Guttate psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis that typically appears on the legs, arms, or trunk, though it can occur elsewhere on the body. Guttate psoriasis appears as small red or pink drops on the skin and is finer than the more common plaque psoriasis.
Guttate psoriasis is often triggered by a strep throat infection or a viral infection. The outbreak may occur two to three weeks after the infection. Guttate psoriasis can run in the family, but it is not contagious. While there is no cure for guttate psoriasis, an outbreak can happen only once or may recur.
Since guttate psoriasis is mild, it is unlikely to cause scarring. Instead, your skin may feel irritated and itchy. Although it may be reoccurring, it is not a chronic problem and usually clears up in a few weeks.
Because it is generally mild, you may choose to see a doctor for treatment or you may choose to use over-the-counter remedies. Topical steroids can be purchased or prescribed by your doctor and will control both inflammation and itching. It’s important to keep your skin moisturized to reduce irritation. One of the best times to do this is after bathing.
In addition to topical steroids, your doctor may recommend photo-therapy, which is artificial ultraviolet light therapy. This UV therapy is especially good at treating psoriasis that covers a large area of the skin. If the guttate psoriasis is not wide-spread, your doctor may prefer to stick with medications.
Although over-the-counter treatments may be sufficient, you can also see your doctor for treatment. They may prescribe medication or decide to use ultraviolet light therapy, or photo-therapy, to control the guttate psoriasis. With photo-therapy, your skin is exposed to artificial ultraviolet light. It is an easy way to control a large area of psoriasis when compared with topical ointments and creams.
Whether or not you see your doctor, most cases of guttate psoriasis clear up after a few weeks. If the psoriasis is reoccurring or bothersome you’ll want to see your physician. If you have a different form of psoriasis and suffer from a strep throat infection, you’ll want to see your doctor to be prepared if guttate psoriasis occurs.