National Psoriasis Foundation

White blood cell count and psoriasis

November 24, 2010

Question: Is my high white blood cell count related to having psoriasis?

Answer: There is no evidence that a high white blood cell count can cause psoriasis. However, in patients who have a pustular form of psoriasis (characterized by pus-filled bumps in the plaques and often associated with intense scaling), a white blood cell count may parallel activity of the disease. This elevated white blood cell count usually returns to normal when the psoriasis is effectively treated. However, an increased white blood cell count may indicate an underlying infection and should be evaluated by your physician.

Elizabeth A. Abel, M.D.

Elizabeth A. Abel, M.D., is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. She is currently practicing in Mountain View California at the California Skin Institute and evaluates patients with all forms of psoriasis. Dr. Abel has served as an Advisory Board Member of the National Psoriasis Foundation, as Assistant Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and is the 2010-2011 President of the Pacific Dermatologic Association.

Dr. Abel is a member of the Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine. She received her medical training at New York University and at the University of Maryland. She has over 80 publications in the peer-reviewed medical literature, and is the author of 22 book chapters and Editor of “Photochemotherapy in Dermatology”.


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