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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Guttate psoriasis


Other Names for this Disease
  • Psoriasis guttate
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Overview



What is guttate psoriasis?

How might guttate psoriasis be treated?


What is guttate psoriasis?

Guttate psoriasis is a skin condition in which small, red, and scaly teardrop-shaped spots appear on the arms, legs, and middle of the body. It is a relatively uncommon form of psoriasis. The condition often develops very suddenly, and is usually triggered by an infection (e.g., strep throat, bacteria infection, upper respiratory infections or other viral infections). Other triggers include injury to the skin, including cuts, burns, and insect bites, certain malarial and heart medications, stress, sunburn, and excessive alcohol consumption. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms, ranging from at-home over the counter remedies to medicines that suppress the body's immune system to sunlight and phototherapy.[1] 
Last updated: 1/3/2013

How might guttate psoriasis be treated?

The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms and prevent secondary infections.[1]

Mild cases of guttate psoriasis are usually treated at home. The following may be recommended:[1]

  • Cortisone (anti-itch and anti-inflammatory) cream
  • Dandruff shampoos (over-the-counter or prescription)
  • Lotions that contain coal tar
  • Moisturizers
  • Prescription medicines containing vitamin D or vitamin A (retinoids)

People with very severe guttate psoriasis may take medicines to suppress the body's immune system. These medicines include corticosteroids, cyclosporine, and methotrexate.[1]

Sunlight may help some symptoms go away. Care should be taken to avoid sunburn. Some people may choose to have phototherapy. Phototherapy is a medical procedure in which the skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet light. Phototherapy may be given alone or after taking a drug that makes the skin more sensitive to light.[1]

More detailed information related to the treatment of psoriasis can be accessed through Medscape Reference. The National Psoriasis Foundation can also provide you with information on treatment. 

Last updated: 1/3/2013

References
  1. Psoriasis - guttate. MedlinePlus. May 2011; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000822.htm. Accessed 1/3/2013.