This patient information on Guttate Psoriasis is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? Guttate psoriasis is a peculiar disorder of the skin. It is an unusual presentation of a common skin problem, psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis occurs at any age, but is is more commonly seen in older children and young adults. Typically it appears as multiple, small, red, scaly bumps which suddenly appear on the trunk, arms and legs. These spots may appear rapidly in just a few days. It may look like a "shower" of spots on your skin.
What causes it? Psoriasis is caused by skin cells dividing too rapidly which results in
thickening and scaling of the skin. The reason the skin cells begin to divide so rapidly remains unknown, but part of the cause is inherited.
Guttate psoriasis is an unusual form of psoriasis. Unlike regular psoriasis this type of psoriasis may be associated with a preceding cold or a strep infection.
How is it diagnosed? I may suspect the diagnosis of Guttate Psoriasis based on the clinical appearance of the rash and a history of a preceding infection. I may also do a skin biopsy, where the skin is looked at under the microscope, to confirm the diagnosis.
Is it dangerous? This is a harmless disorder. It is not related to cancer and it does not involve internal organs.
Can it be cured? The treatment program I put you on will help control or clear the disorder, but it is not a cure. Even if the psoriasis is totally cleared, you may be predisposed to have repeat episodes. Repeat treatments may be needed and some individuals may require continuous therapy. Guttate psoriasis in some cases may clear without reoccurrences.
Is it contagious? Guttate psoriasis is not contagious and you cannot "catch it" from anyone.
Was this caused by something I ate? No. Special diets or avoidance of certain foods will not improve the condition.