What Is Guttate Psoriasis?
Guttate psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that appears as small, salmon-pink bumps on the skin. The word guttate is derived from the Latin word gutta, meaning drop. Usually there are fine scales atop the small round to oval lesion.
Guttate psoriasis. Red drop-like lesions are found on the skin. Image courtesy of Hon Pak, MD.
As in all types of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis occurs in those with an inherited genetic predisposition and is not a contagious skin condition. Although guttate psoriasis usually occurs on the trunk, arms, or legs, it not unusual for the condition to involve any areas of skin (scalp, face, or ears).
The trigger to the condition is often a streptococcal (bacterial) sore throat followed within two to three weeks by the skin eruption. Guttate psoriasis may resolve entirely or may evolve into typical chronic plaque psoriasis. The disease may recur if the person is a strep carrier (always carries streptococcal bacteria in his respiratory system).
The sudden appearance of an outbreak may be the first psoriasis outbreak for some people. Alternatively, a person who has had plaque psoriasis for a long time may suddenly have an episode of guttate psoriasis. The plaque variety of psoriasis can also be chronic and can be triggered by infections other than those from streptococcal bacteria. For example, the chickenpox or colds can trigger psoriasis.
Who Gets Guttate Psoriasis?
The guttate form of psoriasis is relatively uncommon. Fewer than 2% of those with psoriasis have the guttate type. Guttate psoriasis is more common in children and adults younger than 30 years of age. Boys and girls are equally affected by the medical condition.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/29/2017
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