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A Parent's Guide to Psoriasis

 


Psoriasis is a skin condition that is common but non-infectious, with plaque psoriasis being the most common type. It's a condition where the skin cells develop far more rapidly than normal, and they don't shed like they are supposed to. This process is caused by an overactive immune system. Cells pile up on the skin surface and result in areas that are silvery red and thick, known as plaques. They are usually very itchy and they are covered with whitish-silvery scales that are thick.


Plaque psoriasis can occur in any part of your body but typically affects the scalp, torso, elbows, and knees. It can also be passed down from one generation to another. The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance states that if you have this skin condition, your child's chances of having the disease is 15 percent. Moreover, if both parents suffer from this disease, then your child's chances of getting it increase to 75 percent or even higher. 


Causes 


Nobody knows the exact causes of psoriasis, but many triggers can cause outbreaks to occur. They include; 


  • Stress 

  • Cold weather 

  • Skin irritation 

  • Obesity 

  • Infection 


If you have means of avoiding or managing these triggers, that can be a good way of reducing occurrences of psoriasis or its severity. 



Symptoms of psoriasis parents should look out in children 


Psoriasis comes in various types, with each having its unique symptoms. However, the most common symptoms include; 


  • Dry skin that is cracked and can bleed 

  • Red spots in skin folds 

  • Soreness, itching, and at times a burning feeling around and in areas of the skin that are affected 

  • Raised skin patches which are often red and have whitish-silvery scales 

  • Fingernails or nails become pitted and thick and develop deep ridges 


Psoriasis is a chronic condition, meaning that there are chances it will never go away at all. This condition also cycles through periods where the activity is high and low. When the activity is high, children tend to have many symptoms. 


Symptoms may improve or, at times, even disappear within some weeks or months. The timings of these cycles are not predictable at all. It's almost impossible to know the extent to which these symptoms can appear when the cycle begins. 



Psoriasis treatment in children 


At the moment, psoriasis has no cure. Its treatments revolve around reducing the symptoms once they occur or preventing an outbreak from happening in the first place. Some of these ways include; 


1. Topical treatment 


This is the most common treatment for psoriasis and effectively reduces symptoms of moderate or mild psoriasis. These medicated creams or lotions are typically moisturizing too.

As a parent, you will have to ensure that your child uses them more than once daily. 


2. Oral medications 


For moderate or severe psoriasis cases in children, doctors may prescribe shots or pills, which may have serious side effects. Since it has side effects, this type of treatment should ideally be reserved for adults. However, children can also use the treatment for a short period. 


3. Light therapy for psoriasis treatment 


Natural and artificial light can be effective in reducing psoriasis symptoms. New options such as lasers and medication activated by special light have emerged in recent times. Consult the doctor before you begin using light therapy. If the child gets exposed to too much light, it can worsen the condition. 



Treatment plans 


When you consult the doctor, they may use one treatment alone or even combine them. If it doesn't work, it's not the end of the road - the doctor will help you find other therapies or combinations of medications to help your child.


1 comment

  1. I had a friend that suffered from this. It can be very painful.

    ReplyDelete

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