How to talk about psoriasis

Talk to your children about psoriasis, and teach them about triggers and how to avoid them. Explain how important treatment is, and how important it is for him or her to use their moisturizer and medicine. Your child might also need help in deciding how to handle comments from other children about the appearance of their skin during a flare-up. If your child is old enough, help him or her find ways to explain that psoriasis is not contagious, and how to discuss it with schoolmates.

Be involved with your children and listen to them. Be honest and age-appropriate when you are explaining the basics of psoriasis to your children.

Tips for parents

  • Ask a child how they're feeling inside, and be aware of how psoriasis affects your child's emotions. Symptoms of depression, for example, include withdrawn behavior, changed sleep patterns, frequent crying, not playing with friends, or changes in appetite.
  • Emphasize a child's strengths, especially when he or she is feeling "low" because of the psoriasis.
  • Offer alternative family or individual activities if your child isn't feeling up to socializing. Engage them in a game, music, book or physical activity.
  • Let your child play an active part in deciding which treatments options to try. Work with your doctor, dermatologist or pediatrician to explain the pros and cons of each type of medication.

Helping your child cope with the emotional aspects
Some children may feel angry, frustrated, or sad about having psoriasis. You might explain that meeting other children with psoriasis can help prevent negative feelings related to this skin condition. It might also help if your child understands how to talk about it in social situations.

You should also:

  • Learn the facts about psoriasis (see our disease database article on psoriasis).
  • Practice responses to questions people may ask about their skin.
  • Become comfortable talking about psoriasis and educating others about psoriasis. If your child is having problems at school with classmates, talk to the teacher or talk to the class. Help explain the basics of psoriasis.
  • Join activities and groups, either with other people who have psoriasis or not.
  • Reassure them that they have a common skin condition, not something "weird."
  • Expect that they may still be upset, frustrated or angry at times, but with practice these feelings will subside.
  • Focus on the positive- enjoy fun activities, friends, sports and hobbies.
  • Remind them that there is more to life than psoriasis, and each person is much more than their skin's appearance.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/When-Your-Child-Has-Psoriasis

Preventing and managing flare-ups in children

In addition to following the recommendations of your child's family doctor, dermatologist, pediatrician and pharmacist, you can help your child relieve psoriasis symptoms and prevent flare-ups with proper skin care. Here are some tips to help prevent flare-ups and reduce a child's symptoms:

  • Keep your child's skin moist and lubricated. Moisturizing will help prevent dry skin and itching. By keeping the skin well moisturized, your child may also be less likely to scratch (scratching can cause new patches of psoriasis to form). A child's skin should be moisturized immediately after a bath to help seal the water into the skin. Cold air humidifiers can help reduce room dryness (especially bedrooms), which helps relieve itching.
  • Apply creams and ointments slowly and gradually in the direction of hair growth. When choosing a new skin product for your child (such as a moisturizer), talk to your doctor, dermatologist, pediatrician or pharmacist first: some of these products may contain ingredients that could worsen symptoms.
  • Avoid using very hot water when bathing a child (or tell older children not to use very hot water while showering). Very hot water can irritate the skin and make symptoms worse.
  • Use mild soaps, shampoos and detergents, as these products will be least likely to irritate skin. Avoid adding bleach or fabric softener when doing laundry. Take extra care to ensure that all soapy residues are rinsed off the body with luke-warm water.
  • Use brushes with soft bristles. Wash a child's hair gently and pat dry with a soft towel, using brushes with soft bristles for combing. If possible, let hair dry naturally.
  • Try to help your child avoid scratching and picking at their skin and at any cuts or scrapes. It helps to keep your child's nails short and clean to prevent skin infections.
  • Help your child choose loose-fitting clothes (avoid wool, nylon or rough fabrics), shoes and hats, especially during the warmer seasons. Tightness can injure the skin and worsen psoriasis symptoms. Encourage your child to take time for fun, stress-relieving personal or social activities. Regular exercise can also help relieve stress.
  • Monitor your child's sun exposure: avoid sunburns and hot or humid conditions that can increase itching and skin irritations. Talk to your pharmacist about choosing a sunscreen that is best suited for your child.
  • Give the medications prescribed for your child to treat psoriasis as directed by the doctor and pharmacist. Depending on the severity of your child's psoriasis, medications used to treat this condition include medications that are applied to the skin and, in some cases, taken by mouth.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/When-Your-Child-Has-Psoriasis

When to call a doctor

 
 
Call your doctor or pediatrician if your child has the following symptoms:

  • bright red areas of raised patches (plaques) that are covered with loose, silvery, scaling skin
  • thick, crusted patches on the scalp
  • tiny pits or yellowish discoloration in the nails, separation of the nail from the skin, or buildup of skin debris under the nail
  • signs of developing bacterial infection, such as:
    • increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness or heat
    • red streaks extending from the area
    • a discharge of pus
    • fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher with no other cause

If your child is currently being treated for psoriasis, call your doctor or pediatrician if your child:

  • has severe and widespread psoriasis and the skin is more irritated or inflamed than usual, especially if the child has another illness
  • is taking medication for psoriasis and has serious side effects, such as vomiting, bloody diarrhea, chills or fever

Call your pediatrician if your child is not improving within 2-4 weeks with his or her current treatments, if the itching is keeping your child awake at night or the rash develops pus or scabs, or if the rash becomes raw and bleeds.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/When-Your-Child-Has-Psoriasis

Mom and Dad, I have questions!

Your child may have questions related to their condition. Be prepared to help them with honest, clear answers. Here are some straightforward answers to questions kids might ask.

What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis (sore-eye-a-sis) makes your skin red, dry and crusty, especially around your elbows, knees and scalp. You might also find it on your upper buttocks, your palms, the soles of your feet and your genitals.

How do I know if I have psoriasis?
If your skin is scalier than usual, especially on your elbows and knees, it may be psoriasis. That's when you should talk to your parents and ask about going to a doctor and a dermatologist for advice and treatment.

Why do I have psoriasis?
Psoriasis tends to run in families, just like you may have blue eyes and red hair like your Mom or Dad. In other words, psoriasis is just another part of you. It is not contagious! You can't "catch" psoriasis from a person who has it, as you would from people who have a cold or flu.

Why is my skin different?
Skin with psoriasis tends to "grow" faster than skin not affected by psoriasis. The cells pile up on top of each other, making silvery white scales that are called "plaques." The pile of cells makes the skin under it inflamed, red and itchy.

Just because your skin is different doesn't mean you can't do all the things other kids do: you can enjoy school, sports, music, activities with friends, birthday parties, and all sorts of other fun activities!

Can I make it go away?
Psoriasis may go away with careful skin care and different types of treatments, or sometimes on its own. But there isn't a cure. This means that you may need to keep using your treatments and will always have to take proper care of your skin. It might seem annoying to worry about skin care and visit the doctor, but it will help your psoriasis to look better, and even go away. It may take time and it certainly it takes patience and practice. Some kids with psoriasis may develop new plaques each month or years later. It's just like kids that get frequent colds may develop another one any time in the future.

If you have a mild or average case of psoriasis, the doctor or dermatologist may prescribe a cream or lotion that will help. If your skin is very dry and scaly, your doctor may prescribe other medications.

Is there a cure for psoriasis?
If by "cure" we mean to make the symptoms disappear, then psoriasis is often curable.

What makes psoriasis worse?
Some kids find that their psoriasis gets worse when they are mad or upset, but other kids say stress doesn't affect their symptoms. You may want to watch your psoriasis for several weeks after you've been angry to see if it gets worse. Everyone gets mad or upset once in a while and that's a normal part of being a kid.

Other things like changes in the weather, injuries, illnesses and starting or stopping any medications can cause psoriasis to flare up. It is difficult to find out exactly what makes psoriasis get worse. Try to keep an eye on your psoriasis and see if you can pinpoint any patterns of things that make it better or worse.

Some people have noticed their psoriasis improves when they start or stop eating a certain kind of food. In general, it's best to eat healthy food and to avoid junk food - your body is growing and needs lots of different nutrients.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/When-Your-Child-Has-Psoriasis