What is Erythrodermic psoriasis?
If you’ve experienced a condition where your skin has become scaly and flaky along with accompanying redness, you may have a type of psoriasis referred to as Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik] psoriasis. This type of psoriasis is fairly rare but is extremely inflammatory and affects much of the human body.
What are the symptoms of Erythrodermic psoriasis?
- Reddening of skin
- Scaling or shedding of skin
- Severe itching
- Increase in the heart rate
- Body temperature fluctuations
What causes Erythrodermic psoriasis?
- Low calcium
- Withdrawal of oral corticosteroids (prednisone)
- Withdrawal of excessive use of strong topical corticosteroids
- Strong coal tar preparations
- Medications including lithium, anti-malarial and interleukin II
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Individuals suffering from erythrodermic psoriasis normally have experienced some of the above indications but can also include an allergic reaction to a drug resulting in the Koebner response; and severe sunburns.
Does Erythrodermic Psoriasis have any complications?
Complications from this disease include but are not limited to the following:
- Heart failure
- Protein loss and malnutrition
- Oedema (swelling), particularly of lower legs
If you suspect that you could have this problem, then immediately contact your physician. People with severe cases of this condition often require hospitalization.
How is erythrodermic psoriasis treated?
Treatment of erythrodermic psoriasis needs to be immediate and may include any of the following:
- Hospitalization which could include intravenous fluids and temperature regulation
- Cool dressings
- Bland emolliants
- Plenty of rest and potentially bed confinement
- Medications including antibiotics, diuretics (water tablets), nutritional support
- Low-dose methotrexate, ciclosporin or acitretin
There has been progress using biologic agents, including the TNF-alpha inhibitors adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab, and ustekinumab.