Guttate psoriasis is a type of psoriasis ailment that is characterized by appearing of the spots in the form of small pink-orange drops on patients’ skin. The name “guttate psoriasis” comes from Lingua Latina word “gutta” that means a “drop” (of fluid). Scaly spots appear on a patient’s skin. These spots are smaller than in the case of plaque lesions representing the most widespread type of psoriasis ailment. Often the causative agent of “teardrop” psoriasis is streptococcus infection. This condition often begins to manifest itself in childhood or adolescence. About ten percent of male and female persons suffering from psoriasis have teardrop-shaped spots on their skin.
This is an autoimmune condition, which means that your body perceives its own cells as external agents and begins to fight them. In some cases, the ailment disappears on its own. In other cases, it persists therefore you need to talk with your medical expert to choose the means of controlling the symptoms of the ailment.
Causes of guttate psoriasis
As a rule, an outbreak of the disease is caused by severe bacterial infection in the throat. Streptococcus causes a
reaction of immunity resulting in a psoriatic rash. Sometimes the disease is of a genetic nature. If anyone in your family suffers from guttate psoriasis, you are at a higher risk of developing the disease. The list of other factors that can contribute to the development of the disease include:
- Respiratory infections;
- Chronic tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils);
- Frequent stress;
- Skin lesions (cuts, burns, etc.);
- Taking certain medications (for instance, beta-blockers and anti-malarial drugs)
Guttate psoriasis symptoms
Spots arising from guttate psoriasis are not very thick when compared to plaque-like psoriasis. In some situations, these two types of psoriasis are combined. Patients usually have spots on the limbs, chest & stomach. Sometimes, spots can occur on the face, but they never emerge on palms, feet soles & nails. The disease is often exacerbated in winter (because of dry & cold air) and subsides in summer.
Guttate psoriasis diagnosis
During the diagnosis a healthcare professional will examine your anamnesis (medical history) and ask you what
medicines you have taken or are currently taking. Also, he will examine the skin. Usually a visual inspection allows a specialist to make an accurate diagnosis but in some cases, you may need a biopsy. Sometimes you should take a blood test or a swab from your throat to check for streptococcus.
With mild and moderate forms of teardrop-shaped psoriasis, treatment can be conducted at home. In the summer or in warm locations, sunrays will contribute to the treatment of psoriasis in moderation. Nevertheless, it’s worth being very careful, since sunburn can only aggravate the symptoms of the ailment. Let’s consider treatment options in details.
Permanent moisturizing of the skin will help to avoid irritation. Thick moisturizers are applied to the skin after the bath: they help moisturize and soften affected skin areas. Local steroid medicaments such as Cortisone cream can help minimize inflammation and itching.
If you have been suffering from guttate psoriasis for a long time, it is likely that your healthcare professional will check your throat for the presence of bacteria. If the analysis is positive (which means that you have a streptococcus infection), then you will be prescribed antibiotic remedies that will help get rid of the infection.
Sunlight can favorably influence the affected areas of the skin. Ultraviolet rays help some patients alleviate the symptoms of the ailment. Exposure to light reduces the production of skin cells, and as studies have shown (for example, the study of Harvima IT et al., 2008), it reduces the quantity of mast cells (type of white blood cells, i.e. leukocytes) that stimulate inflammation processes associated with the ailment occurrence.
Drastic prescription medications.
In severe cases, a healthcare professional can prescribe such strong medicaments as Cyclosporine & Methotrexate (immunosuppressant medications), as well as oral Corticosteroids.
In addition, vitamins D and A can help in guttate psoriasis treating.