Introduction and General Data
Guttate psoriasis is only one form of the psoriasis. It is presented with tiny drop-like changes on the skin. The color of skin changes resemble salmon. The actual word guttate originates from Latin word which means a drop. This is how this skin condition got its name. Generally psoriasis features with specific skin changes that look like scales. In case of guttate psoriasis these changes are not present.
Guttate psoriasis cannot be transmitted from one person to another. In fact in most of the cases it is inherited. The predilection places of the skin changes in this type of psoriasis include trunk and extremities. Still in certain cases skin changes may affect whole of the body.
Guttate psoriasis is not so common form of psoriasis. It only affects 2% of all people who are suffering from psoriasis. The disease most commonly affects children and people who are younger than 30. Both genders equally get the disease.
The Causes of Guttate Psoriasis
Most commonly the disease is triggered by the previous bacterial infection. The infection caused by streptococcus species is usually the cause that precedes the guttate psoriasis. Two or three weeks following the infection of upper respiratory tract a person can notice skin changes. All those people who are chronic carriers of streptococcus can experience flare-ups of the disease. Apart from streptococcus other infective agents can be potential triggers for guttate psoriasis.
The reason why this skin condition occurs in the first place can be easily explained. Namely, the primary infection changes the reaction of the immune system. Immune system is basically in charge with production of specific white blood cells that fight against infection. However, in guttate psoriasis immune system does not act normally and specific white blood cells called T cells lead to abnormal inflammation in the skin. This consequently results in excessive and uncontrollable production of skin cells.
Guttate psoriasis can affect people whose parents or other relatives already suffer from psoriasis. It has been proven that certain people carry genes that are responsible for the occurrence of this disease. People who are suffering from guttate psoriasis posses higher number of human leukocyte antigens BW17, B13, or CW6 comparing to general population.
Antigens are actually proteins that are present on the surface of the infective agents or foreign tissues. The immune system cannot recognize these proteins hence it attacks them. The attack is conducted with specific antibodies. In case of guttate psoriasis antigen is streptolysin-O and it is present on the surface of the streptococcus bacteria. People who posses more antigen B13, which happens in a case of guttate psoriasis, cannot produce sufficient amount of antibodies. This is why guttate psoriasis occurs.
Apart from bacterial infection even some viral infections can lead to guttate psoriasis. They include rubella, roseola and chicken pox.