Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that shows up in several forms. The two that appear most in children are:
- Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common type of psoriasis in children. It is characterized by raised, red lesions covered with flaky, silvery-white scales. Plaque can show up anywhere, although it most often appears on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back.
- Guttate Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is more common in children than in adults. It isn’t as scaly or thick as plaque. Instead it appears as small, dot-like lesions, usually on the abdomen and limbs.
Psoriasis in children can be worrying, especially when you see your child struggle with itching or discomfort.
For most kids, psoriasis is limited to just a few patches that usually respond well to treatment. More serious cases sometimes require more aggressive treatment. But the good news is that there are many options to treat this condition. If one treatment doesn’t work, another probably will.
Topical treatments are creams, lotions and ointments applied directly to the skin. These include moisturizers, prescription corticosteroids and vitamin D creams, and shampoos made with salicylic acid or coal tar. Topical treatments can effectively treat many types of mild to moderate psoriasis.
Light therapy (phototherapy) involves using natural or artificial ultraviolet (UV) light to treat the psoriasis symptoms. Sometimes brief daily exposure to the sun can help, but too much sunlight can make psoriasis worse. More aggressive forms of light therapy include using controlled doses of UV light on the affected skin, laser therapy and therapies that combine UV light with medicines and topical treatments.
Oral or injected medications are used to treat severe psoriasis or psoriasis that resists other treatments. They include pills, shots and medicines given intravenously (through an IV into a vein). Some of these can have serious side effects and might be prescribed for short periods of time only.
Most psoriasis in children will respond well to treatment, but it’s important to stay on top of it. Your efforts, and your child’s, can help control psoriasis symptoms. To learn more about psoriasis in children or how Dr. Holy in Phoenix can help treat your child’s symptoms, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com.