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To the Editor.—
The study published in the Archives by Marples et al is not "the first to provide quantitative data on the aerobic flora of psoriatic patients" (107:568, 1973). Our prior study (NY State J Med 72:1247, 1972) was done in depth (by the tapestripping technique) while their study only touched the surface (by detergent-scrub technique). They confirmed our findings that the flora of psoriatic plaques is quantitatively greater but not qualitatively different from symmetrical normal skin. The plaques tend to pick up and carry Staphylococcus aureus.Lest this deprive psoriatic patients of needed elective surgery, we emphasize that the plaques can easily be sterilized preoperatively, whether carrying gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria.