Psoriasis is an immunity-related disorder that causes red, itchy, scaly patches on the skin. It is more than just dry and irritated skin, as it involves lesions that are discolored and which might cover large patches of skin or the entire body itself. In some cases it can also be found on the toenails and it may involve inflammation of the joints and digits.
Guttate psoriasis is a form of the condition that is triggered by a bacterial infection. It most often appears on young adults. It is typically found on the upper trunk but can spread to other areas of the body and also causes salmon-colored spots that are similar to psoriasis. Take a look at this condition and what causes it and your treatment options so you can know what to look for with your own skin.
What causes the condition?
The trigger for this condition is a bacterial or streptococcal infection. Strep throat is the most common cause, but it can also be triggered by the chickenpox or even a common cold.
A person who is a strep carrier or who always has the strep bacteria in their respiratory system is more likely to see outbreaks and recurrences of the condition.
In some cases a person may not notice any reaction with their skin until a week or two after their condition has cleared up, and then they may notice small red spots which are slightly itchy. There may be dry white areas of scaly skin around the red spots, and soon the dryness spreads.
In most cases guttate psoriasis will appear on the trunk and upper back although it can appear anywhere on the body including the bikini line, legs, arms, and even the eyelids. This condition is different than common psoriasis in that nail ridges or pits are not typically seen.
Does guttate psoriasis need to be treated?
In many cases the condition clears up after a few weeks, as the body continues to heal from the bacterial infection and the skin too returns to normal. In these cases it’s best to keep the skin out of the sun and to bathe in cool or tepid water.
Moisturizers can also help but these should be made for sensitive skin and should be free of dyes and perfumes, which can irritate even healthy skin. Natural products like vitamin E oil or seaberry oil can be better options for you.
Other forms of guttate psoriasis treatment may include prescription topical medication or phototherapy, which is when a special light is applied to the skin. Ultraviolet B light is very healthy for the skin and has shown to treat these types of conditions.
Those who have recurring strep throat or bacterial infections may be prescribed antibiotics. A doctor may take a culture from the throat to ensure this is the cause. While not all cases of dry and itchy skin are guttate psoriasis, it’s good to see a doctor if you notice changes in your skin after any other type of illness, especially any type of infection. The right medication or topical ointment can help to speed recovery and offer relief from the pain and itching of those flaky patches.