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What is the Koebner phenomenon and who gets it?

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Heinrich Koebner, a dermatologist from the 19th century, first defined the condition. Doctors sometimes call it “isomorphic response” or “Koebnerization."

It happens most often in people with psoriasis, but it also happens with other skin conditions, including warts and vitiligo.

If you have active flare-ups, you're more likely to have a Koebner response. That said, it can still happen even if you have never had plaques on your skin.

Each reaction has its own pace. It takes about 10-20 days after a skin injury for plaques to show up. Sometimes, it can take as long as 2 years.

An injury can also trigger psoriatic arthritis. With this type of Koebner response, if you already have psoriasis and you injure a bone or joint, you’re 30% more likely to get psoriatic arthritis in that spot.

SOURCES:

Arias-Santiago, S. , 2013. Canadian Medical Association Journal

Thappa, D. , 2004. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology

Boyd, A. , 1990. International Journal of Dermatology

National Psoriasis Foundation: “PsA linked to bone injuries in psoriasis patients,” “Plaque Psoriasis,” “Biologics,” “Systemics,” “Phototherapy,” Topicals.”

Wu, J. , 2013. New England Journal of Medicine

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on October 7, 2018

SOURCES:

Arias-Santiago, S. , 2013. Canadian Medical Association Journal

Thappa, D. , 2004. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology

Boyd, A. , 1990. International Journal of Dermatology

National Psoriasis Foundation: “PsA linked to bone injuries in psoriasis patients,” “Plaque Psoriasis,” “Biologics,” “Systemics,” “Phototherapy,” Topicals.”

Wu, J. , 2013. New England Journal of Medicine

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on October 7, 2018

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