Why is a skin condition related to a sore throat?
- 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.
Can anything else cause guttate psoriasis?
- Rarely some medications can cause guttate psoriasis, particularly lithium (used for mental health problems) and beta-blockers (used in heart conditions).
What does guttate psoriasis look like?
- 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.
Does guttate psoriasis make you feel ill?
- 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.
Who is affected by guttate psoriasis?
- 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.
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