Does Psoriasis weaken your Immune System?

** Originally posted by kathomas **

My 10 year old son developed gutatte and scalp psoriasis about 10 months ago. It seems he has been sick more often this winter. He has had strep throat a few times and seems to get every cold that is going around. My question is, since psoriasis has to do with your immune system, does it weaken the immune system and make you more suseptable to viruses?

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** Originally posted by deemah **

For me, it was just the opposite. I rarely get a cold since I developed psoriasis. My son went away to college soon after I got P. So I thought it was because he and his friends weren't running in and out bringing germs. Recently, I was at the p support group meeting, and some members commented that they have fewer colds since getting p. Karen (ouchyk) had a very good explanation as to why. Can't remember her explanation at the moment. Karen, if you read this, can you please explain your theory as to why it is possible that some people with psoriasis may have fewer colds? Thanks.

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** Originally posted by Itchyandfrustrated **

I was diagnosed with psoriasis approx. 6 years ago. But even before the diagnosis i rarely got a cold, sore throat or anything. In fact I live in Cleveland and the winters here can be brutal at at times. However, I am never cold I am always very warm. I work in an office setting and of course there is nothing here but recycled air and of course the germs just bounce from one person to the other. I have yet to even get a sniffle. :)

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** Originally posted by nena49659 **

Some of the medicines he is on may weaken his immune system.

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** Originally posted by MzMoonpie **

P is an auto-immune disease. With one comes the other. Find a book with an anti-inflammation diet and see if that helps at all. Avoid yeast, cheese, vinegar, and sugar - all things that contribute to yeast and P.

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** Originally posted by JKNY **

P used to be called the healthy man's disease because the immune system is over active not under active. Maybe some of his meds could be causing the colds

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** Originally posted by heppnjt **

My eight year old daughter developed guttate and scalp psoriasis about 9 months ago. At first we only noticed the scalp psoriasis and later she had a few spots on her trunk and legs. Since fall the P has gotten a little worse and she has some spots on arms, back, legs, chest, etc. Her dermatologist says that her case is mild except for the fact that it does not seem to respond to anything. We have her scalp totally under control--with a combo of dermasmooth, fluconide, t-sal shampoo, and sometimes conditioner. We also use a boar bristle brush every day to debride the scalp. It looks great. The p on her body is stubborn and she is really embarrassed and dreading warm weather (because of the appearance). We have tried every topical with little result. Currently she is on amoxicilliam for 10 days because we discovered she has colonized strep B. After that she will be on Kephlex until March to see if she responds. After that, the plan is methotrexate (I don't know if I can do that to her little body). She does not seem to get more viruses. I would love to know what treatments you are doing since p in children is more unusual and are you considering methotrexate?

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** Originally posted by nena49659 **

heppnjt, I am on the methotrexate for winter. My dermatologist has recommended PLENTY of sunlight during the summer. My P covers my body and I spent all last summer avoiding it showing. But, this summer, I MUST get over that if I have any hope of this going into remission or, at least, not looking so horrible. Maybe there is a way that she can get into the sun without people seeing her much? Like, a fenced in back yard?

I've also heard that swimming can help. (In lake water, I imagine. Chlorine would NOT feel good.)

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** Originally posted by karebear1 **

heppnjt, I am on the methotrexate for winter. My dermatologist has recommended PLENTY of sunlight during the summer. My P covers my body and I spent all last summer avoiding it showing. But, this summer, I MUST get over that if I have any hope of this going into remission or, at least, not looking so horrible. Maybe there is a way that she can get into the sun without people seeing her much? Like, a fenced in back yard?

I've also heard that swimming can help. (In lake water, I imagine. Chlorine would NOT feel good.)

Lake water is better- the salt helps. And I feel the same way you do about the sun- the first time my derm told me to go out and get sun was in early spring- and boy did I feel like a dummy mowing my lawn in a bathing suit!!

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** Originally posted by davidk46219 **

Salt water is best it does sting at first Sun does help but be very careful not to get burned it will make P much worse Some people tell me that chlorine helps there P Always use a good moisturizer after swimming or being out in the sun Keeping your skin moist is probably the single best thing you can do I know I don’t like it ether but I do it

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** Originally posted by pigpen **

My 10 year old son developed gutatte and scalp psoriasis about 10 months ago. It seems he has been sick more often this winter. He has had strep throat a few times and seems to get every cold that is going around. My question is, since psoriasis has to do with your immune system, does it weaken the immune system and make you more suseptable to viruses?

We had a very good dermatologist speak at our support group and she informed us that indeed our immune system is overactive, so we are less likely to get sick. From my own experience, I find this to be true. Everyone around me is getting sick and I hardly ever catch anything.
I like to take Airborne if I do feel I am coming down with something, and that usually works.

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** Originally posted by jorel-1 **

We had a very good dermatologist speak at our support group and she informed us that indeed our immune system is overactive......

Which begs the question - why did the person's immune system become overactive in the first place ?

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** Originally posted by mattellie **

I agree with most of the other peeps in that it is an over active immune system which results in less illness.

I for one never ever catch any sickness bugs or cop for the colds/flu that do the rounds, I cannot remember a time that I was ill - touches wood -

However, I would swap P for the odd cold anytime...

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** Originally posted by kathomas **

When my son first saw a dermatologist he was prescribed DermaSmooth for his scalp, alternating with Salex shampoo. Although the DermaSmooth seemed to help if used almost daily, it was too much with our busy schedule. He was prescribed Vanox cream for his body, then Topicort, and then Clobex lotion. They also changed from the DermaSmooth to Clobex shampoo. He was given Protopic for his face. I was very uncomfortable using these adult strength high potency steriods on a child, especially after reading the product literature which says not to use on children. The doctor dismissed my concerns and said "this is what he needs to use". After 3 months, I finally got him to see a Pediatriac Dermatologist at Riley Childrens Hospital. She changed his medication to Dovonex cream and Dovonex scalp solution, not steriod medications. Although it took a while to see results, it has been about 6 weeks and he has greatly improved. He has a history of recurring strep throat, already 4 times in the last 10 months so we are going to have his tonsils taken out within the next month. We are hoping it will help his psoriasis. Every time he gets strep he has an explosion of spots and we are back to square one. We did go to Florida at Christmas and within just a few days of being in the sun you could hardly see the spots on his arms and legs. But as soon as we were back in cold weather they came back. His scalp is very stubborn also, I find that it is still necessary to use the DermaSmooth occasionly to remove the scale. We keep his hair cut very short and that also helps. His guttate showed up last March after a round of strep, just a few spots at first. But it has never gone away and by October it had covered all parts of his body. Thank goodness he only gets a few spots on his face and I do still use the Protopic because it works quickly on his face and it's only a few spots.

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** Originally posted by Hoss350 **

You will find that it effects everyone differently. I have never been sicker in my entire life than when i have a P outbreak. I even went to an immune specialist for it because I got pnemonia and was ALWAYS sick.

He said that my white blood cell count was elevated big time whenever I have an outbreak. My immune system found the P so distressing that it "ignored" other pathogens that entered my body, allowing me to get sick all of th time. So even an up-modulated immune system can cause you to get sick if it loses its "sense of priority" so to speak.

My doctor is confident that actuallly DOWN MODULATING my immune system with Enbrel will make me MORE HEALTHY. Counterintuitive, but true.

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** Originally posted by helofixer **

I guess Id group myself with the hardly ever sick group. I never miss work. This year I got a flu shot (first time in years) and then a couple of months later after I started Enbrel. I caught a bad head/chest cold, but its going around big time down here, I work outdoors part of the day and the weather has been real screwy this winter, which may have contributed. It lasted around 9 days. I did skip 2 Enbrel injections as a precaution while I was sick.
I have no idea if it was related to the new meds, but I am wary now. If I see any kind of getting sick trend, I will be speaking to my derm about it.

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** Originally posted by Egg **

I'd just like to add my 2 cents. I'm in no way a doctor or pathologist, but I do work in the medical field as a Dietitian. I've been on too many meds to count, and I'm currently on Remicade. For whatever reason, I seem to be sick constantly. Granted, I continually work around sick people, but I seem to catch everything there is. Fortunately, most of my colds and flu seem to be pretty mild. So it got me to thinking about the immune system, and here's a hypothesis of mine;

The 'symptoms' we feel from a cold or flu are actually our bodies defense mechanisms in fighting the infection or bacteria right? A fever is our bodies way of heating our temperature in an attempt to kill the bacteria, a runny nose is our way of expelling the bacteria, etc. So if our immune systems are 'overactive', woulndn't it make some sense that these 'symptoms' are more prevelant in us? I also typically never take anti-histamines or OTC cold meds, because wouldnt' they actually inhibit the bodies natural defenses? I don't know if this 'theory' makes any sense at all, but I'm starting to believe that this is the reason why I always seem to be somewhat under the weather, but never really deathly sick. If there are any doctors around, I would like an opinion on this! Thanks.

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** Originally posted by Westibone **

Just wanted to chime in here for a minute. Ever since I got psoriasis in the 5th grade (now 24), I RARELY become ill. I am literally the only person in my office that hasn't gotten sick this year; not even a sniffle. I never get flu shots, either. If I do get sick, it's usually only for a day or two. At least something good comes out of the blasted disease.

If someone is coughing, sneezing, has a runny nose all the time, I would say that is probably an indicator of a weakened immune system, as those are second tier mechanisms that only come into play after the first line of immune defense has failed to kill off the foreign bodies. Your immune system is killing stuff off constantly throughout the day, but you never notice. You only start feeling sick when the invaders establish themselves to a point where the body has to bring out the big guns.

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About 2 years ago I completely changed my diet. I cut out alot of the sugar and carbs. Since then I have noticed my psoriasis decrease but I have also noticed that I catch the common cold much more frequently.

I wonder if the change in diet thats affecting my decrease in psoriasis is making me more susceptible to catching a cold. So is my immune system becoming weaker because of this?

I rarely got a cold or the flu when my psoriasis was not being controlled through food.

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I have had psoriosis for over 20 years. It's extremely rare for me to get sick at all - except
for the common cold. I have worked at the same job for 13 years and have had one time
that I caught strep and was out sick for 4 days - other than that I haven't been ill. When everyone
else in the household gets the flu I don't. It's weird. I do not take any perscription meds except
for my under-active thyroid synthroid. I guess my immune system is on over load so it helps
with sickness. Who knows - but I'll take any blessing thrown my way :-)

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