Pustular Psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis is a painful condition that involves the formation of white bumps filled with pus (called pustules) that could be surrounded by inflamed skin.

The Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai is a leader in pustular psoriasis treatment and research. We have been at the forefront of developing new and dramatically effective therapies for pustular psoriasis, and we are currently leading the development of additional treatment options. Although pustular psoriasis is a rare condition, our specialists have extensive experience designing a safe and effective treatment plan for each patient.

Causes of Pustular Psoriasis

The pus involved in pustular psoriasis is caused by inflammation. This condition can develop at any age, but it is often seen in older adults. There are a number of factors that could trigger pustular psoriasis, including the following:

  • Certain medications, or starting or stopping medications
  • Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light
  • Certain infections
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy

Symptoms of Pustular Psoriasis

There are various forms of pustular psoriasis, based on the location of symptoms. The different types are:

  • General pustular psoriasis (GPP), which covers large areas and can involve chills, fever, heart rate changes, and fatigue. GPP can occur in episodes and be life-threatening without treatment.
  • Localized pustular psoriasis, which commonly affects the feet and/or hands
  • Acropustulosis, which affects only the tips of toes and/or fingers

Treatments for Pustular Psoriasis

As a world leader in the treatment of psoriasis, our Department of Dermatology understands the importance of research in pustular psoriasis and is committed to developing safe and effective therapies for this condition.

Mount Sinai specialists are skilled in customizing the right treatment plan based on the type of pustular psoriasis you have, as well as factors such as the severity of your symptoms, age, and other medical conditions. Treatment options include:

  • Topicals including corticosteroids and non-steroidal drugs
  • Phototherapy (or light therapy)
  • Biologics that block the activity of certain cells and proteins in the immune system that play a key role in causing psoriasis
  • Oral treatments such as acitretin and cyclosporine