Psoriasis is a common skin condition where the skin develops areas which become thick and covered with silvery scales. A common problem in the United States, the course of psoriasis varies greatly, but in most sufferers it is a chronic problem which continues for many years. The presence of psoriasis can cause emotional distress in most sufferers. Considered a skin disorder, psoriasis is actually the result of a disordered immune system. The T-cells are a type of white blood cell and become over stimulated. The cells then direct the skin to attempt to heal a non-existent injury. The skin reacts in the same way it does when there is a fungus infection present. It then grows very quickly, trying to grow the infection off of the skin. These areas then become the reddened and inflamed patches with white scale on them.
Typically, when young people develop psoriasis, it not only affects them physically, but emotionally also. Psoriasis may influence how the view and interact with the world, the activities they take part in, and the people they seek out as friends and the interests they develop. Children may be apprehensive about their psoriasis getting worse or recurring. Some may show little emotional reaction while others are angry, embarrassed, or sad. Anxiety over rejection by peers is very common, especially as the child moves toward their teenage years. If a child’s skin is scalier than usual, especially on their elbows and knees they should go to a dermatologist to determine if they do in fact have psoriasis.
Psoriasis presents a range of emotional responses, and coming to terms with having the disease may take some time. No one is able to predict how a child with psoriasis will act or feel as the disease tends to fluctuate from worse to better. These fluctuations will also cause the child’s feelings to shift as well. The shifts in feelings may cause confusion which may cause the child to feel embarrassed, angry, or sad. Each child’s ability to communicate effectively about the disease and his or her feelings is as important as developing ways to help the child manage the symptoms of psoriasis.
It is common for children who have psoriasis to experience strong feelings about their skin. It is important to relay to children as often as necessary that it is okay to feel angry, frustrated, and sad. The emotional and social consequences that result from having psoriasis can be significant and should not be underestimated. These feelings should not be dismissed as trivial or self-indulgent. Psoriasis makes the skin of its sufferers dry, red, and crusty, especially around the elbows, knees, and scalp. It may also be found on the upper buttocks, palms, and soles of the feet. Psoriasis tends to fun in families and is not contagious. Sometimes psoriasis may flare when the sufferer is mad or upset, but other say that stress doesn’t affect their psoriasis at all. Changes in weather, injuries, illness, or medication can all lead to a flare up of psoriasis.