Psoriasis is a chronic condition. It usually manifests itself as red patches on different areas of the body. These patches are covered with white and silvery scales. They itch, burn, and ache, causing different levels of discomfort. The symptoms of psoriasis come and go seemingly at random.
The causes of this condition are currently unknown. However, the scientists have come up with different ways to alleviate the symptoms and extend the remission periods. Psoriasis doesn’t show any age discrimination. It attacks both children and adults.
Taking a careful approach to the condition can keep the symptoms at bay while improving the child’s quality of life as much as possible.
What Causes Psoriasis In Children?
The causes of psoriasis are unknown. This is true for both adults and children. Certain research has shown that psoriasis may be hereditary. That’s why if one or both parents have psoriasis, the child is likely to get it as well. Certain risk factors exist for children:
- Obesity – The numerous skinfolds may trigger the appearance of psoriasis
- Certain medication – If the child is likely to develop psoriasis for hereditary reasons, it’s important to let the doctor know before the prescription for any drugs is given.
- Cold weather – Cold and dry weather often becomes the trigger for psoriasis outbreaks.
- Skin damage –Cuts, rashes, scratches, etc., may cause the immune system to start overreacting in a way which leads to psoriasis.
- Stress – Stress is one of the most common triggers of psoriasis in children and adults.
Bacterial infections often act as triggers for psoriasis in children. Since the cause of psoriasis is currently unknown, it’s impossible to prevent psoriasis in kids. However, adults and children can keep a log of what they eat and do in order to determine their personal triggers.
Each person has his or her own list of psoriasis triggers. Knowing the child’s triggers can help avoid psoriasis breakouts for as long as possible.
5 Types Of Psoriasis In Children
Same as for adults, five types of psoriasis in children exist. Determining which type the child suffers from is vital to setting up the right treatment plan.
1. Guttate Psoriasis In Children
Guttate psoriasis in children and young adults occurs more often than in adults. The most common trigger of guttate psoriasis is a bacterial infection, such as strep throat. The symptoms of guttate psoriasis include small, reddish spots on the torso, arms, and legs.
The spots are covered with thin white scales. They don’t look as thick as rashes caused by other types of psoriasis. A child may experience a single outbreak, which disappears on its own. However, it may have several episodes as well. The patterns are random.
Guttate psoriasis treatment in children involves UV light therapy, steroid creams, and oral medication. Treating the underlying infection can also lead to the disappearance of the psoriasis symptoms.
Many children, who have guttate psoriasis, go on to develop plaque psoriasis in adulthood.
2. Plaque Psoriasis In Children
Plaque psoriasis in children is the most common type of this condition. It’s the most widespread type of psoriasis in adults as well. Plaque psoriasis shows up as red, dry, and elevated skin patches, which cause itching and burning sensations. The rashes are covered with whitish and silvery scales.
The patches may crack and bleed, causing children discomfort. The plaque psoriasis treatment in children includes skin moisturizing, prescription steroid creams, oral medication, UV light therapy or a combination of several approaches. Avoiding triggers is an integral part of any psoriasis therapy regardless of the type.
In children, this type of psoriasis often develops in the scalp area. Scalp psoriasis in children may be mistaken for cradle cap, which is a symptom of seborrheic dermatitis.
3. Pustular Psoriasis in Children
Pustular psoriasis is not as common in children as plaque or guttate psoriasis. It shows up as patches on hands, feet, and fingertips. Patches feature pus-filled blisters, which can clear up within a few days and then come back. The possible reasons for developing pustular psoriasis are infections and certain medication withdrawal.
The patches may vary in size. The smaller ones can be treated with steroid creams. Larger patches may call for oral medication therapy. UV light therapy is also used once the blisters clear up.
4. Inverse Psoriasis in Children
Inverse psoriasis occurs in the skinfolds, such as armpits, groin, and around the genitals. Obese children suffer from inverse psoriasis the worst due to a bigger number of skinfolds. This type of psoriasis appears as smooth patches of red and inflamed skin.
Inverse psoriasis is usually treated with topical steroid creams.
5. Erythrodermic Psoriasis in Children
This is the least common type of psoriasis in children and adults. It may cover the entire body with itching and burning rashes. The triggers of this psoriasis type include severe sunburn, lengthy use of corticosteroids or even another psoriasis type.
Erythrodermic psoriasis can be treated with prescription oral medications and topical steroids. Children with severe symptoms may require hospitalization.
Psoriasis in Infants
Psoriasis may occur in children right after birth. It often appears in the groin area. It’s commonly mistaken for the diaper rash. The difference is hard to tell visually. Such psoriasis can be diagnosed if the skin doesn’t respond to the common diaper rash treatment. It appears as smooth patches of inflamed skin.
Psoriasis in babies requires special attention in order to eliminate possibly painful symptoms. If you suspect your baby may have psoriasis, it’s vital to schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately. Babies, who develop psoriasis in infancy, are highly likely to suffer from it in adulthood as well.
Diagnosing Psoriasis In Children
A dermatologist can diagnose psoriasis by visually examining a child’s skin and asking parents about family history. Once psoriasis is diagnosed, the treatment can commence. In the majority of cases, all types of psoriasis in children can be kept at bay without hindering the quality of the child’s life.
Psoriasis symptoms are similar to eczema symptoms. Parents often mistake one for another and start the wrong treatment. It’s vital to get a doctor’s opinion before treating psoriasis in children.
Frequently Asked Questions About Psoriasis In Children
Parents often have hundreds of questions about psoriasis. It’s important to talk to a dermatologist to get the right answers.
Q: Is psoriasis contagious?
A: No, this condition isn’t contagious. A child can attend school even when psoriasis is in its active phase.
Q: Will psoriasis eventually go away?
A: Unfortunately, psoriasis is a chronic condition. The frequency of the flare-ups can be reduced by the right therapy.
Q: Can a diet affect psoriasis in children?
A: A wrong diet can be a trigger of psoriasis in children. It’s important to keep a log of food a child eats in order to determine what may trigger the flare-ups.
Q: Can psoriasis get worse as the child grows up?
A: The symptoms of psoriasis vary. They may get worse or better with time. Keeping close tabs on the condition can help a child lead a normal life.
Q: Should a child spend more time under the sun?
A: UV ray therapy is one of the most efficient approaches to psoriasis treatment in children. However, spending too much time under the sun may be dangerous. Consult the doctor about the matter and always wear a sunscreen.
Psoriasis in children is mostly the same as it is in adults. Since the causes of it are unknown, the treatment plan is aimed at alleviating the symptoms and avoiding triggers. Children with psoriasis can lead a normal life, attend school, and do extracurricular activities.
If you suspect that your child may suffer from psoriasis, make sure to consult a doctor immediately.