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Covid-19 and its treatment change the course of four common skin conditions

Individuals with skin diseases including atopic dermatitis (AD), psoriasis, vitiligo and chronic urticaria (CU) are not at elevated risk of contracting Covid-19, but infection with the coronavirus can change the course of their skin condition.

These findings were reported in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (Jan. 2022; 36(1):e1-e3).

To clarify the influence of Covid-19 and its treatments on the course of cutaneous diseases, as well as the influence of those diseases on Covid-19, researchers conducted an electronic survey in Brazil between May and June of 2021. They recruited survey participants through both SMS messages and through online support groups for psoriasis, vitiligo, AD and CU.

The researchers analyzed 6,614 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 843 of which reported one of the four skin diseases being studied.

They found that hospitalization due to Covid-19 did not differ between respondents who had or did not have one of the four skin diseases.

However, they observed Covid-19 being associated with worsening of some of the skin diseases, particularly CU and arthralgia in psoriasis.

High fever was associated with worsening of CU. Severe dyspnea was associated with worsening of arthralgia in psoriasis and AD lesions.

Some treatments for Covid-19 also impacted the skin conditions—antimalarial use was associated with exacerbation of vitiligo. However, corticosteroids, anticoagulants and antimicrobial treatments for Covid-19 were not associated with changes in the clinical course of the skin conditions.

“The severity of Covid-19 does not differ among patients with AD, CU, psoriasis and vitiligo, but acute Covid-19 and its treatments can affect the course of skin diseases,” the authors conclude.


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