Although plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis that people get, there are actually four other types that can develop. Guttate psoriasis is one of them. Though this type of psoriasis only occur in about 2 percent of the population, it is more common in children and people under 30 years of age.
What is Guttate Psoriasis?
Unlike plaque psoriasis that tends to form as patches, guttate psoriasis form on the skin as small, pink drops topped with a fine scale. The drops are typically pinkish-red and are usually found on the chest, back, arms, and legs. Guttate psoriasis is not contagious, though it may cause embarrassment and mental or emotional distress.
Guttate Psoriasis Causes
The most common trigger for guttate psoriasis is a bacterial or viral infection, and streptococcal and other upper respiratory diseases are typically the culprits. The lesions usually pop up about two to three weeks after infection. In some cases, they go away without treatment and never return. In other cases, they may reappear, especially if the person is a carrier for the bacterial or viral disease. For example, a strep carrier may experience recurring breakouts of guttate psoriasis even if he or she doesn’t come down with strep throat.
However, other things can trigger a breakout including:
Skin injury including burns, cuts, and insect bites
Overconsumption of alcohol
Those with weakened immune systems, autoimmune disorders, or going through chemotherapy may develop a severe case of psoriasis.
Symptoms of Guttate Psoriasis
The obvious symptom of guttate psoriasis is the appearance of the red-pink teardrop-shaped lesions. These lesions may or may not be covered with a silvery scale. Typically the spots are small, but may grow bigger over time. They may also spread to other parts of the body including the face, scalp, or ears. Most of the time, they itch.
Sometimes guttate psoriasis can be confused with chicken pox, especially if the silver scale is absent. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention to confirm the diagnosis. The medical professional may do a skin biopsy and take a throat culture as part of the examination.
Best Treatment for Guttate Psoriasis
Mild cases of guttate psoriasis can be treated at home using over-the-counter products. The doctor may recommend different products depending on where the psoriasis appears. Recommended treatments may include cortisone creams, shampoos and lotions containing tar, and various moisturizers. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medications containing vitamin A or vitamin D.
You must be care with some of these treatments, however. Some can cause side effects. Others can lose their effectiveness over time. The best way to prevent this is to use a psoriasis treatment product made from natural ingredients that work with the body’s immune system to get rid of the lesions quickly and without unpleasant side effects. To find the best treatment for you, read our reviews of the top psoriasis remedies on the market on the homepage.
Severe cases of guttate psoriasis may require prescription medications that suppress immune function. While effective, these medications can increase your risk of getting infections. You may need to take precautions to avoid developing acute or chronic illnesses while using immune-suppressing medications.