Note: This article contains affiliate links (hyperlinks, widgets, or through images), which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through them. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. Visit my disclosure page for more information.
While pediatric psoriasis is not so common, there are still many children battling this skin condition. However, psoriasis is not as widely known to occur in children as other skin conditions like eczema.
Living with psoriasis can be stressful and traumatizing, especially if it affects a visible part of the body. In extreme cases, it significantly interferes with one’s self-esteem.
This guide contains a detailed collection of information on what pediatric psoriasis is, its causes, signs, and symptoms, as well as treatment options currently available.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, resulting in random patches of compacted skin with a crusty or flaky appearance.
It can appear on any part of the body, with the most commonly affected parts being the back, face, elbows, knees, scalp, and feet.
In most cases, the initial outbreak does not occur until later in the teenage years. However, approximately one-third of people living with psoriasis are children below the age of ten years.
What Are Its Causes?
Scientists and researchers are yet to establish the precise cause of psoriasis. However, it is believed to be an autoimmune disease and, therefore, positively linked to an individual’s genetic composition.
The genetic element that children inherit from their parents is responsible for either the presence or absence of this chronic skin condition. If one of the parents has psoriasis, the children have a 10% likelihood of suffering from this condition.
The possibility, however, increases to about 50% if both parents have psoriasis. Overall, genetic factors are thought to explain 60-75% of the variation in the susceptibility to psoriasis.
Psoriasis develops from an overproductive skin (epidermal layer). Generally, normal skin cells undergo a development cycle of 28-30 days before falling off. However, for skin with psoriasis, the cells develop within 3-4 days and remain on the skin’s surface, forming flaky patches.
Signs and Symptoms
This skin condition has several notable signs that parents should observe when looking for a possible case of psoriasis in their children.
Just like other skin conditions, one of the most notable signs of psoriasis is scratching. You will notice your kid frequently scratching the affected area since the condition causes an intense itch.
Try to advise your child to avoid scratching the affected parts – although this is easier said than done. Intense scratching can tear the skin and lead to infections.
Psoriasis affects the ability of the skin to absorb and distribute water efficiently.
As such, you will hear your children complain about being thirsty. Supply them with drinks to keep them hydrated.
Due to the inefficient water distribution, the skin tends to appear dry and even starts to crack.
A child’s body converts a lot of energy to help them grow.
The additional activity of the skin rapidly producing new skin cells leaves kids with psoriasis feeling tired.
Discolored and Pitted Nails
You will notice your children’s toes and fingers appearing discolored and pitted or uneven.Many children are battling the skin condition known as psoriasis. Parents, take a look at our guide to learn its causes, symptoms, and more!Click To Tweet
Reddening of the Skin
The skin in the affected area will appear reddish prior to and during the outbreak.
It also feels warmer than the other parts due to the increased blood flow to facilitate the development of the new cells.
Other signs to watch out for are infections, allergic reactions, and painful or stiff joints.
There is no established permanent psoriasis treatment. However, there are several ways of maintaining it.
- Use of medication. Most of these drugs aim at suppressing inflammations.
- Light therapy. The skin is exposed to controlled amounts of UV lights to help reduce or conceal psoriasis symptoms.
- Natural oils such as coconut oil and olive oil.
Other than the psoriasis treatment options mentioned above, you can take additional measures to lessen the frequency of outbreaks in your children.
- Keeping their skin moisturized.
- Ensure that the kids take daily baths.
- Expose the kid’s skin to a few hours of sunlight every day.
Dealing with psoriasis, especially in children, can be stressful and challenging. With the right diagnosis and preventive measures, however, it is possible to contain the condition.
Keeping your child happy and comfortable despite having psoriasis requires patience, persistence, and consistency when it comes to treatment and preventive measures.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.