Guttate Psoriasis - Causes and symptoms

Authored by Dr Oliver Starr, 08 Jul 2017

Patient is a certified member of
The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Dr Hannah Gronow, 08 Jul 2017

  • For some reason the germ (bacterium) group A beta-haemolytic streptococcus, which can cause a really sore throat, sometimes causes a skin reaction.
  • It's thought to be caused by your immune system going into 'overdrive' and accidentally reacting to your own skin.
  • The throat infection is found in about 80% of cases.
  • No one can quite figure out why this happens but some people seem to be more prone to it than others. It might be to do with your genetic make-up.
  • In this way it's similar to the way a throat infection can lead to rheumatic fever.
  • Rarely some medications can cause guttate psoriasis, particularly lithium (used for mental health problems) and beta-blockers (used in heart conditions).
  • The spots come on pretty quickly, over just a day or two.
  • They usually cover the chest, tummy, upper arms and thighs.
  • Usually the palms of the hands and soles of the feet are not affected.
  • It only occasionally affects your head and face.
  • They are slightly raised, light pink skin marks that might have a white scale to their surface.
  • Usually the appearance of the spots is the worst thing about it.
  • It doesn't usually make you feel ill or feverish.
  • The spots are not usually painful, but they can be a tiny bit itchy (only a little bit though).
  • You can imagine that coming up in spots all over your body in just a few days can be pretty distressing: a lot of people are quite upset when they see their doctor.
  • Usually young people get guttate psoriasis, in their teens or twenties. Men and women are affected equally.
  • It seems to occur all over the world.
  • No one really quite knows how common it is. In general, a GP in the UK would have heard of it and probably know how to diagnose it, but they may not have seen a case themselves for many years.

Hi everyoneI was just curious as to whether anyone with PA experiences pins and needles or slight numb feeling in hands and feet?I also sometimes get it in my face.I'm currently on Sulfasalazine and...

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