Guttate Psoriasis

About 8 percent of people living with psoriasis develop guttate psoriasis.

This type of psoriasis often starts at an early age (childhood to young adulthood), though it can occur at any age.

(Wilson et al., 2009)

Did You Know?


Guttate [GUH-tate] psoriasis appears as small, round spots called papules [PAP-yules] that are raised and sometimes scaly. Papules are caused by inflammation in the skin and often appear on the arms, legs, and torso. However, you may develop papules on your face, ears, and scalp.


Guttate psoriasis often develops suddenly. It may start after an infection such as strep throat. Strep throat is caused by an infection of streptococcal [strehp-tuh-KAH-kuhl] bacteria. It is possible to have strep throat without symptoms. Speak with your health care provider about testing for strep throat if you develop guttate psoriasis.

Other common triggers include:

  • Certain medicines, such as antimalarials and beta blockers
  • Infections such as the flu, sinus infections, or upper respiratory infections
  • Streptococcal infection
  • Tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils)
  • Injury to the skin
  • Stress
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Treatment options for guttate psoriasis often include phototherapy or oral treatments. If your guttate psoriasis continues, your health care provider may recommend a biologic or a combination of treatments. You and your health care provider will discuss the best treatment plan for you based on the severity of your symptoms and your medical history.

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Wilson, F. C., Icen, M., Crowson, C. S., McEvoy, M. T., Gabriel, S. E., & Kremers, H. M. (2009). Incidence and clinical predictors of psoriatic arthritis in patients with psoriasis: a population-based study. Arthritis Rheum, 61(2), 233-239. doi:10.1002/art.24172

Last updated on 12/21/2022 by the National Psoriasis Foundation.

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