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What is Guttate Psoriasis and How Is It Treated? | Psoriasis Pictures, Symptoms, Treatment, Cures

What is Guttate Psoriasis and How Is It Treated?

Guttate psoriasis is an uncommon form of psoriasis that occurs in less than 2% of those with psoriasis and typically affects children and young adults under the age of 30. The word “guttate” is derived from the Latin word gutta, which means “drop” and refers to the the characteristic small, pink, drop-like lesions associated with guttate psoriasis, which usually occur on the trunk or limbs, and which are not usually as thick or scaly as the lesions found in plaque psoriasis.

Guttate psoriasis is more clearly associated with infection than other forms of psoriasis, and in particular, streptococcal infection (strep throat), though it can also be triggered by viral or other infections. A genetic predisposition is often associated with guttate psoriasis.

The good news is that the symptoms of guttate psoriasis often resolve themselves even without treatment in a matter of weeks, though sometimes the symptoms will either not clear or return and can eventually turn into a more chronic form of psoriasis such as plaque psoriasis. The symptoms can come on quite quickly, often within just a few days, and will often first appear 2-3 weeks after a streptococcal infection.

Even though guttate psoriasis many times resolves itself without treatment, antibiotics are often helpful and prescribed to treat the underlying cause, particularly if it is a streptococcal infection. Antibiotics can also be used to potentially prevent future outbreaks of guttate psoriasis if one suspects one has a streptococcal infection, but the symptoms of guttate psoriasis have not yet appeared, and one has had a prior outbreak. Because guttate psoriasis lesions may be itchy, moisturizers are also a helpful form of treatment. Many of the more common forms of treating psoriasis, such as coal tar, phototherapy, and corticosteroids, are also sometimes used to alleviate the symptoms of guttate psoriasis.

If one has an acute form of guttate psoriasis, the likelihood of developing chronic plaque psoriasis later in life has been placed as high as 2 out of 3, but in general, the probability of developing chronic plaque psoriasis after a case of guttate psoriasis appears to be closer to 30%.

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