What You Should Know About Living with Guttate Psoriasis

By Leah Campbell
Reviewed by Allison Truong, M.D.
February 10, 2023

People often make the mistake of assuming all psoriasis looks the same—scaly and silvery. If you’ve experienced guttate psoriasis, however, you know that isn’t the case. While the most common type is plaque psoriasis, which is characterized by those scaly patches, about 8 percent of people with psoriasis develop guttate psoriasis. Guttate not only looks different but may be triggered for different reasons than other forms of psoriasis; it may need different treatment, too. Here’s what you should know.

What Is Guttate Psoriasis?

“Guttate psoriasis appears as small, red, scaly spots that resemble teardrops,” says Peterson Pierre, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at Pierre Skin Care Institute in Westlake Village, California. “They're not as thick as the spots you get from plaque psoriasis, and they tend to appear on the trunk and extremities but can also involve the face and scalp.”

These spots, called papules, tend to be pink or red in color and are raised and round, appearing in various sizes. The papules themselves are sometimes scaly but not always.