Guttate Psoriasis Vs Plaque Psoriasis: Know the Differences

Guttate Psoriasis Vs Plaque Psoriasis: Guttate Psoriasis and Plaque Psoriasis are two kinds of psoriasis, an autoimmune illness in which skin cells multiply excessively fast, resulting in red, scaly areas on the body. However, they differ in appearance, cause, and outcome. Guttate Psoriasis, which accounts for approximately 8% of all psoriasis cases, is less frequent than plaque psoriasis. It usually arises in children and young adults following a bacterial illness, such strep throat. The lesions are tiny and teardrop-shaped, typically covering the chest, limbs, and legs. Guttate Psoriasis, unlike Plaque Psoriasis, typically resolves on its own within a few weeks or months. Plaque Psoriasis, on the other hand, is the most common kind of psoriasis, affecting up to 80% of those who have it. It may develop at any age and causes thicker, larger plaques that are red, inflamed, and covered with silvery white scales. These plaques can appear anywhere on the body, but they commonly affect the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Plaque Psoriasis is a chronic condition that can be persistent or cyclical, with flare-ups alternating with periods of remission.

Difference Between Guttate Psoriasis and Plaque Psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis and plaque psoriasis are both types of psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterized by red, inflamed patches of skin covered with silvery scales. However, there are several key differences between them, as well as some similarities. Below are the differences between guttate psoriasis and plaque psoriasis:


Guttate Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis


Small, drop-shaped lesions resembling tear drops

Thick, raised, red patches with silvery scales

Age of Onset

Childhood or early adulthood, often triggered by infections

Typically starts in adulthood, usually between ages 15-35

Trigger Factors

Often triggered by bacterial infections, stress, or injury

Triggered by stress, infections, medications, or environmental factors

Distribution of Lesions

Widespread, scattered across body

Localized to specific areas like elbows, knees, scalp

Size of Lesions

Smaller, typically 1-10mm in diameter

Larger, exceeding 1cm in diameter, can merge into larger patches

Duration of Lesions

Resolve within weeks to months without treatment

May persist for longer periods with flare-ups and remissions

Itching and Pain

Generally less itchy and painful

Can be intensely itchy and may cause discomfort or pain

Association with Psoriatic Arthritis

Less commonly associated with psoriatic arthritis

Frequently associated with psoriatic arthritis

Risk Factors

Often triggered by environmental factors like infections

More commonly associated with family history of psoriasis

Treatment Approach

Treatment may involve topical corticosteroids, phototherapy, or oral medications

Treatment may include topical treatments, phototherapy, oral medications, biologic agents, and systemic therapies

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What is Guttate Psoriasis?

Guttate Psoriasis is a kind of psoriasis that appears as tiny, red, scaly spots on the skin and is frequently caused by a bacterial infection. It is more frequent in children and young people and typically resolves itself within a few weeks or months.

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Key Features of Guttate Psoriasis:

  • Guttate psoriasis is characterised by little (less than 1 cm) red, scaly lesions spread across the body, arms, legs, and scalp. These lesions frequently resemble raindrops, thus the term "guttate" (Latin for "drop").
  • Guttate psoriasis, unlike other varieties of psoriasis, frequently emerges rapidly, possibly as a result of bacterial infections (especially strep throat) or drugs.
  • Guttate psoriasis is more prevalent in children and young adults. It can develop on its own or in conjunction with other forms of psoriasis, notably plaque psoriasis.
  • Guttate psoriasis outbreaks often resolve in weeks or months without particular therapy. It does, however, have the potential to reoccur, particularly with many triggers.

What is Plaque Psoriasis?

Plaque Psoriasis is the most prevalent kind of psoriasis, characterised by elevated, red areas of inflammatory skin coated in silvery white scales. Plaques can occur anywhere on the body, although they are most frequent in the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Unlike guttate psoriasis, plaque psoriasis is a chronic illness that needs continuing treatment.

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Key Features of Plaque Psoriasis:

  • Plaque psoriasis appears as thick, red, inflammatory areas of skin coated with silvery white scales. These plaques vary in size and can combine to produce bigger patches.
  • Plaque psoriasis primarily affects the scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, and buttocks. However, it can erupt anywhere on the body, including the nails and genitals.
  • Plaque psoriasis is a persistent autoimmune disease that has no treatment. However, numerous therapies can help to control symptoms and enhance quality of life.
  • Plaque psoriasis can intensify (flare up) and then quiet down. Stress, illnesses, certain drugs, and changes in weather can all cause flare-ups.

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Similarities Between Guttate Psoriasis and Plaque Psoriasis

  • Guttate and plaque psoriasis are autoimmune illnesses in which the body's immune system attacks healthy skin cells, causing inflammation and aberrant cell development.
  • Both varieties of psoriasis are chronic illnesses, which means they are long-term and can recur over time, though the frequency and severity of flare-ups might differ across people.
  • Guttate psoriasis and plaque psoriasis both result in red, inflamed patches of skin that can be itchy, painful, or uncomfortable depending on the individual's symptoms and the degree of the illness.
  • While the particular treatments may differ, both guttate and plaque psoriasis may be controlled using a range of methods aimed at lowering inflammation, regulating symptoms, and preventing flare-ups. Topical medicines, phototherapy, oral drugs, biologic agents, and lifestyle changes are all possible options.

Guttate Psoriasis and Plaque Psoriasis are both skin disorders characterised by red, inflammatory areas, although they differ in appearance and progression. The most prevalent kind of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, which causes thick, silvery scaled plaques on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Guttate Psoriasis, which is frequently provoked by infections, manifests as tiny, teardrop-shaped lesions on the body, limbs, and scalp. While Guttate Psoriasis often resolves after a few weeks, it can reoccur and, in some situations, progress to persistent Plaque Psoriasis.


What is Guttate Psoriasis, and how does it differ from Plaque Psoriasis?

Guttate Psoriasis is a type of psoriasis characterized by small, red, scaly lesions that typically appear on the trunk, arms, or legs. It often develops suddenly, usually after a bacterial infection such as strep throat. On the other hand, Plaque Psoriasis is the most common form, marked by thick, raised, red patches covered with silvery scales. While Guttate Psoriasis manifests in smaller lesions scattered across the body, Plaque Psoriasis tends to form larger, more defined patches.

Are there any similarities between Guttate Psoriasis and Plaque Psoriasis?

Yes, both Guttate and Plaque Psoriasis are chronic autoimmune conditions caused by the rapid turnover of skin cells, leading to inflammation and the formation of lesions. Additionally, they share similarities in genetic predisposition and triggers such as stress, infections, and certain medications.

What are the distinguishing features of Guttate Psoriasis?

Guttate Psoriasis is characterized by its sudden onset, often following a bacterial infection. The lesions are small, round, and scaly, resembling drops of water, hence the name "guttate," derived from the Latin word for "drop." Unlike Plaque Psoriasis, Guttate Psoriasis lesions are typically not as thick or extensive and may clear up on their own over time.

How does Plaque Psoriasis differ from Guttate Psoriasis in terms of appearance?

Plaque Psoriasis presents as thick, raised patches of red skin covered with silvery scales, known as plaques. These plaques can vary in size and shape and often appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. In contrast, Guttate Psoriasis lesions are smaller, less raised, and tend to be more widespread across the body.

Can Guttate Psoriasis progress into Plaque Psoriasis?

While Guttate Psoriasis typically resolves on its own within a few weeks to months, in some cases, individuals may develop Plaque Psoriasis later in life. However, not everyone with Guttate Psoriasis will go on to develop Plaque Psoriasis, as the conditions can manifest independently.