Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis is a type of psoriasis most commonly seen after a bacterial throat infection. “Tear-drop” shaped red and slightly scaly plaques are usually seen scattered on the trunk, arms and legs. It often affects children and young adults, and responds very well to treatment.

  • Develops rapidly, often over a few days
  • Often follows a throat infection
  • Trunks, upper arms and thighs are usually most severely affected. However, the whole body may be affected
  • Responds excellently to treatment, especially phototherapy
  • While some patients may never have another episode for years, some may develop guttate psoriasis each time they encounter a similar infection


This form of psoriasis has small tear drop shaped red lumps scattered over the body.

Often follows an infection, particularly streptococcal throat infection.

Following this a treatment plan will be organised.

Treatments for your guttate psoriasis include:


If there are signs or risk of active infection, your specialist will prescribe a course of antibiotics, without which the psoriasis may continue for a longer period of time.

Narrowband UVB phototherapy

This form of psoriasis in particular is extremely responsive to “light treatment”. Combined with creams, psoriasis may start to improve within a few days. Phototherapy treatments are bulk-billed, and take no longer than 2-3 minutes to perform.


Steroids, tar, Vitamin A and vitamin D creams may be prescribed in combination with phototherapy for you by our specialists for this form of psoriasis.

Certainly a natural approach can be used to treat guttate psoriasis, however the improvement maybe slow. You body’s immune system will eventually fight off the strep infection, but this may take months. Our practitioners do advise a course of antibiotics for this.

The use of narrowband phototherapy  is probably the best way to treat skin lesions, but the use of natural sunlight can also help.

Other treatments include:

Vitamin A

Vitamin D  in the form of creams

Unlike other forms of psoriasis, guttate variety can easily be treated, and in many cases prevented.

If you are prone to getting guttate psoriasis each time you get a throat or chest infection, present to your GP or to the Psoriasis Institute as soon as you develop symptoms of an infection (cough, sore throat, fever) and a early course of antibiotics may prevent an outbreak of the rash.  Some patients may be even put on a low-dose, long-term course of antibiotics to prevent episodes.

Some people who develop recurrent tonsillitis, which precipitates their guttate psoriasis, are referred to ENT surgeons for tonsillectomy.

Guttate psoriasis is a form that has an excellent prognosis and very successful treatment options.

We generally use a combination of phototherapy and creams to get clearance for patients over a number of weeks.

Some patients may never get any further episodes, but it is important to monitor for future flares each time infections occur.  Also, for a group of patients, guttate psoriasis is their first manifestation of psoriasis and they may develop other forms in the future – we can help them monitor and treat for this also.

Dr Shobhan Manoharan - Consultant Dermatologist


  • This treatment has worked very well for my hand psoriasis, I am using less steroid cream now.
    - Jane T. Toowong

"Gutter" is Latin for "tear drop", describing the appearance of this form of psoriasis.