How do you treat guttate psoriasis?
In the past, it could have seemed that only women desired good skin, but as time goes on, men and women, boys and girls, all want healthy skin. A person with healthy skin can appear attractive and youthful. There’s more to having healthy skin than merely being visually appealing. A person with healthy skin is able to fend off illnesses and shield themselves from harm, such as skin injuries. But not everyone is fortunate enough to have good skin, and some people may have other skin conditions that call for additional care, such as medication.
The skin condition known as psoriasis is characterized by an accelerated cycle of skin cell development. It’s associated with autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disease arises when the body’s immune system misinterprets its own cells as enemies and launches an attack on them. The hyperactive immune system accelerates the proliferation of skin cells in psoriasis. In a month, skin cells in healthy individuals grow and shed; with psoriasis, this process takes only three to seven days. Psoriasis, however, caused skin cells to accumulate on the skin’s surface rather than shed.
There are many forms of psoriasis. Here we will be learning about guttate psoriasis. A shower of tiny, pink-red, scaly “raindrops” that has fallen all over the body is how guttate psoriasis is described. Psoriasis caused by guttate usually affects young adults and children. In actuality, behind chronic plaque psoriasis, it is the second most prevalent type of psoriasis in children. Even so, it can affect adults over the age of 30. Guttate psoriasis is often the first presentation of psoriasis for an individual but may be seen in those already with chronic psoriasis.
Guttate psoriasis usually develops 1 to 2 weeks following infection from streptococcal bacteria through infection of the upper respiratory tract, especially tonsillitis. It may also be caused by infection of other sites such as perianal dermatitis (inflamed skin around the anus). There are also reports that guttate psoriasis is caused by viral infections such as coxsackievirus and COVID-19. According to another report, guttate psoriasis develops after TNF-alpha treatment.
Symptoms of guttate psoriasis are the numerous, small scattered patches that are often referred to as “drop-like”. The patches are thin and pink in colour with scaly features. Scale may not be significant at first when the skin lesion occurs. The patches can become itchy. The skin lesion often so be seen over the trunk and limbs. Facial, scalp, and ear lesions are typically mild and transient.
When a patient comes to the doctor for complaints suspected of guttate psoriasis, doctors or dermatologists will ask for a history of previous infection to the throat. Doctors may use dermoscopy to get a better look of the skin lesion. They may also do skin biopsy, which is a procedure of scraping small samples of skin tissue to check under the microscope. Since it is typically caused by infection, doctors may order blood tests to check for the bacteria and swabs in some cases.
In mild cases of guttate psoriasis, patients can stay at home. Doctors often prescribe anti-itch or anti-inflammatory creams to alleviate symptoms. They may also prescribe lotions that contain coal tar to remove the scaly skin. Aside from coal tar, salicylic acid or topical retinoids can be helpful. Lotion is not the only topical treatment as it could also be in the form of creams, ointment, gels, foams, sprays and shampoos. If patients are recently infected, doctors will prescribe antibiotics. Using moisturiser can help to keep the dry skin hydrated. In severe cases of guttate psoriasis, patients are likely to get medicines that regulate the immune response such as cyclosporine and methotrexate. Phototherapy may be suggested in severe cases.
Even in the absence of treatment, guttate psoriasis often goes away after 3–4 months. Patients with a record of streptococcal infection often have good outcomes. However, guttate psoriasis may come back with another episode of streptococcal infection. Chronic plaque psoriasis can develop from persistent guttate psoriasis. It is estimated that 25 to 40% of those with guttate psoriasis do develop chronic plaque psoriasis. Chronic plaque psoriasis can cause a person to have psoriasis for the rest of their life. There is no cure for this kind of psoriasis and even biologic medicines, which is the most effective treatment available, only able to reduce 70% of the symptoms related.
It can be concluded that guttate psoriasis is one of the many forms of psoriasis. It is often caused by streptococcal infection from upper respiratory tract or perianal dermatitis. It is common in children compared to adults. Treatments are relatively similar to psoriasis in general. Guttate psoriasis can be a chronic plaque psoriasis which often needs medical attention for the rest of a person’s life.