Psoriasis is a skin condition that is characterized by itchy, red, raised patches that are often hard and scaly. According to the Skin and Cancer Foundation, Inc., about two percent of the world’s population, around 125 million people, suffer from psoriasis. In Australia alone, about 450,000 people have the condition.
While most people affected by psoriasis are adults, it does occur in children, including babies.
Discovering the uncomfortable-looking rash on your infant can be upsetting. But parents can take comfort in knowing that psoriasis is easily treatable. Here are 15 important facts for parents to know about infantile psoriasis.
1. Psoriasis Is an Autoimmune Disease
Normally, skin cells develop and mature, eventually falling off the body’s surface in 28 to 30 days. With psoriasis, the skin cells grow too quickly, maturing in only a few days. Rather than falling off, the skin cells pile up, resulting in thick, raised, inflamed cells.
2. Psoriasis Can Occur at Any Age
The most common age for an outbreak of psoriasis is between 15 and 35 years old. According to the Australasian College of Dermatologists, 75 percent of people develop psoriasis before the age of 45. Only a small percentage of cases involve infant psoriasis, defined as affecting children under the age of two.
3. Psoriasis Is Not Caused by Parental Actions
Infant psoriasis is not a result of diaper rash or dirty skin. There can be environmental triggers to an outbreak of psoriasis, but improper hygiene is not a factor.
4. Psoriasis Tends to Run in Families
Psoriasis has been shown to be more common in families with a history of the illness. About one-third of people with psoriasis have a relative with the disease. It may be related to a gene that makes a person more susceptible to having an outbreak of the condition.
5. Psoriasis Is Not Contagious
Because psoriasis is a disease on the surface of the skin, people mistakenly believe it can be passed from one person to another by contact. But it is not a contagious illness. For the same reason, it cannot be spread from one area to another by touching the rash or by scratching.
6. Psoriasis Is Often Triggered by an Infection
Strep throat has been shown to be linked to first-time outbreaks of the disease, particularly infantile psoriasis. Flare-ups have also been known to take place following certain illnesses, especially earaches, bronchitis, tonsillitis, or respiratory infections.
7. There Are Many Different Types of Psoriasis
Of the many varieties of psoriasis, there are two which are more likely to be found in children and babies. These are guttate psoriasis and plaque psoriasis.
8. Guttate Psoriasis Often Results After Infection
Often triggered after a child suffers from strep throat, this condition appears as small, red spots on the body. It usually occurs on the trunk, arms, and legs, but can also appear on the face, scalp, and ears.
9. Plaque Psoriasis Is the Most Common
This type of psoriasis is the most likely to affect babies. It appears as red, raised patches of skin covered by flaky white or silvery scales. It develops most commonly on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.
10. Environmental Conditions Can Affect Psoriasis
Cold, dry weather creates the worst conditions for psoriasis. Because there is less moisture in the air, it dries out the skin. Indoor heating adds to the discomfort, drying the skin out further. Using a humidifier can help combat the dry air and ease the condition.
11. Sunlight Can Help Ease Psoriasis
The sun’s rays include ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which has been known to help clear up psoriasis. Those with the condition often experience improvement during sunny weather. Always be careful to avoid overexposure to the sun which can cause sunburn.
12. Psoriasis Can Be Mistaken for Another Skin Condition
Rashes can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, and some conditions look similar. Psoriasis can often be mistaken for eczema, or seborrhoeic dermatitis.
13. Some Medications Can Trigger a Psoriasis Outbreak
There are a number of medications that have been associated with triggering psoriasis. These include lithium, beta-blockers, and anti-malarial medication. Always consult with your doctor about the risks associated with any medication given to your child.
14. Topical Treatments Can Offer Psoriasis Relief
Creams, lotions, and ointments that are directly applied to the skin are common approaches to treating psoriasis. For infant psoriasis, using products with soothing, natural ingredients is a safe option.
15. Psoriasis Can Be a Lifelong Condition
Those with psoriasis will usually always have the condition. However, it can go into remission for extended periods of time.
Hope’s Relief is ideal for babies and children.
Hope’s Relief offers a therapeutic cream that provides relief to the symptoms of psoriasis. It is free of cortisone and made from natural ingredients. It is also good for baby dry skin not related to infantile psoriasis or psoriasis in toddlers. Click here for more information.