Psoriasis is a skin condition that is not contagious. However, it causes the buildup of skin cells, further causing itchy, raised and red patches, and thick scales. It usually appears in any part of the body but is commonly found on the scalp, the elbows, the knees and the trunk.
This is a long-lasting skin condition that is easily relieved by treatments. It may disappear but it may come back, especially if the sufferer is subjected to triggers such as stress.
The real cause of psoriasis is unknown, however, it usually affects the immune system. In persons with psoriasis, the immune system gets hyperactive and causes inflammation in the body. When immune cells attack the skin, skin cells get sloughed off, forming red, thick and itchy patches. As these skin cells die, they are converted to silvery scales that eventually flake off.
Psoriasis commonly starts in childhood and is also inherited through genes that run in the family. If you have a parent or relative with psoriasis, there is a possibility that you may have it also.
Other risk factors for the disease include infections, obesity, intake of certain medicines such as malaria drugs, and high stress levels. Skin irritations and cold weather may also give rise to psoriasis flareups.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis can usually have the following signs and symptoms in children:
- Raised and red skin patches of skin with silvery scales
- Dryness and cracking of the skin that may sometimes bleed
- Tingling, itchiness or soreness in the area
- Thick and hollowed fingernails
The different types of psoriasis may also give rise to different symptoms.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type and leads to dry, red patches and scales. These are often found on the scalp, elbows, knees and trunk.
Guttate psoriasis shows up after an infection or illness such as a sore throat. It can cause small and red spots in the face, scalp, arms, legs and trunk.
Pustular psoriasis can bring about red and swollen skin with pus-filles bumps. They are usually found on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet.
Inverse psoriasis causes raw patches in the skin of the buttocks, armpits, upper eyelids, genitals, groin or under the folds of the skin.
Psoriasis Diagnosis and Treatment
Psoriasis can easily be diagnosed on your child by your pediatrician or dermatologist through a medical exam. Rarely, the doctor may do a skin biopsy.
Skin treatments include creams, shampoos, ointments and lotions that can be used on the skin. These may contain moisturizers, steroids, salicylic acid, and other substances. Shampoos may contain coal tar or salicylic acid.
Light therapy or phototherapy makes use of artificial ultraviolet (UV) light to treat psoriasis. Exposure to sunlight should be avoided as it may make psoriasis worse.
Oral or injectable medicines may be given by your doctor.
At home you can do the following to your child:
- Serve healthy meals consisting for fruits and vegetable to boost resistance.
- Keep your child at a healthy weight by encouraging more physical activities.
- Point out the importance of cleanliness and good skin hygiene by letting your kid use moisturizers and making him or her bath everyday.
- Give emotional support to lessen stress which can trigger psoriasis.
If your kid has psoriasis, visit your pediatrician or dermatologist now!
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