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Psoriasis: It Affects Kids Too

little girl scratching her arm

Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition affecting millions worldwide, characterized by autoimmune reactions primarily targeting the skin. You can learn more about this condition by visiting our blog post, “Understanding Psoriasis”.

While not life-threatening, having a visible skin disease can be very stressful. It can significantly impact a person’s self-esteem and quality of life, and children are not exempt from it, - about 1% of children have psoriasis. Over the years, it is becoming more common, particularly in older kids, and usually emerging around 9-10 years old. One common type in children is called guttate psoriasis, sometimes triggered by infections like strep throat. It appears similar to diaper rash, cradle cap, or yeast infection, so children are usually treated for these certain conditions at first.

Usually before treating a child, a dermatologist weighs the risks and benefits of a treatment, or even considers if treatment is even necessary. The dermatologist usually considers treatment if the child is experiencing a lot of itching and pain. There are children that may even be very embarrassed about their skin, especially if they have scalp psoriasis leading to hair loss, which can further impact their self-esteem. This heightened self-consciousness may lead them to withdraw from social interactions. For other kids, if they are not experiencing any itching or pain, and the affected area can be covered by clothing, they may not be bothered by their condition. In this case, a dermatologist would be less likely to consider treatment. The dermatologist needs to look at the short- and long-term effects before initiating treatment, aiming to minimize side effects and maximize benefits. 

This is why it is important to take your child to the dermatologist, especially if their skin is experiencing discomfort. In the meantime, there are different ways you can alleviate symptoms in the comfort of your own home. If you would like to learn more, visit our blog post, “Psoriasis Management Tips”. 

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