Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune, inflammatory condition that primarily affects the skin. Because the condition is caused by an overactive immune system, the treatment involves using medications to calm the immune system (immunomodulatory effect).
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and health experts are concerned whether psoriasis and the immunomodulatory medications, such as steroids and biologic agents used for psoriasis treatment, will increase the risk of COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Psoriasis Foundation, no definitive link is established between psoriasis and an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- It is not known with certainty whether psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis worsens the prognosis of COVID-19.
- Data available so far indicates that people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have similar rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 outcomes as the general population.
- Furthermore, the data suggests none of the treatments administered for psoriasis significantly affect the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection or having worse COVID-19 outcomes.
Psoriasis treatment (such as systemic steroids), however, could be modified during active SARS-CoV-2 infection based on the treating healthcare team’s decision made after a discussion with the patient.
Nonetheless, people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have a higher likelihood of certain underlying conditions (comorbidities) that can lead to a poorer COVID-19 outcome. These conditions include obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, lung conditions, and kidney diseases.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 with psoriasis?
The symptoms of COVID-19 in psoriasis patients are similar to other people without psoriasis. COVID-19 symptoms may take 2 to 14 days to appear after exposure to infection.
Some patients may not have any obvious signs or symptoms (asymptomatic). When present, the symptoms may include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Changes in taste or smell
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Reduced appetite
- Nausea, vomiting
- Abdominal pain
Some patients may experience certain signs and symptoms of severe COVID-19. They must report to the doctor immediately if they observe any of the following:
- Chest pain
- High fever
- Dizziness or fainting
- Excessive drowsiness
- Blue or gray or pale appearance of the lips, skin, or nails
What should patients with psoriasis do to protect themselves from getting COVID-19?
Vaccines against COVID-19 are a proven, safe, and effective way to prevent the disease, including severe manifestations of COVID-19.
- People with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis must get vaccinated against COVID-19, including boosters, if they are eligible.
- Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis or their medications are not a contraindication to the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine.
- They must take their annual flu shots that could be timed in consultation with their provider.
Patients with psoriasis must follow other COVID-19 safety precautions, such as avoiding crowded places, following proper hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene, and wearing a face mask wherever necessary.
If frequent hand washing or alcohol-based sanitizers are making the skin lesions worse, ask the provider about milder, hypoallergenic, hydrating, cleaning agents. Rinse well to remove all soap residue and moisturize the skin well.
What is the treatment for COVID-19?
If a person tests positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they must tell their doctor what medications they are on (such as biological agents and steroids) and whether they have any underlying health conditions, including diabetes or chronic heart, lung, or kidney diseases
A person should let the doctor know that they have psoriasis even if their skin lesions are not obvious (in remission or the skin lesions are concealed as in flexural psoriasis).
COVID-19 can be effectively managed with proper medications and other supportive treatment even in people with psoriasis.
- Most Injection Drug Users Are Not Seeking Out Fentanyl: Study
- Cancer Survivors Who Keep Smoking Have Double the Risk for Heart-Related Death
- Canada to Become 1st Country to Mandate Warning Labels on Individual Cigarettes
- Nova Scotia Wildfires Sending Unhealthy 'Smoke Plume' to U.S. Northeast
- U.S. Teen Birth Rate Hits Another Historic Low
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
National Psoriasis Foundation/USA. COVID-19 Task Force Guidance Statements. https://www.psoriasis.org/covid-19-task-force-guidance-statements/
Gisondi P, Bellinato F, Chiricozzi A, Girolomoni G. The Risk of COVID-19 Pandemic in Patients with Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis Receiving Systemic Treatments. Vaccines (Basel). 2020 Dec 2;8(4):728. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33276686/
Feldman SR. Treatment of psoriasis in adults. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-psoriasis-in-adults#H2973159656
Top Is Psoriasis a COVID-19 Risk Related Articles
Can Psoriasis Go Away?Psoriasis is a skin disease that develops due to changes in genetic makeup, and most often, it is passed from your parents (hereditary). It may also occur due to changes in the immune system, autoimmune response, in which your own antibodies start attacking the cells of your body. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that has no definite cure and only the symptoms can be managed.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Prevention: Test Your Medical IQWhat's really the best way to prevent the spread of new coronavirus COVID-19? Should wear a mask or not? Take this quiz to find out!
Coronavirus: How COVID-19 Affects Your BodyBy now, everyone knows about COVID-19. But do you know how it can affect your body?
Does Psoriasis Have a Smell?There are several types of psoriasis and none of the types have any smell. If you notice an odor from your psoriasis, it is possible that there is a secondary bacterial or fungal infection on the affected skin.
How Do the COVID-19 Coronavirus Tests Work?Tests used for detection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) may use two methods to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of COVID-19 disease, a debilitating and potentially deadly viral pneumonia. Genomic or molecular detection confirms the presence of viral DNA. The immunoglobulin or serology tests can tell whether or not you have been exposed to coronavirus, but not whether you are currently infected. Both tests administered in tandem can give you your complete COVID-19 infection status.
How to Get Rid of Psoriasis QuicklyAlthough psoriasis is incurable, it responds to topical and systemic treatments. Topical treatments that may be effective to treat mild psoriasis include creams, lotions, and sprays.
Is Psoriasis Contagious?Psoriasis is an incurable skin disease that causes reddish patches of skin topped with a thick layer of dry silvery scales. Psoriasis cannot spread and is not contagious.
What Is the Difference Between a PCR Nasal Swab and a COVID-19 Antigen Test?Both the PCR test and antigen test can be used to determine whether you have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. While it takes longer to get results, a PCR test is usually more accurate than an antigen test.
PsoriasisPsoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Psoriasis Picture 1A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, scalp, and around or in the ears, navel, genitals or buttocks. See a picture of Psoriasis and learn more about the health topic.
Psoriasis Home RemediesDiscover home remedies for psoriasis and help heal irritated skin.
Psoriasis QuizTake the mystery out of psoriasis. Take the Psoriasis Quiz and see what you know about the types, symptoms, treatments and more.
Psoriasis SlideshowWhat is psoriasis? See examples of psoriasis including the different types of nail, plaque, and scalp psoriasis. Learn about psoriasis symptoms, causes and treatment.
Plaque Psoriasis: Top 10 Causes, Triggers and TreatmentsPlaque psoriasis triggers a red, scaly rash of plaques on the skin typically affecting the elbows, knees, and scalp. Treatment involves managing triggers and controlling symptoms by addressing causes such as stress, allergies, infections, hormones, and more.
How to Differentiate Between the Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19, Allergies, Cold, and Flu?Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 will experience a mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without the need for intensive or special treatment. Serious illness is more likely in elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer.
What Is the COVID-19 Antigen Test?What is the COVID-19 antigen test? Learn what the rapid antigen test is used for, how it works, and what the pros and cons are.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV)Infection with COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV) causes respiratory problems in humans. Transmission of COVID-19 occurs mainly through contact with respiratory sections from an infected person, however, fecal contamination may also spread the virus. Symptoms start off flu-like and progress to coughing, fever, shortness of breath, shaking chills, headache, loss of sense of taste and/or smell, muscle pain, and sore throat. Treatment focuses on supportive care and symptom relief. COVID-19 vaccines are available.