Oral Sores Linked with Skin Problem

Psoriasis patients likelier to have oral candidiasis

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Inflamed and scaly skin is one thing psoriasis patients may have to deal with on the outside. But patients with this skin disorder may also have to care for certain issues on the inside.

Mouth sores from a rare fungal infection are more common among patients with psoriasis, according to a recently published study.

Since infections are known to trigger the red and itchy skin disorder, researchers suggested that psoriasis patients be tested for infections, including those found in the mouth. 

"Have psoriasis? Get checked for oral thrash."

The aim of the study, led by Bruna Picciana, MSc, from the Department of Pathology at Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, was to see how often patients with psoriasis also had oral candidiasis.

The oral infection, commonly known as oral thrush, causes white sores along the inside of the mouth. Though oral candidiasis is the most common oral fungal infection in humans, it's uncommon among healthy individuals.

Researchers recruited and orally examined 140 adult patients with psoriasis from three skin service clinics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The patients had the skin disorder for about 14 years on average.

Another 140 healthy patients without the condition were also examined. Researchers also took scrapings from each of the participants' tongues since it most heavily colonizes the bacteria Candida that causes the mouth sores.

Among patients with psoriasis, researchers found 37 patients, or 26 percent, had candidiasis. No cases occurred among the healthy participants.

The severity of the psoriasis cases was significantly linked with candidiasis, according to researchers. The presence of oral candidiasis and the type of psoriasis treatment were not linked however.

"This increased presence of oral candidiasis was apparent despite any type of treatment for the psoriasis," researchers wrote in their report.

"Psoriasis may be a risk factor for oral candidiasis," they wrote.

The authors suggested that cytopathology testing involving tongue scraping should be included in the medical routine for patients with psoriasis.

The authors noted that not following up with the participants, as well as having a small number of participants, might have limited the results in their study.

Future research should include a larger number of participants and monitor candidiasis treatment, researchers wrote.

The study was published February 4 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. No funding information was available. The authors do not declare any conflicts of interest.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
February 14, 2013
Last Updated:
February 15, 2013