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April 1973

Staphylococcus aureus in Psoriasis

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Department of Dermatology, Philadelphia General Hospital, Philadelphia. Dr. Marples is now at the Central Public Health Laboratory, Colindale Ave, London.

Arch Dermatol. 1973;107(4):568-570. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620190044010

Sixty-one psoriatic patients were studied with regard to the quantities of Staphylococcus aureus on involved and uninvolved skin. About 50% of the patients carried S aureus, usually in low numbers. Staphylococcus aureus and resident cocci were more numerous on the lesions as compared to uninvolved skin.

Occlusion with plastic film led to an explosive increase of S aureus in carriers, accompanied by aggravation of inflammation. Heavily colonized lesions responded less well to treatment. Because of increased exfoliation, psoriasis is an important source of hospital cross infection.