Conditions

Psoriasis

Psoriasis

Around two per cent of the entire population of the UK suffer from the skin condition psoriasis, and it’s one of the commonest skin complaints in kids. Psoriasis takes the form of a shiny, red, raised rash in which the skin forms flaky scales and then crumbles or peels away from the body. In kids it often appears on the knees, the elbows, the face, under the hair on the scalp and around joints where the skin creases.

There are several different types of psoriasis but they are all the result of skin cells reproducing too quickly. Normally it takes 21 – 28 days for new skin cells to develop. In psoriasis sufferers that process only takes two to six days. Cells build up on the surface of the skin causing red, flaky, crusty or silvery patches to appear. Kids can’t catch the condition from anyone else and it isn’t caused by poor hygiene. In fact, in around 30 per cent of cases it’s hereditary. It’s rare in babies and very young children and tends to arrive with the approach of puberty. There is one form however, called guttate psoriasis, which does occur in younger kids. The symptoms are the usual scaly red rash, and it often comes in the wake of a respiratory or throat infection.

Though psoriasis isn’t harmful in itself, it can be extremely awkward and uncomfortable, especially if it occurs on the hands, face or feet, and it has a nasty habit of hitting kids just when they are starting to become self-conscious about their bodies and appearance. There is no specific medical cure and the condition can come and go over a period of many years. So what sort of treatment is available?

Your doctor can recommend creams and ointments to rub onto the affected areas. Moisturiser can also relief the itching. Coal tar shampoo, which you can get from the chemist, is effective on psoriasis of the scalp. In very bad cases, it’s also possible to treat the condition with a therapy which uses ultraviolet light.

For most kids and parents though, it’s a question of managing the condition through childhood and into adolescence with a combination of creams and ointments. Helping your child get into a treatment routine, knowing what conditions may make it worse, and providing emotional support are all just as important.

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Hello. I have a lovely boy who just turn 6yrs old. He had accident and burn himself with hot ater,when he was 1 months old. This accident left him with huge scar. I remember watching a lady who came on this show and she had same problem with my Son. He loves swimming and it is really very embarrassing to go to swimming as everyone is looking at hin and sometimes kids are scared of him when he is in swimming pool. Please can you help my Son? Thank you.





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My 1 year old has been diagnosed psoriasis and nothing seems to help her. Can anyone suggest anything? It's all over her creases and her nappy area and her face and bottom of her belly. The dermotologist just doesn't seem to be helping or even know what to do!





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My dad started suffering from psoriasis when he was about 30, it did get quite severe, he was put on a trial using Humira we can't believe the results it completely cleared his psoriasis up. He's been on it for about 3 years now and he's been clear of it ever since , it's amazing !!! My 12 year old son has now developed psoriasis it's not to bad at the moment mainly scalp but if it gets worse I'm going to try my best to get Humira for him , pls fight for this drug it comes in an injection pen and it has amazing results !! I know it's expensive at the moment that's why they don't like prescribing it , but I think everyone should be abled to benefit from this drug ! X





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My 10 year old son has had psoriasis since he was 7. It started off in small patches on his legs and then on his face, and developed over a yer or so into bad scalp psoriasis too. We have visited numerous consultant dermatologists, tried every cream out there (exorex, dovobet, dovogel, synalar etc). Metosyn (Strong steroid cream) does clear up any patches that come on his face, usually just a very small application zaps it. The best thing for the scalp is cocois and for his body we use plenty of aqueous cream. I also have been using protopic for his face when it flares up in a slight red rash and this has signficantly helped. We tried oat baths for a while too and this helped a little. Keep at it, and go on at least sunny summer's break once per year - it totally disappears in the sun but does leave white untanned skin patches where it is, Try new things and CHECK YOUR DIET!! We juice regularly so are trying to get skin detox juices down him too. Just discovered my 2 younger daughters are developing scaly scalp patches too - which I am seriously hoping isn't going to develop into full blown psoriasis





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Hi, I'm mum to my 6 yr old who this week has been diagnosed with scalp psoriasis and dry skin. My gp who has had extra dermatology training is supportive. She has given her an ointment containing coconut oil and coal tar to put on the hair and sleep with overnight plus an emollient mouse for the skin. My child does not have the communication skills to convey her feelings for this, she just itches her head all day and refuses point blank to wear anything on her legs as they itch her. She seems to go round semi naked liking the cold ! Please could someone tell me from a child point of view what she is experiencing and how she may be feeling. Thanks





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Hey,Im 14 and have had psorisasis on my head scince i was 6 but recently it has been appearing all over my body to my feet up during these last four months. I have not tried many ointments or treatments but, I do have an appointment with a dermatologist. Because it is 30% hereditary it is possible that I most likely got it from my mothers side of the family but she only had hers when she was very young and it lasted a year but mine has lasted much lomger. The itching sensation is killing me and the flakes go every where. I find sculpicin a relif for the itching on my head but the itching on my body it is unbearable. Any pointers or ways I can fix my condition?





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I have had psoriasis for 30 years, tried everything then got a lotion called Exorex it has truly changed my life. It is a coal tar based lotion so no sticky ointment and I cannot believe the difference. Would recommend anyone to try it, they do a whole range of moisturiser, lotion , shampoo etc, brilliant .





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Hello all, I've had psoriasis since I was about 13, I'm know 17 I haven't got rid of it but recently after lots of hard work I've started to slow it down at least, every week I have 3 what I call cream days, Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, I begin my regime at about 7pm, I firstly begin by running a bath and covering my body in either double base or aqueus bp cream I then put 5 caps of oilatum into my bath, after I've soaked for at least I get out and PAT myself dry I tend not the rub as I begin to bleed, after this I apply hydromol onto my scalp leaving it for one hour before washing it off, next I apply sebco coconut oil to my head again leaving it on for an hour before washing it off with alphysil shampoo, after my heads done I begin on my body, applying dovobet gel to the affected areas, I find it better to leave that on over night. All of these can be obtained from your gp, I would suggest putting it on a repeat prescription. With me I don't perfectly clear it all up but it takes away the scale and turns the surrounding area light pink, which is better then red and scaley, however most part tend to disappear in the middle leaving a light pink ring. Don't give up trying to get rid of it, and don't stress it only makes it worse, just let it all I over your head. One last thing If your gonna try this regime, don't leave it any longer then two days between each session, it only takes two days for the scale and redness to return. Hope this helps, don't give up :)





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Hi. Iv had psoriasis for over Ten years and all medicines and ointments etc iv tried haven't really worked. However on a deployment to Kenya I noticed it completely cleared on my skin and scalp within a fortnight. It's been 3 years and it has sadly come back on my scalp but no where near as severe is it possible climate and exposure to the sun helps?





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I am 13 and have had a red scaly,white and scabby arms since I was born I do not know whether it is psoriasis or not. I have been to the Doctors plenty of times but they can not recognise what it is. I am to embarrassed to show the infected areas off which means I can not join in some different school activity which involves showing of the legs or arms I have tried different varities of creams but nothing has worked, I would love if I can get help.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Psoriasis is a skin condition in which skin cells reproduce too quickly. It affects around 2% of people in the UK. Read More »