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If You Have ‘Palmoplantar’ Psoriasis, You’re Also at Risk for Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Mood Disorders

Dry Cracked Hands

Psoriasis is often thought of as a skin condition, though in reality it’s an autoimmune disease that has the potential to impact many different parts of the body. Many people with psoriasis have more than just skin lesions. A sizeable group also develops arthritis (a condition known as psoriatic arthritis) and/or eye inflammation. Having psoriasis also seems to increase your risk for other health issues, including  type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental health problems such as depression.

While most people with psoriasis develop plaques on their scalp, elbows, knees, or back, some have palmoplantar plaque psoriasis, which means that only the palms of their hands and soles of their feet are impacted.

Is having this type of psoriasis as bad as the generalized variety when it comes to co-occurring conditions like diabetes?

To find out, Israeli researchers analyzed data on163 people with palmoplantar psoriasis to determine how often they experienced health conditions besides skin plaques. They then compared the rates of various health problems in this group to their prevalence in a control group (who had no psoriasis) containing data on 781 people.

According to their research, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mood disorders “were significantly associated with palmoplantar plaque psoriasis.”

The connection between this kind of psoriasis and mood disorders was especially strong: About 24 percent of those with palmoplantar psoriasis had been diagnosed with one, versus less than 4 percent of those in the control group.

The scientists also found that people with palmoplantar plaque psoriasis were somewhat more likely than those in the control group to have abnormal blood lipids (like cholesterol), high blood pressure, and psoriatic arthritis, “but those associations did not reach statistical significance.”

Greenberg R, et al. Comorbidities in patients with palmoplantar plaque psoriasis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.  August 15, 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.03.112.

Psoriasis. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840.

BY: Barbara Brody

October 15, 2020