Psoriasis, Fungal Infections Common in Patients With COVID-19

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Asian Beauty woman in a green shirt wearing a mask are scratching her arms.
A study identifies the most common skin disorders in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection before and during the pandemic.

Psoriasis, superficial fungal infections, seborrheic dermatitis, actinic keratosis, and herpes simplex were the most common dermatologic diseases observed in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) up to 3 years before their COVID-19 diagnosis, according to study research published in Dermatologic Therapy. Psoriasis was most common in the 3 months prior to a COVID-19 diagnosis in this study, which the researchers suggest could have been caused by the stress burden associated with the pandemic.

The retrospective study included 93 patients with COVID-19 (mean age, 55.28±19.32 years) who had been admitted to a dermatology outpatient clinic in Turkey in the last 3 years before receiving a diagnosis of COVID-19. Patients were categorized as those who presented to the clinic in the last 3 months, 1 year, and 3 years prior to the COVID-19 diagnosis. A total of 6 patients from the overall cohort were in intensive care, whereas 4 became exitus.

Superficial fungal infections (25.8%), seborrheic dermatitis (11.8%), actinic keratosis (10.8%), psoriasis (6.5%), and eczema (6.5%) were the most common dermatologic conditions in the patients with COVID-19 who had dermatologic diseases 3 years prior to their infection. There were 52 patients with COVID-19 who visited a dermatology clinic for dermatologic diseases in the last year for superficial fungal infections (21.2%), seborrheic dermatitis (13.5%), actinic keratosis (11.5%), psoriasis (9.6%), herpes simplex (5.8%), and eczema (5.8%).

A total of 17 patients with COVID-19 (median age, 58 years) presented to a dermatology outpatient clinic for the last 3 months prior to their COVID-19 diagnosis. In these patients, the most common dermatologic diseases were superficial fungal infections (25%), psoriasis (20%), and viral skin diseases (15%).

Limitations of the study included the small sample size, retrospective design, and the inclusion of patients from a single center in Turkey.

Based on their findings, the researchers wrote that the potential “similarity between cutaneous and mucosal immunity and immunosuppression suggests that patients with certain dermatologic diseases” are particularly “more vulnerable to the COVID-19.”


Kutlu Ö, Metin A. Dermatological diseases presented before COVID-19: Are patients with psoriasis and superficial fungal infections more vulnerable to the COVID-19? [published online May 5, 2020]. Dermatol Ther. doi: 10.1111/dth.13509