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How Can I Help My Child Deal with Guttate Psoriasis?

How Can I Help My Child Deal with Guttate Psoriasis?

Guttate psoriasis is the second most common type of psoriasis, after plaque psoriasis. It’s an autoimmune condition that causes raised, itchy lesions in the shape of teardrops. Guttate psoriasis can affect anyone, but it’s typically diagnosed in children and young adults.

And while there’s no cure for the condition, there’s a lot you can do to help your child deal with the symptoms.

If you think your child may have guttate psoriasis, don’t wait to seek treatment. Oswald Mikell, MD, and our team at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry work with patients of all ages to diagnose and manage psoriasis.

Here’s what you need to know about this bothersome childhood skin condition.

The signs of guttate psoriasis

The first step of helping your child deal with guttate psoriasis is recognizing the signs of the condition, so they can get the treatment they need.

Guttate psoriasis is characterized by teardrop-shaped lesions that are red or pink in color. The lesions commonly appear on the arms, legs, or torso. They’re fairly small, but they typically intensify or spread in a short period of time.

Guttate psoriasis can develop if your child has another type of psoriasis, but most of the time, it develops suddenly following an infection or illness. The most common triggers of guttate psoriasis are: 

It typically develops quickly, and it might seem like the lesions appear on your child’s skin out of nowhere.

The stages of guttate psoriasis

There are three main stages of guttate psoriasis, which dermatologists use to evaluate its severity. At your child’s appointment, Dr. Mikell closely examines the psoriasis lesions and the rest of their skin.

The stages of guttate psoriasis are:

The best treatment for your child depends on their general health and the stage of guttate psoriasis they have.

Treating guttate psoriasis

While there’s no cure for psoriasis, treatment can reduce symptoms and reduce flare-ups.

Topical treatments

Topical treatments can soothe irritated skin and reduce itchiness. Dr. Mikell may prescribe topical corticosteroid ointment for you to apply over your child’s psoriasis lesions. Non-steroidal treatments can include vitamin A, vitamin D, and creams that contain salicylic acid, aloe vera, or jojoba.

Dr. Mikell may recommend a combination of these methods for your child, particularly if they have a mild case of guttate psoriasis.

Light therapy

Children with moderate or severe guttate psoriasis may benefit from light therapy, which is a noninvasive treatment that can reduce the severity of psoriasis lesions. At Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry, we use the XTRAC® system for light therapy.

XTRAC® light therapy uses UVB light on the affected areas of your child’s skin. Dr. Mikell may recommend a series of 10-12 sessions to improve your child’s condition.

Sometimes, guttate psoriasis disappears on its own within a few weeks or months. However, with some children, guttate psoriasis flare-ups continue, and with others, they go on to develop a different type of psoriasis. No matter the case, Dr. Mikell will work with you and your child and adjust their treatment plan as needed.

To find out more about treating guttate psoriasis, book an appointment over the phone with Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry today.

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