Dr Tony Downs offers advice for patients with dermatological conditions in relation to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Patients taking medication for their condition
Covid19 may theoretically result in a more severe infection in patients that take a medication where an annual flu vaccination is routinely recommended.
In Dermatology, this would be:
Azathioprine, ciclosporin, methotrexate, mycophenolate, fumaric acid esters, apremalist and biologic agents for psoriasis or hidradenitis (but not for eczema).
New or existing patients should be aware and consider stopping/suspending or deferring treatment to a later date, with the understanding that their skin condition will most likely deteriorate.
Patients with dry scaly skin conditions
Over and above government advice on hand washing and reducing coronavirus transmission, people with dry scaly skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis may wish to follow the additional advice:
- There is no evidence that dry scaly skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis are more likely to acquiring or transmit coronavirus
- Topical medications such as emollients or steroids should not be shared between individuals. There is no evidence to suggest their regular use on the skin increases the risk of acquiring or transmitting coronavirus. However, wash your hands before you apply your treatment creams to your skin.
- Alcohol gel and frequent soap and water hand washing will aggravate some people with hand eczema. To reduce the need to hand wash, wear disposable non-powdered gloves, but change them if your hands become sweaty underneath the gloves. Also carry around your own hand cream to moisturise your hands after you have washed them.
- Soap substitutes may not be as good as ordinary soap at killing coronavirus when hand washing.
Dr Downs is able to see patients remotely via a private phone/video consultation during this pandemic.