Just like in adults, babies also do develop psoriasis. This is a skin condition that occurs due to fast growth of skin cells that build up only to shed off fast in the same way that they grew. Although the condition is rare in babies until they reach teenage, some babies do get affected when they are still very young.
Psoriasis is generally a long-lasting skin condition and is a reaction of a baby’s or an adult’s immune system to environmental factors. Occurrence of the condition is not associated with any disease or illness and is widely believed to be hereditary condition. Indeed identical twin studies have established that identical twins remain three times at risk of being affected compared to non-identical twins.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Five different types of psoriasis have been identified: plaque, erythrodermic, guttate, inverse and pustule psoriasis. Of these, plaque psoriasis is the most common.
This type of psoriasis causes red patches on the skin covered with white scales. The most common parts of the body that get affected include back of the forearms, the scalp, around the navel, genital area and bottoms. Unlike in teenagers and adults, babies generally do have raised red patches with scaly covering on nappy area.
It is very important that you seek medical attention in case you suspect that your baby has psoriasis for proper diagnosis. This is important because you can easily confuse psoriasis to be eczema, another skin condition. Unlike psoriasis, eczema presents rough pink patches with fewer scales.
Causes of Psoriasis
The body’s immune system is very complicated. Causes of psoriasis have not been ascertained. However, it has been proven that the condition runs in families. Your baby is bound to develop the condition while still young or later in life in case one of you as parents comes from a family with history of the condition.
A good number of environmental factors are believed to encourage occurrence of the condition. These include changes in climate, specific medications and such infections as strep throat among other factors.
Treatment of Psoriasis
There is no cure for psoriasis. Treatment options available are usually intended to manage the condition so that your baby remains comfortable. A visit to a pediatrician leads to proper diagnosis of the condition before you are referred to a dermatologist for advice and management techniques.
You are most likely to be advised on the need to always keep your baby’s skin moist so as to prevent dryness that can easily worsen the condition. This is in addition to use of emollient (petroleum jelly, mineral oil) after birth to help retain water on the skin. A dermatologist will also most probably prescribe mild steroid creams including vitamin D3 cream to help in the management of the condition.
The fact that your baby has psoriasis can mean that he/she is bound to experience bouts of the condition throughout his/her life. The only thing you can do is to provide a lot of support to help him/her remain comfortable whenever the patches appear.