Our PA-C Amy Randolph recently participated in a Q&A column in OurHealth Magazine. Here’s what she had to say about winter illnesses and psoriasis.
Can Strep Throat & Other Winter Illnesses Affect My Psoriasis?
Yes! While guttate psoriasis is relatively uncommon, up to 80% of patients with guttate psoriasis have had a recent streptococcal infection. It is more common in patients under the age of 30 and the outbreak can be their first episode of psoriasis which can last several weeks to a few months, may recur, or can develop into the chronic plaque-type of psoriasis. The rash appears as multiple, discrete, drop-shaped scaly, salmon-pink hue papules primarily on the trunk but can develop anywhere except the palms and soles. Diagnosis of guttate psoriasis is usually done clinically, however, with a first-time outbreak, a biopsy may be necessary to rule out the more common rash of pityriasis rosea. Treatment normally includes topical steroids and/or UVB light therapy. Since psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, the common winter cold or flu can also be a trigger for a psoriasis outbreak.