Psoriasis: What You Need to Know

Psoriasis is a common, non-contagious chronic condition in which skin cells build up on the skin’s surface and form red, itchy raised areas and thick scales. While it can appear anywhere on the body, psoriasis is usually found on the elbows, knees, the scalp and torso.

While the cause of psoriasis is unknown, the disease can be inherited from an immediate family member. There are certain risk factors that can increase one’s chance of having an outbreak, such as:

  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Infections, such as strep throat and colds
  • Medicines
  • Skin irritations, such as sunburn and/or scratches
  • Cold weather

Common psoriasis symptoms include:

  • Raised red patches of skin with or without silvery scales
  • Dry, cracked skin that can sometimes bleed
  • An itching, burning sensation or soreness in the affected area
  • Thick, pitted fingernails

Making healthy lifestyle choices can help treat or keep psoriasis at bay. Encourage your child to:

  • Eat fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Practice good hygiene by bathing and moisturizing skin every day
  • Spend time outside to get limited amounts of natural light

If your child has psoriasis, it’s important to develop a treatment plan and to give them emotional support. Help your child stay on top of their symptoms by reminding them to take their medication or apply ointment, or join them outside for some natural light. If you find that your support isn’t enough, have your child speak with a therapist or join a psoriasis support group.

The pediatric dermatologists at Children’s Dermatology Services specialize in evaluating and treating psoriasis, as well as several other skin disorders. If you think your child may have psoriasis, schedule an appointment today.