GUTTATE PSORIASIS TREATMENT
In guttate psoriasis small, salmon-pink, scaly spots resembling tear-drops appear on the upper trunk, arms and legs of the body. However, they can also occur on other parts of the body. This skin condition gets its name from the word ‘gutta’ in Latin which means ‘drop’. Also known as ‘eruptive psoriasis’ it is seen as small lesions of 0.5 to 1.5 cm in diameter. It is not a very common type of psoriasis and usually affects young adults under the age of 30. The cause is usually a bacterial infection, especially of the upper respiratory tract like strep throat and is not infectious.
The new lesions of guttate occur in the first month, remain stable in the second month and finally there is remission in the third month. The eruptions occur about 2-3 weeks after a bacterial infection.
- Hereditary. The condition is caused due to heredity and is passed down in families for generations. The number of leukocyte antigens BW17, B13or CW6 is higher in persons with this condition. These antigens are seen as bacteria and foreign bodies by the immune system which produces antibodies to destroy the virus.
- Autoimmunity. The T-cells which are supposed to assist in protection against pathogens become overactive. This causes inflammation and the skin to mature in a very short time. Accumulation of the dead skin cells leads to the white patches.
- Environment. This too plays an important part in causing psoriasis. Climate is responsible in most cases for guttate psoriatic eruptions.
- Stress. Situations which cause stress contribute considerably to the onset of the condition. Highly stressed individuals are twice as likely to get it.
- Infections. Viral, bacterial and fungal infections are known to trigger the disease. As many as 80% of people have an infection prior to contracting the condition. Children may be affected after a bout of chicken pox, rubella and roseola.
- Injury to skin. These can be in the form of eczema, sunburns, insect bites, spider veins, allergic rashes and abrasions. Psoriasis can occur about 2-6 weeks after the injury.
- Appearance of small red spots about two or three weeks after an infection such as strep throat or tonsillitis.
- The spots are itchy.
- The body, arms and legs are usually affected and sometimes even the face, scalp or ears. The palms and feet usually remain unaffected.
- There may be no changes in the appearance of nails such as pitting and ridges.
Guttate psoriasis usually disappears in a few days without treatment. A mild topical cream may be used to take care of the inflammation and itching. Moisturizers and coal tar creams containing calcitriol and calcipotriol and over-the-counter dandruff shampoos are used to control the condition.
If a streptococcal infection is the main cause, then antibiotics will be prescribed to treat the infection.
Drugs such as methotrexate, cyclosporine and corticosteroids are prescribed in severe cases.
Phototherapy using ultra violet light is also employed to treat the affected skin.
Natural treatments when practiced at home can also be effective in reducing the severity of guttate psoriasis.
Exposure to sunlight for short periods on a regular basis is beneficial.
Salts such as Kalium Sulphate 6C and Natrium Muriatricum 6C can be used to hydrate the skin and reduce inflammation. Soaking in warm ocean saltwater daily for 20 minutes helps to clear out pores and detoxify the body. Epsom salts are also excellent.
Vitamin E can be taken in the form of capsules or used directly as oil on the affected skin. A mixture of aloe vera gel and garlic oil is highly useful.
Taking a cup of bitter gourd juice with a teaspoon of lime juice on an empty stomach for a period of six months helps to improve the condition. Chamomile tea may also be taken regularly for its calming properties.
Diet plays an important role in controlling guttate psoriasis. Processed foods, caffeine, alcohol and animal fats should be avoided and replaced with lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Garlic, lime, parsley and lettuce should be consumed regularly.
Exercises such as swimming and cycling when performed regularly, help to cure the condition by enhancing the body’s healing functions.