Guttate Psoriasis

Psoriasis has no known cure and is a chronic skin disorder. The name comes from the Greek word Psora which means “to itch”. Basically it occurs when too many skin cells grow. Normal skin takes twenty to thirty days to mature while a person with psoriasis has skin that matures in only three to six days. Psoriasis is not limited to a certain age group and it affects one to three percent of the worlds population. A very uncommon form of psoriasis is guttate psoriasis which is characterized by water drop shaped macules that flake. The Latin word Gutta means “a drop”. It can occur on the arms, legs, trunk and scalp. Those most affected by the disease are under thirty years of age. Injuries due to cuts, burns and insect bites will often aggravate the condition and those with autoimmune disorders, those undergoing chemotherapy and those with viral infections such as HIV may be affected.

It is not a contagious disease. It may last for a few months and doesn’t leave any scars, although post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation can result at the affected areas. It runs its course over a few months or becomes a chronic disease and is not fatal. All race groups are affected and both men and women are equally affected. Children are most affected by this form of psoriasis. It may clear up by itself and then reappear as Plaque Psoriasis.

Factors That Increase Risk and Effects

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing guttate psoriasis or make the effects worse, including the following:

  • Excessive smoking and large consumptions of alcohol.
  • Not enough sunlight or too much exposure to sunlight.
  • Anxiety and stress.
  • Exposure to extreme cold.
  • When clothes rub against the skin.
  • Obesity.
  • A lack of vitamins and minerals.
  • Those taking beta blockers.
  • A family history of psoriasis.
  • Exposure to viral infections such as rubella, roseola and vericella.

Symptoms of Guttate Psoriasis

Red skin lesions that are covered with gray or silver scales. There are patches of skin that are water drop shaped. The entire body or just parts can be covered by the lesions. The affected areas have a loss of skin color. There are no nail changes as is normally present with other types of psoriasis. There is itching and irritation. Those who are more at risk including individuals with an occurrence of HLA-CW6 and HLA-C gene expression. Pain is also a symptom.

Diagnosis of Guttate Psoriasis

A physical examination would be performed by your doctor and your history of viral infections and family history of psoriasis is reviewed. A doctor will often ask if you have had a sore throat before the patches appeared. Often a doctor will take a throat culture and a skin biopsy.

Treatment of Guttate Psoriasis

Psoriasis has no cure and treatment normally focuses on the treatment of symptoms and the prevention of any secondary infections. Antibiotics are used to treat any infections. Mild cases can be treated at home, but severe cases require treatment in a hospital. The use of non-dandruff shampoo, cream that contain tar, moisturizers, retinoids and Vitamin D medicine can help.

For severe cases oral or injected immunosuppressants can be prescribed since long term use of steroids can cause a thinning of the skin. It is best to avoid any respiratory infections, injuries to the skin, clothes that cause friction of the skin and excessive cold or heat. It is best to bathe in luke warm water and then air dry the skin.

Phototherapy is a possible treatment option. Instead of soap you should use moisturizers to prevent the skin from becoming too dry. It is good to have moderate daily exposure to sunlight. Taking Vitamin E supplements will help. Avoid eating any processed foods or refined white sugar. You should follow a diet that is rich in fish, garlic, parsley, lettuce and lime along with grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit.

To help stop the production of the chemical that causes inflammation of the skin capsaicin ointments may be prescribed. Although burning of the skin can result from an overuse of this ointment. Soaking in luke warm water with chamomile is also helpful. Taking supplements of Vitamin A, folic acid, zinc and selenium is helpful. As well as drinking a lot of water. Since animal fat in a diet can trigger inflammation they should be avoided. The symptoms can be reduced by burdock tea, dandelion root and orange grape. Any food allergens should be removed from your diet. To reduce inflammation you should use warm saltwater baths.

Through diet changes and by following the treatment guidelines you can live a normal life even when suffering from guttate psoriasis or other forms of psoriasis.

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