What is Guttate Psoriasis?
I have seen many patients with this unusual form of psoriasis called “guttate” psoriasis, which is characterised by multiple tiny areas of psoriasis that tend to affect most of the body. â€˜Guttaâ€™ is Latin for tear drop; and guttate psoriasis looks like a shower of red, scaly tear drops that have fallen down on the body. Lesions are usually concentrated around the trunk and upper arms and thighs. Face, ears and scalp are also commonly affected but the lesions may be very faint and quickly disappear in these areas. Occasionally there may be only a few scattered lesions in total.
The diagnosis of guttate psoriasis is made by the combination of the patient’s individual history, the clinical appearance of the skin rash along with some evidence of any preceding skin infections.
This particular skin rash may come on very quickly, usually within a couple of days, and may follow a streptococcal infection of the throat. It tends to particularly affect children and young adults. In most instances guttate is self clearing and has a good chance of spontaneously clearing completely
Medical management may include:
- Antibiotics. Treatment of an underlying streptococcal infection with antibiotics
- UV light. Phototherapy
- Coal tar, oral steroids. Topical agents including mild topical steroids, coal tar.
Guttate psoriasis rarely requires treatment with oral medications. How would this condition be treated by a naturopath? The same way we would treat psoriasis, we would look at the case history, the diet, the lifestyle and recommend changes where appropriate.