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Another Strange Case of HPV and P
from Megan C.

Hi Ed: I wanted to respond to a post by Andrew M. [HPV and P, from Andrew M.] and add my story: the same combination of symptoms and a recent diagnosis for HPV.

I am a 27-year-old female, also was dating a guy with HPV for about 5 years and, unsurprisingly, just got an irregular pap result and tested positive for HPV. I have had worsening psoriasis symptoms also over the last 10 months or so, and since these are literally my only health issues, started wondering if there was a connection. googling led me to your site and Andrew's post.

So, basically, I have had a growing patch of psoriasis on my ankle for about 10 months, and just started to see another patch on the other ankle. Most worrisome, in the last 3-4 weeks, I have started to have skin abnormalities like what Andrew described on my face — reddish dots and drier than usual skin, looking a bit thick like early psoriasis. I will have to see whether it develops or goes away. Of course, if anyone has treatment suggestions, I would appreciate it. Also, I will be going to a gynecologist and will ask about any known connection. My recent googling led to a number of sources that document a connection to a rare form of HPV — EV-HPV — that is cutaneous and perhaps connected to psoriasis and skin cancers. Anyone know more?

Thanks for providing the discussion forum.

Best, -Megan

*****

Ed's Response: I, too, found the association between EV-HPV and psoriasis on the web. This is an important quote:

Serological data have confirmed the association between HPV5 and psoriasis. The prevalence of antibodies against the major capsid protein L1 of HPV5 was higher in patients with psoriasis than in individuals with atopic dermatitis or renal transplant recipients (Favre et al., 1998). However, the role of EV HPV types in the pathology of psoriasis is still uncertain. In fact, it is not yet clear whether the HPV is directly involved in the disease or is merely taking advantage of the ikeratinocyte hyperproliferation that occurs in psoriatic skin to efficiently complete its life cycle. The fact that the titre of HPV5 L1 antibodies is also elevated in non psoriatic individuals with epidermal repair process, e.g. patients with extensive burns or autoimmune bullous diseases (Favre et al., 2000) may be interpreted as supporting the second hypothesis.

Papillomavirus research: from natural history to vaccine and beyond
by M. Saveria Campo
Caister Academic Press, Norfolk, England, 2006
ISBN 1-904455-04-02

The bold italics in the quote are mine. I haven't taken the time to decipher the entire quote, but it appears psoriasis may simply find something about the EV-HPV virus (or its effects) to make its own activity easier. So, if you're psoriatic to begin with (perhaps even if you've never been triggered), then you get EV-HPV (at least), your P may trigger or worsen.

On the other hand, an opposing hypothesis may suggest the relationship is opposite: the psoriasis may "act as a reservoir" for the HPV (in this case, HPV5).

Evidently there are several dozen 'varieties' of HPV and lots of us may carry the various virii with few or no ill-effects. It seems much more research is necessary to understand just what the variations of HPV do to us, including the issues of causing or being attracted to our psoriasis.

It is an open question, but observations and ideas are piling up. -Ed

 

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