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of people with psoriasis get it before age 10
Every year, roughly
children under 10 are diagnosed with psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. Simply put, that means that the immune system doesn’t work the way it should. In people with psoriasis, the immune system causes skin cells to produce way too fast—in days rather than weeks—and that’s what is showing up on your child’s skin. And when it happens in children, it’s known as pediatric psoriasis.
Pediatric psoriasis shows up on the skin as raised, red patches with silvery scales. Typically, it appears on elbows, knees, head, and lower back. It’s not contagious, but it is a chronic disease. While there’s no cure, it can be treated with medicine.
Research has shown that if one parent has psoriasis, the child has about a 15% chance of developing psoriasis. If both parents have psoriasis, that likelihood goes up to 75%. Even if you or the biological child's other biological parent doesn't have it, you may both be carriers of the genes that cause it.
Flare-ups are when your child’s psoriasis really comes out or may look worse than usual. Typically, there are “triggers” to flare-ups, things that set them off. While they’re different for everyone, here are some of the most common triggers:
Take this informative quiz to learn what could be causing your child's flare-ups, and learn more about possible triggers in kids!
While there’s no cure for psoriasis, there are different types of treatment available. In general, treatments are the same for adults and children, though there are some that are for adults only. Some things your doctor may suggest are:
Learn more about treatments in Psoriasis Treatment Options.
How can I help my child?
There are a few things that you can do to help your child. First, if you think your child does have psoriasis, get a definite diagnosis so he or she can start treatment as soon as possible. Next, reassure your child that psoriasis is just something that he or she has, not who they are, and encourage your child to continue enjoying the things he or she loves.
Who should I see if I think my child may have psoriasis?
While you may first want to talk to your regular pediatrician, it’s best to take your child to a dermatologist who may be more familiar with the disease. Ask your pediatrician if he or she can recommend a dermatologist in your area, or use our Find a Dermatologist tool.
Will my child always have psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic disease, in other words, a long-term disease. That means your child will continue to be affected by psoriasis on his or her skin as they enter and go through adulthood. Medicine could help your child’s psoriasis.