COVID-19 and exacerbation of dermatological diseases: A review of the available literature

Dermatol Ther. 2021 Nov;34(6):e15113. doi: 10.1111/dth.15113. Epub 2021 Sep 7.


Since the emergence of the new coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been a concern for the patients with chronic autoimmune diseases including dermatological conditions over the potential exacerbation of these underlying conditions after infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV2). We performed a systematic review to evaluate presentations, postinfection change in the manifestation, diagnosis, and management of flare-ups of underlying dermatologic disease in patients with COVID-19. A total of 17 articles were recovered reporting on flare-ups of dermatological disease including pemphigus vulgaris, psoriasis, subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, acrodermatitis continua of Hallopeau, systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma, and Sézary syndrome (SS). Out of these, psoriasis and alopecia areata were the most common conditions. However, most cases of psoriasis could have been attributed to either antimalarial agents that were initially used for the treatment of COVID-19 or discontinuation of treatment following SARS-CoV2 infection.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-Cov2; dermatology; exacerbation; flare-up; pemphigus; psoriasis; worsening.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Psoriasis* / epidemiology
  • RNA, Viral
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • RNA, Viral