of psoriasis reaction called a Koebner response, named after the German dermatologist who first described it in the 1800s.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
There arent any special tests to help doctors diagnose psoriasis. Typically, a dermatologist will examine your skin and ask about your family history.
Youll likely be given a diagnosis based on this physical exam.
In some situations, doctors will remove a small sample of the skin and examine it under a microscope. This might allow them to get a better look at the affected area and make a more accurate diagnosis.
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Psoriasis And Complications From Live Vaccines
Despite lots of research, there is no evidence that any vaccine makes psoriasis worse. The reason you want to avoid live vaccines though is that they may be too strong for your bodys defense system, or your immune system, to handle.
This is especially true if you are taking medications that blunt your immune system like steroids or biologics. If your immune system is suppressed, you may actually get symptoms of the disease you are trying to prevent.
To prevent psoriasis vaccine complications while on treatment, your doctor may give you a series of vaccinations before you start a biological drug. This could include vaccinations for diseases like the flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis.
The most common live virus vaccine is the one for the childhood diseases mumps, measles, and rubella, called MMR. Fortunately, most people with psoriasis are adults so they dont have to worry, said Dr. Moore.
A common live virus you should talk to your doctor about is the vaccination for herpes zoster, or shingles. Although this vaccine should be used with caution in psoriasis, some recent research suggests it can still be worth taking. A 2011 study published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy found that the live virus for shingles can be safe, even for people taking biologic drugs.