As Dr Sheraz explains, there are now a range of options for successfully treating psoriasis.
Whilst the media have tended to portray psoriasis as an adult condition, onset in childhood is not so rare. Inflammation and a high rate of skin cell proliferation are key outcomes, which cause the visible symptoms.
These can vary during different stages of infancy, childhood and adolescence. The most likely signs are thickened patches of red, crusty, itchy and flaky skin.
Early diagnosis and management of psoriasis in children, or adolescents is vital. For medical reasons and to reduce the negative impact the condition can have on a child’s life, on their psychological wellbeing.
Each child will be seen by a consultant dermatologist and diagnosis may be immediate. Where this will help to identify the precise condition, a small biopsy can be taken and analysed in our laboratory.
Your consultant will also discuss possible hereditary factors. Psoriasis has an established genetic component and can be linked to other familial conditions, which affect regulation of the immune system.
Psoriasis can also be a stress response, or initiated by injury, infection, or taking certain types of medication. Other issues can emerge which are allied to psoriasis, specific infections, or childhood arthritis.
A detailed understanding of each patient’s condition matters, to establish the most suitable, personal treatment plan.
Treating Childhood Psoriasis
In cases where a transitory cause can be found and dealt with, the condition may go away. There is however no permanent cure as such for inherent psoriasis, although this can be successfully controlled.
The latest topical creams and systemic, or biologic approaches will often help. There is a crossover with other developing autoimmune treatments, such as those for rheumatoid, or psoriatic arthritis.
Ultraviolet light therapy is a non invasive option which can be safely used in children, often combined with a sensitising agent. This could be in tandem with other treatments, according to individual need.
Support At Our London Clinic
The latest medication and technology are available, part of our London dermatology service. Above all, so is a warm welcome for children and their families, who are managing more than medical symptoms.
At any age, psoriasis can decrease self esteem, create anxiety, or depression. For a child, or teenager, this is perhaps worse.
They may avoid situations where their skin is exposed, feel people are judging them, withdraw from social interaction. Motivation in other key areas is affected, sleep, appetite, a general loss of pleasure.
This can make young people feel ashamed of their appearance, or feel guilty, when there is no fault. Our consultants understand the psychological outcomes and try to make sure their treatments helps.
Accurate diagnosis and medical skill are the basis of paediatric dermatology, including treatment for psoriasis but so is treating the person. If we can advise, or help directly, please get in touch with our team at any time.