What Makes this Type of Psoriasis Different

Guttate psoriasis is the second-most common form of the condition (after plaque psoriasis), affecting between 8 and 10 percent of people experiencing psoriasis symptoms. This chronic autoimmune condition causes tear-shaped patches to form on the skin. Guttate psoriasis can emerge at any age, but it is most common in childhood and young adulthood.

These psoriasis symptoms are fairly recognizable, but you won’t know if you have condition until you visit a dermatologist. If you think you have this condition, schedule an appointment at one of our Minneapolis-area offices. We can provide a diagnosis and support your psoriasis treatment strategy.


Causes and Risk Factors

While there is no specific guttate psoriasis cause, most will develop the condition after experiencing an infection, like strep throat or tonsillitis. The link between this type of psoriasis and upper respiratory infections is so strong that physicians recommend visiting your doctor for a strep throat test if you notice the appearance of guttate psoriasis symptoms.

Stress, injury to the skin, and some types of drugs, like antimalarials and beta blockers, can also trigger guttate psoriasis. Additionally, a genetic predisposition, hormonal disorders, and excessive alcohol consumption can also play a role in the condition’s development.


Guttate Psoriasis Symptoms

Teardrop-shaped patches are the most characteristic symptoms of guttate psoriasis. The word “guttate,” comes from the Latin word for “drop.” Small, red, scaly patches resembling raindrops or tears appear all over the body. The spots typically cluster around the following areas:

  • Scalp
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Lower back
  • Palms
  • Face
  • Soles of the feet.

These lesions are typically much smaller and thinner than the plaques found on patients with plaque psoriasis. That said, these patches will still be very itchy.


Healing This Type of Psoriasis

As an autoimmune condition, guttate psoriasis is notoriously difficult to treat. In most cases, your doctor will with an infection assessment, checking for upper respiratory infections that may be an underlying trigger. If you have an infection, you will likely be prescribed antibiotics. Then, people with milder symptoms will typically receive topical medications as a guttate psoriasis treatment. This will usually include steroid gels, creams, and ointments, as well as vitamin D treatments. Studies show that light therapy can also be used to help manage the symptoms.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for any type of psoriasis. However, with careful management from a dermatologist, you can manage symptoms to have fewer flare-ups and less discomfort when they do happen.


When to See a Doctor for Guttate Psoriasis

While guttate psoriasis is not hazardous on its own, the condition can be difficult to live with. Additionally, this type of psoriasis is often accompanied by an infection, which can become dangerous over time. If you think you are experiencing symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists to receive a personalized guttate psoriasis treatment plan.

*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.