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Psoriasis News

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IPC Publications


National Psoriasis Foundation COVID-19 Task Force Guidance for Management of Psoriatic Disease During the Pandemic: Version 1 

Gelfand JM, Armstrong AW, Bell S, Anesi GL, Blauvelt A, Calabrese C, Dommasch ED, Feldman SR, Gladman D, Kircik L, Lebwohl M, Lo Re V 3rd, Martin G, Merola JF, Scher JU, Schwartzman S, Treat JR, Van Voorhees AS, Ellebrecht CT, Fenner J, Ocon A, Syed MN, Weinstein EJ, Smith J, Gondo G, Heydon S, Koons S, Ritchlin CT. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 Dec;83(6):1704-1716. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2020.09.001. Epub 2020 Sep 4. PMID: 32891785

Objective: To provide guidance about management of psoriatic disease during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Study design: A task force (TF) of 18 physician voting members with expertise in dermatology, rheumatology, epidemiology, infectious diseases, and critical care was convened. The TF was supplemented by nonvoting members, which included fellows and National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) staff. Clinical questions relevant to the psoriatic disease community were informed by questions received by the
NPF. A Delphi process was conducted.

Results: The TF approved 22 guidance statements. The average of the votes was within the category of agreement for all statements. All guidance statements proposed were recommended, 9 with high consensus and 13 with moderate consensus.

Limitations: The evidence behind many guidance statements is limited in quality.

Conclusion: These statements provide guidance for the management of patients with psoriatic disease on topics ranging from how the disease and its treatments impact COVID-19 risk and outcome, how medical care can be optimized during the pandemic, what patients should do to lower their risk of getting infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and what they should do if they develop COVID-19. The guidance is intended to be a living document that will be updated by the TF as data emerge. ( J Am Acad Dermatol 2020;83:1704-16.)

Link to PubMed.

Specific Areas,Topical therapies

Topical treatment of psoriasis: questionnaire results on topical therapy as long-term continuous treatment and use on specific body sites 

Hoegsberg, Iversen, Lange, Bissonette, Carvalho, van de Kerkhof, Kirby, Kleyn, van der Walt JM7, Wu JJ8, Lynde. J Dermatolog Treat. 2020 Mar 6:1-6. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2020.1724250. [Epub ahead of print]

Background: Currently, no formalized international consensus guidelines exist to direct optimal topical

treatment including long-term treatment.

Objective: In this survey, we aim to examine if and which topicals are used in clinical practice in

long-term continuous treatment of psoriasis and how topicals are used in treating specific sites of

the body.

Methods: A questionnaire was distributed electronically to dermatologists from the International

Psoriasis Council (IPC) representing 26 countries.

Results: The top three topicals used across all severities of disease were topical corticosteroids, vitamin

D analogs, and potent topical corticosteroids in combination with vitamin D analogs. On locations

where the skin is thin, flexural and genital psoriasis, lower potency topical corticosteroids were

used, whereas on other sites, in particular in palmoplantar psoriasis, superpotent topical corticosteroids

and combination vitamin D analogs/corticosteroids were used.

Conclusions: It is relevant to optimize localized therapy for all severities of psoriasis reconciling disease

activity (stable vs. unstable disease), localization of the lesions and the individual patient and

his/her perspectives on disease control. Topical therapies are valuable treatments for classical mild disease

and may have a position in some patients with more severe manifestations.

Link to article

Prevalence,Systemic therapies

Systematic review examining changes over time and variation in the incidence and prevalence of psoriasis by age and gender 

Iskandar IYK, Parisi R, Griffiths CEM, Ashcroft DM; Global Psoriasis Atlas. Br J Dermatol. 2020 May 1. doi: 10.1111/bjd.19169. [Epub ahead of print]

Background: There is a lack of any overview of changes over time and variation in the epidemiology of psoriasis with age and between genders.

Objectives: To perform a systematic review of published population-based studies on variations in psoriasis incidence and prevalence with age and between genders, and to explore trends in psoriasis epidemiology over time.

Methods: Eleven electronic and regional databases were searched from their inception dates to October 2019. No language restrictions were applied. Studies were eligible if they reported on changes in psoriasis incidence and/or prevalence over time and/or by age group and gender.

Results: In total 308 papers were critically appraised, from which 90 studies from 22 countries were included. Incidence data confirmed a clear bimodal age pattern in psoriasis onset, with the first and second peaks at around 30-39 and 60-69 years of age, respectively, and evidence suggesting that it presents slightly earlier in women than in men. Prevalence data showed an increasing trend with age until around 60 or 70 years, after which it decreases. Although there was lack of agreement on specific gender differences in psoriasis incidence and prevalence, a slight male predominance was reported in several studies. Studies worldwide suggested a stable or slightly decreasing trend in psoriasis incidence, while an increasing trend in psoriasis prevalence has been consistently reported. One particular challenge faced was the vastly different methodologies used in the included studies, which contributed to some of the heterogeneity of the results.

Conclusions: Studies on changes over time in the occurrence of psoriasis have contributed to a greater appreciation of the increasing burden of the disease. However, further research is required to determine the reasons driving the increase in psoriasis prevalence over time.

Link to PubMed.


Psoriasis severity: commonly used clinical thresholds may not adequately convey patient impact  

Golbari NM, van der Walt JM, Blauvelt A, Ryan C, van de Kerkhof P, Kimball AB. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2020 Sep 25. doi: 10.1111/jdv.16966.

Psoriasis severity is usually evaluated using quantitative and qualitative measures, including percent body surface area (BSA) involvement, the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI), and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), a patient -reported questionnaire. However, standardized definitions for psoriasis severity categories have not been well established. A PASI of 10 or 12 has remained the minimal severity threshold defining eligibility for psoriasis treatments. In the present study, the validity of this cut-off was re-evaluated in the context of quality of life.

To determine if the thresholds commonly used to define moderate psoriasis (PASI of 10-12 and BSA of 10) are supported by patient-reported DLQ I data. 

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials that enrolled mild or moderate patients published between January 2000 – June 2017 was used to assess correlations between provider and patient-generated severity at baseline. 

For subject groups with high impact on quality of life (DLQI >10), the mean weighted BSA was 7.6 (Range: 7.1 -8.4) and the mean weighted DLQI was 11 (Range: 10.2 - 12.2). Similarly, the mean weighted PASI for patients with DLQI >10 was 8.7 (Range: 7.1 - 10.1) and the mean weighted DLQI was 10.9 (Range: 10.1 -12.2). Conclusion: Patients with PASI or BSA scores less than 10 can have major quality of life impairment. In general, the objective measures of BSA and PASI alone, when excluding DLQI, may not fully capture the impact of disease severity.


Psoriasis and Mental Health Workshop Report: Exploring the Links between Psychosocial Factors, Psoriasis, Neuroinflammation and Cardiovascular Disease Risk 

C. Elise Kleyn, Peter S. Talbot, Nehal N. Mehta, Francesca Sampogna, Chris Bundy, Darren M. Ashcroft, Alexa B. Kimball, Peter C.M. van de Kerkhof, Christopher E.M. Griffiths, Fernando Valenzuela, Joelle M. van der Walt, Tsion Aberra, Lluís Puig (2019) Psoriasis and Mental Health Workshop Report: Exploring the Links between Psychosocial Factors, Psoriasis, Neuroinflammation and Cardiovascular Disease Risk, Acta Derm Venereol, DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3375


Psoriasis is a systemic, relapsing, inflammatory disease associated with serious comorbidities including mood problems and/or unhealthy lifestyle behaviours. Cutaneous and systemic abnormalities in innate and acquired immunity play a role in its pathogenesis. The exact pathogenetic mechanism remains elusive. Evidence is accumulating that TNF-alpha, IL-17 and IL-23 signalling are highly relevant as targeting these pathways reduces disease activity. Evidence suggests a strong link between psoriasis and depression in adults. The International Psoriasis Council (IPC) held a roundtable event, “Psoriasis and Mental Health”, in Barcelona, Spain which focused on the presence of depression and suicidality, plus the role of neuroinflammation in psoriasis, sleep disruption and the impact of depression on cardiovascular disease outcomes. We summarize here the expert presentations to provide additional insight into the understanding of psychiatric comorbidities of psoriasis and of the impact of chronic, systemic inflammation on neuro- and cardiovascular outcomes. the associations between psoriasis and other psychiatric comorbidities are still controversial and warrant further attention.

Link to PubMed

National, regional, and worldwide epidemiology of psoriasis: systematic analysis and modelling study 

Parisi R, Iskandar IYK, Kontopantelis E, Augustin M, Griffiths CEM, Ashcroft DM. BMJ. 2020 May 28;369:m1590. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1590.

To systematically review and provide information on the incidence of psoriasis and quantify global, regional, and country specific estimates of its prevalence.
Systematic review and meta-analysis. 

Data Sources
Medline, Embase, Web of Science, SciELO, Korean Journal Databases, Russian Science Citation Index, WPRIM, SaudiMedLit, Informit, IndMed, and HERDIN were searched systematically from their inception dates to October 2019. 

Studies were included if they reported on the incidence or prevalence of psoriasis in the general population. Incidence data were summarised descriptively, whereas bayesian hierarchical models were fitted to estimate the global, regional, and country specific prevalence of psoriasis. 

41 164 records were identified and 168 studies met the inclusion criteria. In adults, the incidence of psoriasis varied from 30.3 per 100 000 person years (95% confidence interval 26.6 to 34.1) in Taiwan to 321.0 per 100 000 person years in Italy. The prevalence of psoriasis varied from 0.14% (95% uncertainty interval 0.05% to 0.40%) in east Asia to 1.99% (0.64% to 6.60%) in Australasia. The prevalence of psoriasis was also high in western Europe (1.92%, 1.07% to 3.46%), central Europe (1.83%, 0.62% to 5.32%), North America (1.50%, 0.63% to 3.60%), and high income southern Latin America (1.10%, 0.36% to 2.96%).
Eighty one per cent of the countries of the world lack information on the epidemiology of psoriasis. The disease occurs more frequently in adults than in children. Psoriasis is unequally distributed across geographical regions; it is more frequent in high income countries and in regions with older populations. The estimates provided can help guide countries and the international community when making public health decisions on the appropriate management of psoriasis and assessing its natural history over time. 

Systematic Review Registration
PROSPERO CRD42019160817.

Link to PubMed.


Feasibility and Utility of the Psoriasis Symptom Inventory (PSI) in Clinical Care Settings: A Study from the International Psoriasis Council 

Strober, B., van de Kerkhof, P.C.M., Callis Duffin, K. et al. Feasibility and Utility of the Psoriasis Symptom Inventory (PSI) in Clinical Care Settings: A Study from the International Psoriasis Council. Am J Clin Dermatol 20, 699–709 (2019).



The Psoriasis Symptom Inventory (PSI) is a patient-reported outcome measure designed to assess psoriasis signs and symptoms.

The aim was to assess the usefulness of the PSI in enhancing patient care in the clinical setting.

Eight dermatology clinics in six countries enrolled adults representing the full spectrum of psoriasis severity who regularly received care at the clinic. Patients were administered the eight-item PSI (score range 0–32; higher scores indicate greater severity) while waiting for the physician; the physician conducted a static physician global assessment (sPGA) and estimated psoriasis-affected body surface area (BSA) at the same visit. Physicians completed a brief questionnaire after each patient visit, and were interviewed about the PSI after all patients were seen.

The clinics enrolled 278 patients; mean [standard deviation (SD)] psoriasis-affected BSA was 7.6% (11.4). Based on BSA, 47.8% had mild psoriasis, 29.1% had moderate psoriasis, and 23.0% had severe psoriasis. Based on sPGA, 18.7% were clear/almost clear, 67.3% were mild/moderate, and 14.0% were severe/very severe. The mean (SD) PSI total score was 12.2 (8.3). Physicians spent a mean (SD) 4.9 (4.8) min discussing PSI findings with their patients (range 0–20 min). Key benefits of PSI discussions included the following: new information regarding symptom location and severity for physicians; prompting of quality-of-life discussions; better understanding of patient treatment priorities; change in treatment regimens to target specific symptoms or areas; and improvement of patient–physician relationship.

The PSI was useful for treated and untreated patients to enhance patient–physician communication, and influenced treatment decisions.

Link to PubMed

Factors associated with adverse COVID-19 outcomes in patients with psoriasis – insights from a global registry-based study 

Satveer K. Mahil, Nick Dand, Kayleigh J. Mason, Zenas ZN. Yiu, Teresa Tsakok, Freya Meynell, Bola Coker, Helen McAteer, Lucy Moorhead, Teena Mackenzie, Maria Teresa Rossi, Raquel Rivera, Emmanuel Mahe, Andrea Carugno, Michela Magnano, Giulia Rech, Esther A. Balogh, Steven R. Feldman, Claudia De La Cruz, Siew Eng Choon, Luigi Naldi, Jo Lambert, Phyllis Spuls, Denis Jullien, Hervé Bachelez, Devon E. McMahon, Esther E. Freeman, Paolo Gisondi, Luis Puig, Richard B. Warren, Paola Di Meglio, Sinéad M. Langan, Francesca Capon, Christopher EM. Griffiths, Jonathan N. Barker, Catherine H. Smith. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020 Oct 16; S0091-6749(20)31413-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.10.007. [Epub ahead of print]

The multi-morbid burden and use of systemic immunosuppressants in people with psoriasis may confer greater risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes but data are limited.

Characterize the course of COVID-19 in psoriasis and identify factors associated with hospitalization.

Clinicians reported psoriasis patients with confirmed/suspected COVID-19 via an international registry, PsoProtect. Multiple logistic regression assessed the association between clinical/demographic characteristics and hospitalization. A separate patient-facing registry characterized risk-mitigating behaviours.

Of 374 clinician-reported patients from 25 countries, 71% were receiving a biologic, 18% a non-biologic and 10% no systemic treatment for psoriasis. 348 (93%) fully recovered from COVID-19, 77 (21%) were hospitalized and nine (2%) died. Increased hospitalization risk was associated with older age (multivariable-adjusted OR 1.59 per 10 years, 95% CI 1.19-2.13), male sex (OR 2.51, 95% CI 1.23-5.12), non-white ethnicity (OR 3.15, 95% CI 1.24-8.03) and comorbid chronic lung disease (OR 3.87, 95% CI 1.52-9.83). Hospitalization was more frequent in patients using non-biologic systemic therapy than biologics (OR 2.84, 95% CI 1.31-6.18). No significant differences were found between biologic classes. Independent patient-reported data (n=1,626 across 48 countries) suggested lower levels of social isolation in individuals receiving non-biologic systemic therapy compared to biologics (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.50-0.94).

In this international moderate-severe psoriasis case series, biologics use was associated with lower risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization than non-biologic systemic therapies, however further investigation is warranted due to potential selection bias and unmeasured confounding. Established risk factors (being older, male, non-white ethnicity, comorbidities) were associated with higher hospitalization rates.

Clinical implications
We identify risk factors for COVID-19-related hospitalization in psoriasis patients, including older age, male sex, non-white ethnicity and comorbidities. Use of biologics was associated with lower hospitalization risk than non-biologic systemic therapies.

COVID-19; biologics; hospitalization; immunosuppressants; psoriasis; risk factors.

Link to PubMed.


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Latest news

February 08, 2021
Professor Francesca Capon provides a commentary An article recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology1 suggests that diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis increase the risk of COVID-19 by approximately 50%.
February 03, 2021
Dr. Ward is a Professor of Dermatology and Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She has spent the past 16 years developing mouse models to help identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory skin disease and its associated comorbidities.
February 02, 2021
n a recent publication in Nature Communications1 a team from Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany described their findings from a cross-sectional population cohort study on the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) in patients with chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) on cytokine-blocking treatments. This patient cohort was compared against subjects with IMIDs, not on cytokine inhibitors, health care workers, and healthy controls. The findings from this study showed that patients with IMID on cytokine inhibitors had a lower prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG response compared to the other three cohorts. To assess whether this could be accounted for by differences in social exposure between the groups, the investigators assessed exposure risk variables in the four groups and found those to be similar between the two IMID groups and less than that of health care workers.
January 28, 2021
IPC Academy Online, a free online learning platform, has been designed to provide expert insight, timely research, and practical information to dermatologists anywhere in the world to improve the care of psoriasis patients.
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