Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare type of psoriasis.

It affects about 2 percent of people living with psoriasis.

(Boyd & Menter, 1989)

Did You Know?

Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik] psoriasis often affects nearly the entire body and can be life-threatening.

Erythrodermic psoriasis disrupts your body's normal temperature and fluid balance. This may lead to shivering episodes and edema (swelling from fluid retention) in parts of the body, such as in the feet or ankles. You may also have a higher risk of infection, pneumonia and heart failure.

See a health care provider immediately if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Severe redness/discoloration and shedding of skin over a large area of the body
  • Exfoliation often occurs in large "sheets" instead of smaller scales
  • Skin looks as if it has been burned
  • Heart rate increases
  • Severe itching and pain
  • Body temperature goes up and down, especially on very hot or cold days

Triggers

Triggers of erythrodermic psoriasis include:

  • Allergic reaction to a medicine that causes a rash or other skin symptoms
  • Certain medicines, such as systemic steroids
  • Starting or stopping medicines
  • Infections/severe illness
  • Severe sunburn
  • Stress
  • Alcohol use

Treatments

If you experience an erythrodermic flare, immediately contact your health care provider for treatment. The first goal for treating erythrodermic psoriasis is to get your body temperature and fluid balance back to normal. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, you may need to be hospitalized for treatment. The treatment plan may change after your erythrodermic symptoms have cleared. Your provider may recommend topical treatments, oral treatments or biologics for continued management of your psoriasis.

Contact the Patient Navigation Center

Learn more about erythrodermic psoriasis and treatment options.

Get in touch today

Boyd, A. S., & Menter, A. (1989). Erythrodermic psoriasis. Precipitating factors, course, and prognosis in 50 patients. J Am Acad Dermatol, 21(5 Pt 1), 985-991.

Last updated on 10/08/20 by the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Stay in the Know.

Expert tips, can’t-miss events and the latest news, straight to your inbox.

National Health Council Standards of ExcellenceCharity NavigatorMy Psoriasis Team logo

Copyright © 1996-2020 National Psoriasis Foundation/USA


Duplication, rebroadcast, republication or other use of content appearing on this website is prohibited without written permission of the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF).


NPF does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the content of external websites.


NPF does not endorse any specific treatments or medications for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

We use cookies to offer you a better experience and analyze our site traffic. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.