Doctor's Notes on Guttate Psoriasis
Signs and symptoms Guttate Psoriasis New EMH blurb by Charles P. Davis, M.D., PhD 1/16/2019 Guttate psoriasis is a type of skin disease (psoriasis). It’s signs and symptoms are small drop-like bumps or lesions that are a salmon (pink color with fine scales on top of the oval bumps). These drop-like lesions usually appear suddenly about 2 to 3 weeks after streptococcal throat infection or tonsillitis. The lesions may be itchy and they often first occur on the trunk arms or legs; the palms of the hand and the bottoms of the feet are usually not affected. However, the small lesions can sometimes spread to the face, ears, and/or scalp. Changes in fingernails usually are absent in guttate psoriasis but common in chronic psoriasis. The majority (about 80%) of patients that get the disease have had a streptococcal infection or tonsillitis about 2-3 weeks before the disease develops. Although this association is known, the precise mechanism that such infections trigger psoriasis is still being researched. Also, viral infections such as chickenpox, rubella and roseola may trigger the disease. In addition, patients with a family history of psoriasis have an increased chance of developing guttate psoriasis. However, the exact cause is sill unknown.
Guttate Psoriasis Symptoms
- Small, salmon-pink (or red) papules (bumps) usually appear suddenly on the skin two to three weeks after a streptococcal throat infection, or tonsillitis.
- The drop-like lesions may causes symptoms such as itching.
- The outbreak usually starts on the trunk, arms, or legs and sometimes spreads to the face, ears, or scalp. The palms and the bottoms of the feet are usually not affected.
- Nail changes, such as pits and ridges, which are characteristic of chronic psoriasis, may be absent.
Guttate Psoriasis Causes
An outbreak of guttate psoriasis is thought to be triggered by a previous streptococcal infection or some other type of infection. The precise mechanism whereby streptococcal infections induce psoriasis awaits more research.
Since psoriasis may be inherited, those with a family history of psoriasis have an increased chance of developing the guttate form of the disease. Some people carry genes that make them more likely to develop psoriasis. The precise manner in which these genes interact with molecules produced by streptococcal bacteria or other microorganisms resulting in guttate psoriasis is currently not fully understood.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder where rapid skin cell reproduction results in raised, red and scaly patches of skin. It is not contagious. It most commonly affects the skin on the elbows, knees, and scalp, though it can appear anywhere on the body.
Psoriasis : Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
Psoriasis causes the top layer of skin cells to become inflamed and grow too quickly and flake off.See Answer
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.