The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Task Force on Quality of Life (QoL) and Patient Oriented Outcomes released a position statement on QoL issues in dermatology patients during coronavirus 19 (COVID-19), including recommendations for supporting QoL and patient-oriented outcomes during the pandemic. The statement was published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
In their statement, the EADV Task Force recommends that patients with COVID-19 and skin involvement should be reassured by their dermatologists and/or clinicians that lesions are not life threatening and typically are not associated with serious consequences. In addition, clinicians should consider that adverse skin drug reactions are possible because of the multi-drug regimens used to manage COVID-19 and frequent comorbidities. The Task Force recommends treating these adverse skin drug reactions based on standard recommendations.
For patients with COVID-19 and skin diseases, the Task Force cites the American Academy of Dermatology guidance, which recommends discontinuation or postponing of systemic immunosuppressive agents. Conversely, the EADV states that long-term systemic therapy should be continued, as it may help patients avoid the consequences of treatment discontinuation, including worsening QoL. The EADV also suggests that topical corticosteroids, prednis(ol)one ≤10 mg/d, dapsone/sulfapyridine, doxycycline/tetracycline, colchicine, and intravenous immunoglobulins can be continued for the duration of COVID-19 symptoms.
The EADV also endorsed their recommendations on contact dermatitis, which may be more prevalent due to frequent hand washing during the pandemic. Their statement recommends the use of fragrance-free soap and soaps with low sensitizing potential. Alternatively, they recommend the use of hydroalcoholic solutions with glycerin and to follow up with a fragrance-free emollient or fragrance-free light moisturizing lotion.
Dermatologic conditions not only affect the patients who have these diseases, but they can also affect the QoL of patients’ family members. The EADV believes that parents of children with skin diseases and concomitant COVID-19 with accompanying skin manifestations have the highest impairment on QoL. The Task Force recommends that these parents should seek and receive information on preventive strategies and should have online and phone access to clinicians, when needed.
The Task Force noted that social support from family members and friends also have an important impact on QoL in patient with dermatologic diseases and COVID-19, and disruption in “these relationships by the quarantine and self-isolation may be partially solved by using modern technologies (eg, socializing online using videoconferencing software), but loneliness might be one of the major psychosocial effects of the COVID pandemic.”
Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.
Chernyshov PV, Tomas-Aragones L, Augustin M, et al. Position statement of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Task Force on Quality of Life and Patient Oriented Outcomes on quality of life issues in dermatologic patients during the COVID-19 pandemic [published online June 4, 2020]. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. doi: 10.1111/jdv.16720