Psoriasis in babies is rare and is usually due to genetics or a bacterial infection such as strep throat. Infant psoriasis is diagnosed from a new-born baby up to the age of two. It is seen as small scaly patches on the limbs, trunk and scalp.
Doctors usually mistake it for cradle cap or nappy rash. It is difficult to predict whether the condition will disappear or continue into childhood.
- If one or both parents have psoriasis, there is a 10 to 50 percent chance of the baby to develop the condition.
- A viral or bacterial infection.
- Reaction to certain medications and vaccinations.
- Insect bites or cuts on the skin. Lesions appear 1-2 weeks after trauma to the skin which is known as Kobner’s reaction.
- Over-exposure or lack of exposure to sunlight.
- Upper respiratory tract infections such as viral and streptococcal in cold weather.
The condition presents itself as redness of the skin mostly in the diaper region and the folds and creases of the skin like the back of the knees, armpits and groin. The trunk, limbs and scalp may also be affected. It could also be seen as a rash of small scaly patches of about 1cm in diameter. Pitting and discoloration of the nails might also be present.
Psoriasis in Children Treatment
Baby or infant psoriasis should never be treated without consulting a doctor. Physicians follow a conservative approach when treating babies. While it might be easy to control the symptoms in baby psoriasis, it is difficult to cure the condition completely due to the side-effects of the medication. Doctors treat the condition depending on the type of psoriasis and its severity, the areas involved and medical history. Treatment usually includes topical steroids which include topical Vitamin D and cortisone based steroids. Calcineurin inhibitors are also prescribed to block the chemical calcineurin which activates skin inflammation, leading to redness and itching.
Phototherapy may also be prescribed wherein the infant is exposed to UV light a few times a week.
If the cause of psoriasis is the result of a strep infection, antibiotics may be used to kill the bacteria.
Antihistamines may be prescribed for itching.
Pediatric Psoriasis Home remedies
Certain non-medical home remedies could be tried to keep the symptoms under control.
- The skin should always be kept thickly moisturized after a bath to seal in the moisture.
- The baby should be bathed regularly in lukewarm water without using too much soap.
- Pat the skin dry after washing rather than rubbing.
- Wash with water mixed with oatmeal, Epsom or Dead Sea salts to improve redness and scaling.
- Adding fresh Neem leaves or Neem oil to bathing water soothes itching.
- Cold compresses may also be applied to relieve itching.
- A humidifier can be used to maintain moisture in the house.
- Coconut oil, olive oil or Vitamin E oil can be used on the scalp to take care of the dryness.
- Avoid the use of brushes on the scalp.
- Cotton clothing and bedding may be used to provide comfort.
- Exposure to sunlight helps with mild symptoms.
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