Guttate psoriasis is a rare type of psoriasis that could occur after an episode of streptococcus throat infection. This form of psoriasis usually affects children and adults below 30 years of age. The name for this skin disease originated from the Latin word gutta, which means “drop” because the sores are formed like small tear drops. The size of the sores ranges from 1-10mm in diameter and the spots are somewhat scaly. These spots usually appear on the arms, legs and the back. Guttate psoriasis, which is also notably itchy and unpleasant to look at, usually goes away on its own. In some cases, however, this type of psoriasis could leave scars.
Causes of Guttate Psoriasis
It is important to know the cause from which the condition originates since learning about the root cause would greatly help in formulating the best treatment option for quicker healing of the said skin condition. Most of the cases of guttate psoriasis arise after a recent bout of a respiratory tract infection, the most common of which is the strep throat infection. It can also be hereditary; hence, it could be passed on from generation to generation. If your relatives have it, it is possible that you can acquire it as well.
There are also other factors that can trigger the appearance of the skin condition, such as too much alcohol intake, bacterial attack of the respiratory system, stress, injury to the skin like sunburn and wound opening from an accident. Also, people with low immune systems could also acquire guttate psoriasis. Groups of people who have low immune systems include those who have autoimmune diseases, those who are undergoing chemotherapy sessions, and those who have AIDS. As mentioned, the people who are most at risk of acquiring the condition are those who are aged 30 years old and below.
Symptoms of Guttate Psoriasis
The symptoms manifested would help the doctor make the correct diagnosis of the disease. The following are the symptoms of guttate psoriasis:
- A cluster of tear drop like sores or rash that is pinkish to reddish in color and is surrounded by thin and flaky scales.
- An itchy sensation on the site of the sore or spot which attacks from time to time. The itchy feeling doesn’t go away immediately and gets worse if scratched.
- The spots are usually situated on the extremities such as the arms and legs, and on the upper torso of the body. However, in some cases, it could occur in other parts of the body as well, such as the face.
If any of these symptoms occur and if you suspect that it is guttate psoriasis, it is best to seek professional medical advice as soon as possible to confirm the condition. The doctor would verify the diagnosis based on the symptoms, and would run some diagnostic tests such as skin biopsy and throat culture to make a conclusive diagnosis. It would be wise to visit the doctor and have the rash checked right away to prevent the condition from getting worse.
Guttate Psoriasis treatment
The primary goal of the treatment for this condition is to alleviate the symptoms and to prevent any other infections from happening. For persons who are suffering from mild forms of guttate psoriasis, the doctor would prescribe medicines that would help relieve the itchiness. It should be remembered that this skin condition would just eventually disappear. But so as long as it is there, the only thing that can be done is to alleviate the itching and to control yourself from scratching the spots.
Some of the most prescribed anti-itch and anti inflammatory creams are cortisone creams, which are widely available in pharmacies. If guttate psoriasis is found on the scalp, there are anti-dandruff shampoos that could be bought over-the-counter. In addition, moisturizers and mild lotions containing vitamin E could greatly help in regenerating the affected skin.
For worse cases of guttate psoriasis, corticosteroids have been found to be very helpful for relieving the itch and in hastening the effects of the other medicines prescribed by the doctor. Some of the drugs that could help in severe cases of the disease include methotrexate and cyclosporine. Some doctors would also advice phototherapy in which electromagnetic radiation is employed to treat the skin condition. The application of topical vitamin D creams such as Calcipotriol is also recommended. Other advisable products for guttate psoriasis would include derivatives of coal tar such as coco scalp, polytar and Fongitar.
Guttate psoriasis is a skin disorder that would just vanish after a certain period of time. However, it could give considerable discomfort and embarrassment to the person affected, so it is important to know the quickest ways to eliminate the condition. The doctor or the dermatologist is the best person to approach regarding this matter.
Guttate Psoriasis pictures