Information on guttate psoriasis, one of the seven types of psoriasis.
What Is Guttate Psoriasis?
Gutta psoriasis is characterized by small circular or tear drop/ rain drop like patches of inflamed skin.
Guttate refers to the Latin word, gutta, which means drop.
Unlike the larger inflamed red skin patches associated with plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis lesions are much smaller.
Guttate psoriasis can appear anywhere on the skin excluding the soles of the feet or the palms of the hands.
Guttate psoriasis is often found on the
Guttate Psoriasis & Strep Throat (streptococcal sore throat)
Unlike plaque psoriasis which has many potential triggers for psoriasis, guttate psoriasis is usually occurs 1 to 3 weeks after a person has an infection of strep throat.
Strep throat, a streptococcal infection, is marked by its sudden onset. A major symptom of strep throat is a severe sore throat. Other strep throat symptoms include inflamed tonsils, white and yellow patches in the throat, halitosis and headache.
As psoriasis is linked to immune system dysfunction it is thought that a strep throat infection affects the immune system causing a rapid increase in the skin generation/shedding cycle (see psoriasis skin cycle).
An outbreak of guttate psoriasis can happen once or it can be reoccurring. Outbreaks may last only a month or two and then disappear. However in some cases the guttate psoriasis can last for years.
Guttate psoriasis outbreaks are more likely to reoccur in people who are strep carriers. Strep carriers are people who have streptococcal bacteria present in their respiratory system.
Guttate Psoriasis Incidence & Statistics
Whilst guttate psoriasis can affect all ages it is often seen in children, teenagers and young adults.
Guttate Psoriasis Symptoms
There are several symptoms of guttate psoriasis
- Widespread, small circular or drop shaped patches around 1cm in diameter or less.
- Plaques present on top of the patches (see 'what are plaques?')
- Changes in the nails:
- nail surface pitting (picture of nail pitting)
- discoloration of the nail (often yellow or gray /white)
- nail becoming loose from the nail bed
Like many other types of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis can change into another form including plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in which the joints become inflamed.
Guttate Psoriasis Diagnosis
Guttate psoriasis is normally diagnosed by your doctor or skin specialist (dermatologist). Tests are not normally needed for diagnosis, the doctor should be able to confirm diagnosis by observing the plaques on the skin.
By noting the coverage of the plaques the doctor will be able to determine how severe the outbreak of guttate psoriasis is and adjust treatment accordingly.
Guttate Psoriasis Treatment
There are a number of treatment options for guttate psoriasis although in many cases this type of psoriasis will go away on its own.
Treatments for guttate psoriasis include:
- Light Therapy
- Self Help
- Topical Therapies