Psoriasis is a genetic autoimmune skin condition that can cause psoriatic plaques consisting of reddish skin and scaly patches. Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition and can consist of many different types. Guttate psoriasis is found in approximately 2% of psoriasis patients. It is more widespread in children and young adults usually below the age of 30. This skin condition is different from the common psoriasis because the scaly formations that occur are small, red, and “teardrop” shaped spots. The name Guttate is derived from the Latin word “gutta” meaning “drop.” These scaly spots generally appear on the arms, legs, and middle of the body.
Guttate psoriasis can often occur when a person suffers from a streptococcus infection. However, there are many other triggers for guttate psoriasis that can cause flare-ups. Some of these triggers include bacterial or viral infections, including upper respiratory infections, injury to the skin such as cuts, burns and insect bites, and some medicines used to treat malaria and certain heart conditions. Being exposed to the sun for long periods of time can also cause a person to develop symptoms of guttate psoriasis. Also be sure to limit your consumption of alcohol and take time to learn how to manage the constant stresses of life. If you think you may have guttate psoriasis, please see your doctor for a professional diagnosis. Upon your diagnosis, you will need to learn how to control your symptoms and prevent any secondary infections. Managing your symptoms of guttate psoriasis is very important. Here are some guidelines to help you improve your guttate psoriasis:
1. Guttate psoriasis responds well to ultraviolet rays. Exposing your body to sunlight every day for 10 to 15 minutes will help reduce spots and promote the production of vitamin D in the body. A lack of vitamin D in the body has been strongly linked to the severity of psoriasis symptoms. Low vitamin D levels will normally cause the psoriasis symptoms to be more severe. However beware that overexposure to the sun resulting in a sunburn can lead to a psoriasis flare up and make your lesions worse.
2. Guttate psoriasis can be intensely itchy and provoke the urge to constantly scratch. However, scratching can damage the skin further or impede the healing process. Taking a lukewarm or cool shower can relieve the itching. Avoid taking hot showers which may irritate and dry out guttate spots even more. Apply moisturizer heavily as soon as you get out of your shower while your skin is still wet. For persistent itching, you can apply ice packs from your freezer for relief.
3. Stress is known to be a major trigger of psoriasis. It is deceptive and can remain in your body and mind even after the cause of the stress has gone away. It is of upmost importance that you learn to manage your daily stress levels so that your guttate psoriasis will not become worse. There are various techniques that are effective in managing stress. These can include self-hypnosis, simple meditation and learning time management. Spend some time to research the many possibilities available on the web.
4. A common unwanted result of having guttate psoriasis is inflammation. You do not want to trigger the inflammation, so be sure to avoid too much sun exposure and too much alcohol consumption. There are many popular anti-inflammatory agents used by psoriasis patients to control skin inflammation. A common active ingredient for these agents is often corticosteroids. Be sure to always consult with a dermatologist before using any new creams.
5. There are some foods and beverages that can fuel psoriasis flare-ups. Alcohol may trigger guttate psoriasis and also have an impact on treating this condition. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid alcohol as well as foods high in fat.
It is recommended that you make a note anytime you experience a skin reaction when you eat or drink something new or out of the ordinary. You can do this by creating your very own psoriasis journal. The journal can also be used to note other vital observations regarding your condition (e.g. flare-ups when the weather changes). These records can be shown to your dermatologist during your consultations and will help your dermatologist to offer you the best treatments for your guttate psoriasis.
6. The dry, scaly skin of guttate psoriasis can cause chronic itchiness and will provoke the urge to scratch. Don’t do it! Scratching your lesions can cause breaks in the skin where bacteria can enter and cause an infection. Use the creams, medications and other treatments recommended by your doctor to help relieve the itching. Apply moisturizers frequently during throughout the day. If you can, shower at least twice a day to keep your skin naturally hydrated and apply moisturizer generously to your wet skin.