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Psoriasis in children: what it is, what its symptoms are. The most appropriate treatments and methods of prevention in children.
Psoriasis has no lower age limits and can also be congenital. In childhood, psoriasis is poorly diagnosed due to the mistaken belief that this inflammatory disease can only manifest itself in adulthood
Psoriasis in children, how it manifests itself
The most well-known form, in both adults and children, is plaque psoriasis, which generally presents with rounded reddish patches, often covered with whitish scales spread throughout the body
The forms of psoriasis found in children are:
- "Diaper" psoriasis: occurs in the diaper area, particularly on the groin and buttocks. It presents with intense and shiny red lesions, generally with no desquamation. It is a very difficult form to distinguish from other diaper rashes. It is not serious but in any case it is good to contact an expert to understand how to treat it
- Inverse psoriasis: occurs in certain areas such as the armpits, groin, genital area and navel. The lesions are intensely red and often without scales
- Guttate psoriasis: consists of small patches of 1-2 cm in diameter, usually very numerous, concentrated mainly on the trunk. Generally, it occurs after a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract: pharyngitis, otitis or tonsillitis or due to an imbalance of the immune system. The patches last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. There is usually complete remission, but there may be cases in which guttate psoriasis evolves into the plaque form.
Psoriasis in children, triggers
Among the factors that can trigger the appearance of psoriasis we have:
- Bacterial or viral infections or infections caused by fungi
- Skin lesions or lesions
- Psychological factors, especially stress
- Excessive exposure to sunlight (burns)
- Lack of sunlight (cold weather).
Treatment of psoriasis in children
In case of suspicion of psoriasis or perhaps there are manifestations of this disease in the family, it is better to consult the pediatrician and evaluate possible treatments.
No, to do-it-yourself treatments
In the first place, it is not recommended to do any do-it-yourself treatment, it is better to contact the pediatrician to receive a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Typically, the therapy consists of the application of moisturizers or other topical treatments. In older children, if scales are present, keratolytic creams are used, which help smooth the surface layer of the skin, favoring the disappearance of the lesions. The most common are those that contain salicylic acid, urea, mixtures of alpha and beta hydroxy acids.
In very young children, psoriasis is not experienced as disfiguring, therefore therapy can be milder; in school and adolescence, the "self body image" and the surrounding environment may require psychological support therapies. It is essential to help the child overcome and accept the problem. First, make sure his self-esteem is not undermined by explaining that the treatment will be helpful and that the condition and discomfort may go away, even if they are chronic.
There are no particular dietary restrictions to be respected, unless there is an overweight / obesity problem. In this case it is necessary to follow a balanced diet, as well as adequate physical activity.
Another aspect not to be overlooked is hydration; keep the skin hydrated, using non-aggressive detergents and emollient creams specific for psoriasis.
To summarize, here are some recommendations:
- Use only very delicate shower gels and rinse very well
- Since the cold can worsen the condition, use warm clothes and preferably natural fibers; the most suitable are cotton garments
- Follow the treatment indicated by your doctor
- Always consult your pediatrician before starting the application of a cream or natural remedy
- Support the child at all times.