Psoriasis patients diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) should immediately discontinue or postpone immunosuppressant medications, guidance from the International Psoriasis Council (IPC) states. The group cites current guidance from the European Dermatology Forum and the American Academy of Dermatology; treatment guidelines from both groups state that immunosuppressive psoriasis treatments are contraindicated in patients with active infections.
IPC advises physicians to be alert to the potentially harmful effects of COVID-19 infection on patients with psoriasis and counsel all their patients on how to prevent transmission of the virus.
Individuals over the age of 60 years and/or patients with comorbid conditions including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hepatitis B, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney diseases, and cancer have a higher risk for developing a more serious course of the illness. However, as of now, there is insufficient evidence to determine how COVID-19 will impact psoriasis patients on systemic treatment who are infected with the virus. The benefit-to-risk ratio of any immunosuppressive therapeutic intervention should be carefully weighed in patients with comorbidities on a case-to-case basis.
The IPCwill continue to provide updates to the global dermatology community as we learn more about the effects of coronavirus on psoriasis.