Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tips on Effectively Handling Psoriasis In Children

While psoriasis usually begins in adulthood, some cases of psoriasis begin in childhood and while the disease is hard enough to deal with in adulthood, it can be very challenging to deal with for the child with psoriasis as well as for the parent and other family members. While most parents often wish that they could remove this burden from their child and put it upon themselves, it is important to move from wishful thinking to effective strategies for managing this chronic disease which may include using home remedies for psoriasis, topical treatments, light therapy for psoriasis, etc.

Psoriasis can begin at any time in childhood but usually reveals itself during the school age years which can make it even more challenging for the child having to deal with the disease as well as cruel kids. The severity of the condition will also vary from a few scaly spots to more severe and persistent forms of psoriasis. Effectively managing the disease starts with the parent and child becoming informed about this disease as well as the various treatment options that might work. Ignorance is not bliss.

Commonly Affected Areas

As with adults, the areas most affected by psoriasis in children include the scalp, knees, elbows, ears, nails, genitalia and the creases of the buttocks. Psoriasis affecting the joints (psoriasis arthritis) is very rare in children. In babies, the psoriasis lesions usually start in the diaper area and can spread to other areas of the body.

Identifying Psoriasis in Children

Psoriasis in children usually begins as raised or flat small, red areas on the body that feature thick silvery/gray scales with a clear boundary separating affected skin from unaffected skin.  These silvery/gray scales or plaques are common with plaque psoriasis which is the most common type of psoriasis in adults as well as in children.

After plaque psoriasis, the other common type of psoriasis in children is guttate psoriasis which features many tear drop shaped small scaling psoriasis lesions that are raised that usually begin after a cold or strep throat.

Scalp psoriasis is also very common in children and can be embarrassing for both adults and children as it will look like a severe case of dandruff from the severe shedding associated with this type of psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis can be along the hairline, behind the ears or cover the entire scalp.

Treating Psoriasis in Children

There are many home remedies for psoriasis that can help with dealing with psoriasis in children. Itching which is a common symptom of psoriasis can aggravate psoriasis when the area is rubbed or scratched and when children are involved, they will simply want to scratch the itch without thinking of the consequences. Scratching is something that must be deterred and some home remedies to deal with this include;

a. using gloves to cover the child's hands to prevent scratching as well as keeping the nails very short.

b. not letting the skin dry out though the use of moisturizers especially after a bath which is one of the best and simplest homeremedies for psoriasis.

c. Soothing the itching areas with a bath filled with some oatmeal, oil or tar.

d. Not using hot or cold water when bathing and instead using lukewarm water. Apply a moisturizer soon after when the skin is still slightly damp to lock in moisture.

Besides the home remedies discussed above, psoriasis in children can also be treated with light therapy for psoriasis (phototherapy) but only if topical treatments do not work. Topical steroids can be used in children but only for short periods of time under the guidance of the doctor. Creams and ointments are also other topical medications that can be used in children.

Prescription medications taken orally (systematic treatment) are only used in very few cases in children when the psoriasis is very severe. Common medications commonly used in these few cases include methotrexate and cyclosporine.

There are many other treatment options that can be used to help your child manage psoriasis besides home remedies and the other tips mentioned above. There is no cure for psoriasis but it can be effectively managed even in children so that they can lead full and productive lives unencumbered by this chronic condition.

While finding a treatment that works to manage this chronic skin condition can be very challenging because there currently does not exist a psoriasis cure, it is important not to lose hope. There are many treatments such as home remedies for psoriasis, light therapy for psoriasis, medication, etc, that have worked for many sufferers. More and more people are also turning to nature to treat various conditions and one of the most effective natural treatments for psoriasis resource is shown on the right. Give it a try. What do you have to lose? It just may work for you at eliminating your child's psoriasis.