Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) COVID-19 Task Force has been releasing and updating a series of guidelines regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the management of psoriasis (see link at the end of this blog). The guidelines are broken up into categories that each address a different question surround psoriasis and COVID-19. This blog post was written to answer any questions patients with psoriasis may have.
Risk of Acquiring COVID-19:
A recent, real-world study presented at the 2021 American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience indicated that patients with psoriasis are more likely to have worsened COVID-19 illness, but the reasons as to why are still being evaluated. This study and current data suggests that psoriasis patients with other co-morbid health conditions (i.e., chronic heart disease, diabetes) are more likely to have severe COVID-19 illness.
Your psoriasis may flare up if you become infected by Sars-CoV-2. If you require isolation due to Sars- CoV-2 infection or exposure, please consider following current CDC guidelines (e.g., masks, handwashing, social distancing, etc., until at least 10 days after symptoms resolve) to prevent disease spread and follow the guidance of your health care providers regarding what treatment options may be available to you.
Impact of Psoriasis Therapy on COVID-19:
We do not believe that psoriasis treatments are linked to increasing risks contracting or having more severe COVID-19 illness. Therefore, if you do not have Sars-CoV-2/COVID-19, you should continue your current therapy.
Most psoriasis patients hospitalized with COVID-19 can resume their psoriasis medications after their hospital stay and appropriate symptom free recovery time, but if you have any questions or if your symptoms were severe, please talk with your dermatologist regarding your psoriasis medications.
Vaccinations & COVID-19:
Influenza vaccination is encouraged for all psoriasis patients. If you are taking psoriasis medications, talk
with your dermatologist about what time is best to get the vaccine according to your treatment schedule.
Importantly, psoriasis medications are NOT contraindications to mMRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), nor are they contraindications to the more recent adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccines (Johnson & Johnson). Unless you have a contraindication, you are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to you. If you are planning to receive any COVID-19 vaccine, you should continue your treatment(s) as planned.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and cal! your dermatologist.
In any case, it is HIGHLY recommended that patients with psoriasis and their dermatologists engage in shared decision making to create best “plans-of-action” for each individual patient’s situation. As healthcare providers, we understand the harsh impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the care of our patients.
The most important thing you can do regarding the treatment of your psoriasis during this pandemic is to continue communicating with your dermatologist, whether it be in-person or through telemedicine.