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Guttate Psoriasis

Intro

You may want to see your doctor or health care practitioner if you a more or less sudden eruption of small red droplike lesions of guttate psoriasis. This form of psoriasis is usually a mild inconvenience to most people. Most of the time, the lesions last several weeks to a few months. Other times, the guttate eruption can develop into chronic plaque psoriasis. Scarring is not a problem.

The doctor can prescribe treatments that help relieve the itching. This type of psoriasis usually "runs its course" and goes away without treatment in a few weeks.

Self-Care at Home

This type of psoriasis may be treated at home in most mild-to-moderate cases. Keeping the skin moist will prevent extra irritation. Thick moisturizers applied after a bath to keep in moisture and soften the skin are helpful.

Over the counter topical steroids may help to reduce inflammation and itching.

Prevention

Guttate psoriasis may not be preventable. However, complications or further flare-ups may be reduced by avoiding anything that triggers a psoriasis outbreak. For example, anyone with psoriasis should try to minimize all forms of skin trauma, such as scratching or vigorous rubbing, which may lead to new psoriatic lesions on previously unaffected areas. This is known as the Koebner phenomenon.

The association between streptococcal infections and guttate psoriasis cannot be overemphasized.

  • Early detection and treatment of such infections may prevent an acute flare-up of the skin disease. Samples should be obtained and cultured in patients who are susceptible to psoriasis and have a sore throat.
  • Some doctors advocate early antibiotic therapy of any sore throat in individuals who are susceptible.

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Outlook

Although guttate psoriasis usually clears up within a few weeks, it may also be the first step to chronic plaque psoriasis.

  • The acute guttate form progresses into the chronic plaque form in an estimated 68% of people.
  • In another study of 15 patients, the likelihood of an individual developing chronic psoriasis within 10 years of a single episode of acute guttate psoriasis was suggested to be about 1 in 3. Although further studies with larger numbers of patients are needed to determine the risk more accurately.

Like other forms of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis has the tendency to improve during the summer and worsen during the winter. Once the outbreak clears, many patients with acute guttate psoriasis usually have limited or no evidence of psoriasis for prolonged periods.

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