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Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate Psoriasis Quick Overview

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.

Picture of guttate psoriasis. Red drop-like lesions are found on the skin
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 contagious. Although guttate psoriasis usually occurs on the trunk, arms, or legs, it not unusual for it to involve extensive areas of skin.

The trigger to the disease is often a streptococcal (bacterial) sore throat followed within two to three weeks by the 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. This type 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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/2/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Guttate Psoriasis:

Guttate Psoriasis - Home Remedies

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Guttate Psoriasis - Treatment

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Guttate Psoriasis - Symptoms

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Psoriasis Diet and Prevention

  • Avoiding environmental factors that trigger psoriasis, such as smoking, and stress, may help prevent or minimize flare-ups of psoriasis. Sun exposure may help in many cases of psoriasis and aggravate it in others.
  • Alcohol is considered a risk factor for psoriasis, even moderate amounts of beer. People should avoid or minimize alcohol use if they have psoriasis. This is especially important if they are taking medications such as methotrexate or acitretin.
  • Specific dietary restrictions or supplements other than a well-balanced and adequate diet are not important in the management of plaque psoriasis.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Psoriasis, Guttate »

Guttate psoriasis refers to a distinctive, acute clinical presentation of an eruption characterized by small, droplike, 1-10 mm in diameter, salmon-pink papules, usually with a fine scale

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary