Guttate psoriasis is one among the eight types of psoriasis affecting the skin cells. Guttate is a Latin word meaning drop and this particular type of psoriasis emerges as tear-drop shaped small and red patches; hence its name. According to mayo clinic, all types of psoriasis are a common skin disease with scale-like skin covering the itchy and often painful patches. The patches appear in the arms, legs, trunk of the body and the scalp always covered by fine scales; the condition is more common in children and young adults below the age of thirty.
Guttate psoriasis, as with all types of psoriasis affects the life cycle of the skin cells and dead skin cells keep piling up on the skin surface, appearing like silvery scales. This is not a contagious condition and so cannot be passed on; however, it may go into remission and recur again and again. The symptoms are dry skin, tear drop shaped red patches with scaly covers and itching.
The causes for guttate psoriasis are thought to be genetic by the medical world and sometimes environmental. The condition is believed to be a result of an affected immune system in people with this genetic condition. A lymphocyte from the white blood cells meant to fight off all foreign bodies in the entire human body goes berserk and starts attacking healthy skin cells too. This leads to a heap of dead skin cells on the skin surface, drying up of the skin and psoriasis.
Certain illnesses are also known to trigger off the guttate psoriasis condition. If you are suffering from strep throat it may lead to this type of psoriasis. Besides, infections of the upper respiratory organs, insect bites or any other open pores due to cut, burn etc., excessive drinking, high exposure to the sun, heart and, malaria medications and stress may also lead to this type of psoriasis.
Guttate psoriasis quite often clears up within a few days, but there are steps you can take which will benefit your condition. Exposing the affected parts to the early morning sunlight makes some difference; keeping the parts moist; avoiding scratching the itchy patches; bathing daily using mild soaps that have oils and fats; applying an overnight moisturizer and covering up the affected parts at night. Moreover, it is important to avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, and fatty meat. Maintain healthy diet comprising of fruits and vegetables of varying colors and add fish or fish oil to your meals.
Guttate psoriasis can become inflamed and affect your life and work. To avoid worsening of the condition it is advisable to check with the doctor and take prescribed medication. The psoriasis treatment primarily tries to cut off any secondary infection and it could be a topical treatment, light therapy and/or systemic medications.
The topical treatment consists of corticosteroid ointments, vitamin D cream, salicylic acid cream etc. In the light therapy the patient is exposed to artificial ultraviolet rays under controlled and supervised conditions. Sometimes the conditions in Guttate psoriasis may turn severe enough to require injections and oral drugs, but the onset of a treatment should always be with the topical applications according to the affected areas and severity of the condition.