Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy, dry patches to form on your skin. It’s a common condition that affects millions of people every day. Both adults and children can develop psoriasis and a lot of people develop psoriasis before they reach adulthood. Psoriasis is not contagious.
Children who have psoriasis can develop symptoms ranging from mild to severe. While symptoms can vary from child to child, there are some common symptoms most psoriasis patients will experience, including:
- Patches – One of the most common symptoms of psoriasis is the formation of patches on the skin. These patches are generally pink or red in color with silvery scales on top. The patches can be thick but children with psoriasis generally experience thinner patches than adults.
- Cracked Skin – Another common symptom of psoriasis is cracked, extremely dry skin. A lack of moisture can irritate the skin and make psoriasis symptoms worse. If not taken care of, cracked skin can cause bleeding and pain.
- Sensations Like Itching, Burning, and Soreness – Itching is a very common symptom of psoriasis. Other common sensations include burning or soreness on the psoriasis patches. If these symptoms are not controlled through treatments, they can get worse and more difficult to control.
Types of Psoriasis
There are different types of psoriasis that children can experience such as:
- Plaque Psoriasis – This condition is most common among children who have psoriasis. It causes red, dry patches called plaques to form on the skin. Plaque psoriasis is most common around the elbows, knees, and scalp. Plaque psoriasis is itchy, red, and painful when scratched vigorously. It can also bleed if not adequately taken care of.
- Guttate Psoriasis – Guttate psoriasis causes small red dots to form instead of larger scaly patches on the skin. The small dots are most common on the arms, legs, trunk, and back. It is common to have guttate psoriasis with other types of psoriasis, as well.
- Psoriatic Diaper Rash – This type of psoriasis happens in children under the age of 2 and is characterized as rashes on the skin covered by the diaper. Unlike regular rashes, psoriatic rashes do not get better using regular diaper rash ointments.
There are some forms of psoriasis that are very rare among children. They include:
- Pustular Psoriasis – A type of condition that causes swelling or blisters to form on the skin. Pustular psoriasis is more common among adults. Children generally do not get this type of psoriasis and when they do, it’s a very mild form of the condition.
- Inverse Psoriasis – This type of psoriasis causes smooth, red patches to form around the folds of the body (knees, armpits, etc.).
While there is no cure for psoriasis, there is a lot you can do to control the condition by managing symptoms. Here are some common treatments you can use if your child has psoriasis:
- Antihistamines – Psoriasis can be triggered because of allergies that cause the skin to itch and get irritated. To control the itching, your child’s pediatrician may prescribe antihistamines.
- Topical Treatments – There are a variety of topical treatments pediatricians prescribe to control psoriasis. They include corticosteroids, coal tar, anthralin, and calcipotriene. These ointments help moisturize the skin and prevent irritation and itching.
- Oral Medications – For severe cases, doctors can also prescribe oral medications to control the body’s reactions that can cause psoriasis to worsen. While these are generally for adults, some children with severe psoriasis may also benefit from oral medications to help control the condition.
Children’s Skin Center is one of the few elite centers with dermatologists board certified in dermatology and pediatric dermatology. Due to their advanced training in both fields, they are the type of specialist your family needs, especially if psoriasis affects any one of you. Call (305) 669-6555 today to make an appointment at one of their 8 locations in South Florida or request an appointment online.