In erythrodermic psoriasis, most of the skin surface is involved with redness and scaling. It can also complicate heart disease and cause heart failure, because the heart rate may accelerate due to increased blood flow to the inflamed skin. Erythrodermic psoriasis can cause the body temperature to fluctuate, especially in extremely hot or cold weather.
Symptoms of Erythrodermic psoriasis
Erythrodermic psoriasis usually occurs in the setting of known worsening or unstable psoriasis but may uncommonly be the first presentation of psoriasis.
Causes of Erythrodermic psoriasis
Specific medications including lithium, antimalarials and interleukin II are shown to be triggers of Erythrodermic psoriasis.
More causes include infections, calcium deficiency, sudden withdrawal of oral corticosteroids (prednisone), withdrawal of excessive use of strong topical corticosteroids, and strong coal tar preparations.
Complications of Erythrodermic psoriasis
Complications of Erythrodermic psoriasis include dehydration, heart failure, infection, hypothermia, protein loss and malnutrition, oedema and death.
If a patient has a combination of erythrodermic and pustular psoriasis, they may develop excessive fluid build-up, protein loss, and electrolyte imbalances - a serious condition called Zumbusch psoriasis . This condition will be accompanied by fever, chills, weight loss, and muscle weakness. Hospitalization is required for these patients, as fluid and chemical balances need to be restored and temperature stabilized as soon as possible.