Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the whole body turns red. It may also be associated with swelling caused by fluid retention and shivering due to impaired thermoregulation. See a doctor right away if you have the following symptoms:

  • Severe skin discoloration over a large area
  • Skin that sheds in sheets
  • Increased heart rate
  • Extreme pain or itching 
  • Fluctuating body temperature

As a leading center for treating psoriatic diseases, Mount Sinai’s Department of Dermatology has specialists with extensive experience in this dangerous condition.

Causes of Erythrodermic Psoriasis

There are a number of factors that could trigger an episode of erythrodermic psoriasis, including the following:

  • Certain medications (like steroids), or starting or stopping medications
  • Severe illness or infection
  • Extreme sunburn
  • Alcohol use
  • Stress

Treatments for Erythrodermic Psoriasis

If you have an episode of erythrodermic psoriasis, get immediate medical attention. You may need to be hospitalized so that your body temperature and fluid balance can be restored to normal. 

Mount Sinai’s highly specialized dermatologists have extensive experience managing erythrodermic psoriasis, using treatments that may include the following:

  • Biologics: This targeted therapy blocks the activity of certain proteins in the immune system that play a key role in causing psoriasis.
  • Oral treatments: These medications may be prescribed to calm the overactive immune system.
  • Topicals: These include steroid creams or moisturizers.