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Skin Conditions Related to HIV/AIDS

Psoriasis and HIV/AIDS

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder that produces thick, pink-to-red, itchy patches of skin covered with silvery scales. The rash usually occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back and in the same place on both sides of the body. It can also occur in fingernails.

Psoriasis cannot be cured, but treatment greatly reduces signs, even in severe cases. Common treatments include steroid creams, topical vitamin D derivatives, and topical retinoids; these may also be used with ultraviolet light therapy for severe cases. For severe disease, there are a number of effective therapies taken in pill form or by injection.

Learn more about psoriasis.

HIV/AIDS and Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin around where the sebaceous glands are located (primarily in the head, face, chest, upper back, and groin). When these glands produce too much oil, it causes red and flaking skin.

There is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis. To treat this condition, you can use a shampoo that contains coal tar, zinc pyrithione, or selenium sulfide. Other treatments include topical corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone. In someone with HIV infection, the seborrheic dermatitis will improve as the immune system improves with treatment of HIV.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on July 06, 2012

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