How Can Parents Help
For some children, psoriasis is just a minor inconvenience. For others, it is a difficult medical condition.
To manage symptoms and make outbreaks less likely, your child should:
- Wash hands well and often and stay away from people who are sick to prevent infections.
- Manage stress through exercise, yoga, or meditation.
- Not smoke or drink alcohol.
- Keep a healthy weight. People who are overweight tend to have more severe psoriasis symptoms.
Kids and teens with psoriasis may feel uncomfortable with the way their skin looks. Help your child understand that psoriasis is common and treatments can help.
Whether your child’s psoriasis is mild or severe, learn about the condition together. Offer to help find a therapist or join a support group if that might help. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:
What If Those Psoriasis Treatments Dont Work
If psoriasis doesnt improve, your healthcare provider may recommend these treatments:
- Light therapy: UV light at specific wavelengths can decrease skin inflammation and help slow skin cell production.
- PUVA: This treatment combines a medication called psoralen with exposure to a special form of UV light.
- Methotrexate: Providers sometimes recommend this medication for severe cases. It may cause liver disease. If you take it, your provider will monitor you with blood tests. You may need periodic liver biopsies to check your liver health.
- Retinoids: These vitamin A-related drugs can cause side effects, including birth defects.
- Cyclosporine: This medicine can help severe psoriasis. But it may cause high blood pressure and kidney damage.
- Immune therapies: Newer immune therapy medications work by blocking the bodys immune system so it cant jumpstart an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis.
Is It Scalp Psoriasis Or Dandruff
You’ve spotted flaking. You’re definitely itchy. And you’re ready to know what you’re dealing with.
But how can you tell if it’s scalp psoriasis vs. dandruff?
You may not be able to determine this on your own. To be fair, even the pros have a hard time telling the difference, Dr. Friedman says.
Your dermatologist may examine the rest of your body to see if there is evidence of psoriasis anywhere else to make the call, he explains.
“I will also look at fingernails to see if there is any pitting or separation of the plate from the nail bed,” he says.
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And What You Definitely Shouldnotdo About It
When it comes to psoriasis, certain lifestyle choices can greatly affect and even trigger flare-ups. “Lifestyle is very important,” Goldenberg explains. “I usually recommend an anti-inflammatory diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish, probiotics, and vitamin D supplements. Alcohol in excess and smoking can also make psoriasis worse.” In addition to alcohol and smoking, stress can also exacerbate symptoms, Greenfield says.
One thing that can significantly worsen your psoriasis symptoms : Picking at your scaly skin is the last thing you should do. “Rubbing and picking at the skin will actually worsen the spots,” Shainhouse says. “Psoriasis tends to develop in sites of skin trauma, including cuts and scratches.”
This is called the Koebner phenomenon. So, no matter how itchy or irritated your plaques may feel, try to keep your hands off and enlist the help of a professional, ASAP.
If you suspect you might have psoriasis, the best thing to do is make an appointment with your dermatologist and remain diligent about following through with the prescribed protocol even if that means no more wine with dinner.
This story is part ofSurvivor’s Guide, a series on navigating the impact of psoriasis through beauty and self-care.
In case that wasn’t quite comprehensive enough:
Are There Complications Of Psoriasis
In some people, psoriasis causes more than itchiness and red skin. It can lead to swollen joints and arthritis. If you have psoriasis, you may be at higher risk of:
- Use medicated shampoo for scales on your scalp.
Other steps you should take to stay as healthy as possible:
- Talk to your healthcare provider about lowering your risk for related conditions, such as heart disease, depression and diabetes.
- Lower your stress with meditation, exercise or seeing a mental health professional.
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Generalised Pustular Psoriasis Or Von Zumbusch Psoriasis
This causes pustules that develop very quickly on a wide area of skin. The pus consists of white blood cells and is not a sign of infection.
The pustules may reappear every few days or weeks in cycles. During the start of these cycles, von Zumbusch psoriasis can cause fever, chills, weight loss and fatigue.
How Do You Know If You Have Scalp Psoriasis
As we mentioned earlier, annoyingly, the symptoms of scalp psoriasis are similar to other scalp conditions.
Kingsley notes that scalp psoriasis looks like: ‘dry, flaky skin on the scalp and red bumps. It can be itchy and may feel like a burning sensation.’
Since its not always easy to self diagnose scalp psoriasis its worth visiting your GP or a trichologist for an expert diagnosis.
Read Also: How To Stop Scalp Psoriasis Flaking
Common Types Of Psoriasis
This is the most common form, accounting for about 80 to 90% of cases.
Its symptoms are dry red skin lesions, known as plaques, covered in silver scales.
They normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body.
The plaques can be itchy or sore, or both. In severe cases, the skin around your joints may crack and bleed.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. They’ll also ask whether someone else in the family has psoriasis and if the child recently had an illness or started taking a new medicine.
Rarely, doctors might take a skin sample to check more closely. A biopsy can tell the doctor whether it’s psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
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How Is Psoriasis Different From Other Skin Problems
Now you may be thinking to yourself: I often have dry skin on my scalp, does that mean that I have psoriasis? The thing is that there are a lot of diseases and other skin problems that have similar symptoms to psoriasis. How do I know it isnt just dandruff or irritated skin? How do I know it isnt eczema or something more serious?
A lot of other skin diseases mimic psoriasis, so it can be difficult to tell which one youre dealing with. One way you can determine what you may be dealing with is by noticing where on your body youre seeing the problem. Although psoriasis can show up anywhere on the body, it is more likely to show up on your elbows, knees, head, and lower back. If youre noticing dryness or discoloration on your face, then its possible that you have something else.
Another thing to consider is when you started to see your symptoms appear, and if they are related to your recent activity. If you live in a place where it gets cold in the winter, your skin can become dry and cracked simply from the dry air. Or if you recently spent a lot of time in a warm, moist environment, you might have picked up a fungal infection. Even using a new soap, lotion, or face product can cause your skin to become red and irritated. Psoriasis has no direct cause, so if you can link your symptoms back to a specific event or irritant its probably safe to assume youre dealing with something else.
At What Age Do They Start
Eczema usually starts in babies or young children. Often, symptoms improve when a kid becomes a grown-up.
It’s less common, but possible, to get it as an adult. When that happens, it’s usually because you have another condition like thyroid disease, hormone changes, or stress.
Psoriasis, on the other hand, usually shows up between ages 15 and 35. But you can get it at other ages too. It’s rare for a baby to have it.
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What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
Scalp Psoriasis Can Look A Lot Like Dandruff
While dandruff is accompanied by flaking and dryness, scalp psoriasis looks silvery and has well-defined red, raised plaques, not just flaking and dryness. The scales from psoriasis can flake off much like dandruff, says Richard Torbeck, MD, a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology in New York City. Additionally, itching from psoriasis is quite similar to itching from dandruff. However, each condition needs to be treated very differently,” he adds.
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Steadfast Signs That Psoriasis Is Healing
Another beautiful morning on the beach down here in Tulum, Mexico where I live. The water was as calm as a lake, I felt peace and serenity as I stared out at the horizon
where horizon meets the sky
where vision meets the eye
where true self-power is mine
Every time I visit the ocean for my salt scrub and natural phototheraphy , it inspires me to write. The salt soothes and exfoliates the skin, the water brings me a certain silence that I quite enjoy.
One that allows me to focus on my body and the work I am putting in, now that I have been consistently fueling it for over a year now. Practicing qi-Gong and Yoga have been a huge part of my healing journey.
I am putting together a workout plan for Psoriasis healing that will cover the poses and stretches I do everyday in great detail. There is so much power in our breath and energy is circular, it must constantly flow.
Well, the path continues with great steady progress. The practice gets tighter with more becoming second nature. My lifestyle has almost completed a paramount paradigm shift.
As my body continues to fight the good fight. I am noticing a fastening shift in the pace of my healing. I can tell that the Psoriasis symptoms, toxins and all pathogens are being flushed from my skin cells and tissues back into my bloodstream.
1. Rashes progressively forming around spots
This is the most noticeable phenomenon of the healing process. At first, I was worried I had drawn another infection.
What Causes Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an immune system problem. Your immune response overreacts, causing inflammation, which leads to new skin cells growing too fast.
Typically, new skin cells grow every 28 to 30 days. But in people with psoriasis, new cells grow and move to the skin surface every three to four days. The buildup of new cells replacing old cells creates the silvery scales of psoriasis.
Psoriasis runs in families. There may be a genetic component. Parents may pass it down to their children.
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What Are The Symptoms
Scalp psoriasis causes redness and scaliness, which may also involve the hairline, the forehead, behind the ears and the back of the neck. It can range from very mild with slight fine scaling to very severe, crusted thick scaling covering the entire scalp. Hair loss during the flare-up can occur in some cases, but the hair will normally grow back. Psoriasis can be itchy, make the scalp feel tight and occasionally cause soreness, especially if there are cracks in the skin.
What Does Psoriasis Look Like
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack healthy skin cells. Its a chronic disease with no known cause or cure, and people living with psoriasis can often see periods of flare-ups as well as periods of remission. Some of the symptoms associated with this disease are:
Rashes or patches of silver, scaly skin
These are the telltale signs of psoriasis. Known as plaques, these patches are typically white or silver and can be covered in loose, thick patches of skin. This is typically seen on the elbows, knees, and around the hairline and can grow to cover large areas.
Red patches of skin
These patches of flat, red skin typically appear in places where skin rubs together, such as between your elbows, under your armpits, or around your genitals. These symptoms are often exasperated by sweat or rubbing of the skin.
Patches on the scalp or around the hairline
If you have scalp psoriasis, you may find either red patches or silver, scaly skin on top of your head or around your hairline. These can be mild and can easily be mistaken for dandruff or simply a dry scalp.
Dry, cracked, or itchy skin
Patches caused by psoriasis tend to be very dry and can often crack and bleed. This can be very painful for those living with this disease. If you have psoriasis on your scalp, you may find your head to be itchy, dry, and sore.
Discolored or broken nails
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How Can You Ease Your Symptoms
Dr. Fernandez recommends using a moisturizing cream or ointment if you have either eczema or psoriasis. Keeping your skin moist is helpful because youre more likely to itch if your skin is dry.
Your skin can also benefit from these general health tips:
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Drink more water.
- Get plenty of exercise.
There is no cure for psoriasis and multiple types of eczema, including atopic dermatitis. But you can help limit the symptoms by getting proper treatment and taking good care of your skin, Dr. Fernandez says.
The Differences In Appearances
Eczema makes your skin red and inflamed. It may be scaly, oozing, or crusty. You may see rough, leathery patches that are sometimes dark. It can also cause swelling.
Psoriasis can also cause red patches. They may be silvery and scaly — and raised. But if you look closely, the skin is thicker and more inflamed than with eczema.
Also Check: What Are Symptoms Of Plaque Psoriasis
How To Use Salicylic Acid Topical
Follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using this product for the first time, check if you are allergic to it. To check, put a small amount on one or two small areas of acne for three days. If you have an allergic reaction, stop using this product and get medical help right away . If you don’t have an allergic reaction, you can use the product.
This medication is for use on the skin only. To avoid irritation, do not let this medication come into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, groin, or any broken skin . If you do get the medication in those areas, flush the area with cool water for 15 minutes.
If you are using a cream, lotion, solution, or gel, apply a thin film of the medication to the areas of your skin affected by acne, usually 1 to 2 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Before applying each dose, gently wash the affected area with a mild cleanser, then pat dry. Apply a small amount of medicine to the affected area and rub in gently. If using the pads, wash the affected skin with a mild cleanser, then pat dry. Wipe the pad gently onto the skin to apply the medication, usually 1 to 3 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Wash hands after use.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Scalp Psoriasis Can Lead To Hair Loss
Unfortunately, hair loss is common with scalp psoriasis, per the NPFbut it’s more about damage to the hair shaft and follicles from excessive itching, rubbing, and combing or from the ingredients in products, than it is about the psoriasis itself.
The good news: Hair loss from psoriasis is almost always temporary, and, with appropriate treatment, normal hair growth will return once psoriasis is managed.
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What Is The Treatment
There are many treatment options that can help scalp psoriasis and often a combination approach using a number of different treatments may be required until the symptoms have settled. It is important to remember to continue to treat the scalp even if hair falls out. Hair usually grows back once the inflammation and scale has cleared.
Treatments can be time-consuming and you may find them easier if you ask someone to help you. It is important to choose one that suits your lifestyle carrying out intensive treatments over the weekend, for example, when you have more free time. Psoriasis is not curable, but the signs and symptoms can be well controlled.
It can take at least eight weeks until you gain adequate control of the plaques, whichever treatment you use. Remember to try to treat psoriasis daily when it is active.
If, however, you have seen no improvement after 4 weeks continuous treatment, you should return to your doctor or nurse for further assessment.
Once you have achieved clearance, it is important to maintain the improvement. This can usually be done with regular use of a tar shampoo and or by moisturising the scalp occasionally with an oil or emollient. Some people find daily treatment of the scalp an advantage in keeping the scales from returning, but this would be a personal reference depending on your circumstances. If you have no success in controlling your scalp psoriasis, ask your GP to refer you to a specialist.
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