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Disease Profile

Guttate psoriasis

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Psoriasis guttate


Skin Diseases


Guttate psoriasis is a skin condition in which small, red, and scaly teardrop-shaped spots appear on the arms, legs, and middle of the body. It is a relatively uncommon form of psoriasis. The condition often develops very suddenly, and is usually triggered by an infection (e.g., strep throat, bacteria infection, upper respiratory infections or other viral infections). Other triggers include injury to the skin, including cuts, burns, and insect bites, certain malarial and heart medications, stress, sunburn, and excessive alcohol consumption. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms, ranging from at-home over the counter remedies to medicines that suppress the body's immune system to sunlight and phototherapy.[1]


The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms and prevent secondary infections.[1]

Mild cases of guttate psoriasis are usually treated at home. The following may be recommended:[1]

  • Cortisone (anti-itch and anti-inflammatory) cream
  • Dandruff shampoos (over-the-counter or prescription)
  • Lotions that contain coal tar
  • Moisturizers
  • Prescription medicines containing vitamin D or vitamin A (retinoids)

People with very severe guttate psoriasis may take medicines to suppress the body's immune system. These medicines include corticosteroids, cyclosporine, and methotrexate.[1]

Sunlight may help some symptoms go away. Care should be taken to avoid sunburn. Some people may choose to have phototherapy. Phototherapy is a medical procedure in which the skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet light. Phototherapy may be given alone or after taking a drug that makes the skin more sensitive to light.[1]

More detailed information related to the treatment of psoriasis can be accessed through Medscape Reference. The National Psoriasis Foundation can also provide you with information on treatment. 


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
    • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

      In-Depth Information

      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Guttate psoriasis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Psoriasis guttate. MedlinePlus. May 2011; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000822.htm. Accessed 1/3/2013.

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