Contents Of Erythrodermic Psoriasis
In the United States alone, of the close to 7.5 million people suffering with psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis afflicts just about 1 to 2 percent of them.
It afflicts older adults than younger people and it has a male to female ratio of 2:1 to 4:1. More men develop the condition than women. This form of psoriasis sometimes occurs together with pustular psoriasis and those with unstable plaque psoriasis. That shows that the lesions have no clearly defined edges to it. It could best be described as wide spread fiery red patches covering almost the entire skin surface.
Those people with erythrodermic often look like burn victims but the patches are not burns. Because of its fatal nature, doctors advise treating it as a medical emergency. The good news is that it’s very rear and only affects about 3% of those with psoriasis.
Common Signs And Symptoms Of Erythrodermic Psoriasis
Some of the signs and symptoms of psoriasis are
-It’s highly inflammatory
-There is deep skin redness and peeling off of the red scales almost on the entire body area.
-The peeling is always in large sheets unlike small patches peeling in normal psoriasis.
-As the skin peels, it is followed by very deep pain and itching as well.
-The entire body temperature is thrown off balance; the patient’s temperature may rise at short notice.
-The patient heart rate could also spike at any time and especially if the environment around the patient is very hot.
Complications In Erythrodermic Psoriasis
-There could be sever protein loss
-There could also be the loss of fluid
-The loss of fluid may lead to certain areas of the body like the ankles to retain fluid unnaturally causing those areas to swell (Oedema)
– Erythrodermic Psoriasis could also lead to heart failure and pneumonia
-There could also be other infections due to the complete failure of the skins ability to protect itself.
-For those patents with a combination of erythrodermic psoriasis and pustular psoriasis; they may experience zumbusch psoriasis. This is a condition where there is a severe electrolyte imbalance in the body system.
-The imbalance will generally lead to muscle weakness, and even fever itself.
Common Triggers Of Erythrodermic psoriasis
– Erythrodermic psoriasis follows the unset of plaque psoriasis especially in people whose plaque psoriasis is unstable. Though, in rear cases for some people, Erythrodermic psoriasis might be their first ever case of psoriasis eruption.
-Suddenly stopping any systemic treatments
-If there is high degree of calcium deficiency (Hypocalcaemia) in the body
-Suddenly stopping the use of strong coal tar preparations
-Suddenly stopping the excessive use of strong topical corticosteroids
-Severe sunburn could also trigger the condition
-Taking too much alcohol
Diagnosing Erythrodermic psoriasis
-Doctors will normally take blood samples, or blood cultures to find out if there is renal failure.
-They also check for inflammatory markers too
-They also run tests to determine if there is anaemia
-Also check for hypoalbuminaemia
Treatment For Erythrodermic psoriasis
The treatment of Erythrodermic psoriasis could be tricky and difficult but it could be managed. The patient must be hospitalized to monitor fluid and protein losses and make sure they are stabilized by giving them intravenous fluids. And also to keep their temperature balanced.
But initially, doctors might start off treatment with the use of less strong topical steroids, moisturizers combined with wet dressings and as well as Oatmeal baths to reduce redness and swelling. This will also sooth the pain and itching. Patients will also need plenty of bed rest.
-Application of Systemic Medications
These are oral medications which are much more effective in bringing severe cases under control. The include-
-Cyclosporin, which is an anti-rejection drug which helps to slow the immune response that causes psoriasis.
-Inflimixab, this is another drug that is used to treat autoimmune diseases just like Cyclosporin above. These two drugs are fast acting drugs.
-Acitretin and cancer drug methrexate are much slow acting drugs but are equally as effective.
Words of caution in using systemic medications; these drugs have potential side effects and must be used under strict supervision. To stop using these drugs also must be gradual; suddenly stopping them can trigger a flare of psoriasis.
Sometimes it pays to combine some or all of these medications in some cases. That is a combination of topical and oral treatments. It’s been known that combining two or more medicines might be more effective than just using one.
The patient may also need to be given pain relievers for comfort, anti-depressants to help patients sleep better and have better mood. Also, doctors may prescribe drugs to help with the itching and antibiotics to help fight other infections or skin infections.
Phototherapy treatment should not be used at least in the early stages of treatment of erythrodermic psoriasis because they may well worsen the condition.
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