- Created on Saturday, 04 February 2012 11:15
- Last Updated on Monday, 20 February 2012 20:37
Description of Guttate Psoriasis
Guttate is derived from the Latin word gutta meaning "drop".
Guttate Psoriasis looks like small, red, individual drops on the skin. These lesions usually appear on the trunk and limbs, and sometimes on the scalp. They usually are not as thick or scale-covered as plaque psoriasis. It often starts in childhood or young adulthood. It often comes on quite suddenly. It may be triggered by strep throat, an infection of the throat. There are also other causes that can trigger an attack of guttate psoriasis such as tonsillitis, a common cold, chicken pox, immunisations, physical trauma, psychological stress, illness, and the administration of antimalarial drugs.
Guttate Psoriasis may clear on its own accord, leaving a person free from further outbreaks. Or, it may clear for a time only to reappear later as patches of Plaque Psoriasis. Sometimes guttate can flare throughout childhood, often due to repeated bouts of strep infection or other upper respiratory illnesses.
Without treatment it may represent the initial stage of chronic plaque-type psoriasis.
The acute guttate form progresses into the chronic plaque form in about 70% of patients. Like other forms of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis has the tendency to improve during the summer and worsen during the winter. Once cleared, many patients who experience acute guttate psoriasis usually have limited or no evidence of psoriasis for prolonged periods.
Treatment of Guttate Psoriasis.
Antibiotics can help prevent an infection from re-occurring and causing an outbreak of guttate psoriasis.
Moisturisers or stronger topical agents can help treat moderate cases. Topical agents, coal tar, corticosteroids, topical vitamin D3 derivatives or topical retinoids are treatments that are applied to the skin. Ointments are considered the safest treatment. Psoralen and Ultraviolet light treatment (PUVA) with UVB can also ease an outbreak of the skin disease. A Dermatologist may also recommend combination therapy or rotational therapy using ultraviolet light treatment with UVB or PUVA in combination with topical agents.
In severe cases, a dermatologist may prescribe systemic medications. Sometimes a short course of one of these agents results in rapid and long-lasting clearing.
Although unproven by clinical trials, tonsillectomy for patients with recurrent or chronic guttate psoriasis associated with post-streptococcal tonsillitis may be helpful.