Psoriasis is a skin disease that develops when the immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. Since the body does not shed these excess skin cells, the skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear. Psoriasis is not contagious.
Guttate Psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that looks like small, salmon-pink drops on the skin. It appears as small, red spots (lesions) on the arms, legs, trunk, and can show up on the face, ears or scalp, although it can appear all over the skin. Since the spots often appear about 2-3 weeks after a strep throat, it is believed that an outbreak of guttate psoriasis may be an immune reaction that is triggered by a previous strep infection or some other type of infection. The spots appear quickly and can last for a few weeks or months if not treated.
The sudden appearance of an outbreak of guttate psoriasis may be the first psoriasis outbreak for some people. Alternatively, a person who has had plaque psoriasis for a long time may suddenly have an episode of guttate psoriasis. This type of psoriasis can also be triggered by other infections such as chicken pox or the common cold.
Guttate psoriasis is relatively uncommon. Less than 2% of those with psoriasis have the guttate psoriasis. This type of psoriasis is more common in children and young adults.
Treating Guttate Psoriasis
- Keep the skin moist to prevent further irritation.
- Apply thick moisturizers after a bath to keep moisture in the skin and help soften the skin.
- Use over the counter topical steroids such as hydrocortisone 1% to help to reduce inflammation and itching.
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