How to prepare kids with psoriasis for sleepovers

| Kathryn Jones

Parents face a dilemma when their child with psoriasis is invited to sleepover at a friend's house. On one hand, you want your son or daughter to have a circle of good friends and enjoy social activities. On the other hand, you worry you’re sending them to a home where environmental triggers, like chemicals, dust, pet dander or cigarette smoke, could potentially set off a flare. 

So, what can you do to ensure your child will have a fun and safe visit at a friend's house? We asked our friend, Dr. Steven Q. Wang, for advice. He’s the co-founder of Dr. Wang Skincare, maker of natural and non-steroidal ointments for people with eczema and psoriasis, as well as director of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. 

Prepare a skin care kit

If your child stays over a friend's house, you can pack a kit containing all of his or her skin-care products and medications. Here are some simple items Wang suggests you pack in the kit:

•    Medications – This can include topical medications, such as steroid creams, or oral drugs, such as antihistamine pills, for controlling itch.

•    Cleansers – These are bath items that your child will use. “If your child has severe psoriasis, it is advised he or she use his or her own bath soaps and shampoos,” Wang said. “By now, you know which cleansers and soaps are hypoallergenic and good for your child. Your host may not have those same items. Many households use harsh soaps that can make skin worse.”

•    Moisturizers – These are lotions, emollients or ointments that your child needs to apply when he or she begins to feel itchy. Again, bring your own moisturizers because you know they work for your child.

•    Sleeping Kit – This includes bedsheets, blankets, and pillows that are hypoallergenic. “It is always best for your child to sleep in bedsheets you know will not trigger a flare-up,” Wang said. 

Prepare for the environment

“If your child is not old enough to take care of his or herself, it is strongly advised that you speak to the parents or hosts of where your child is staying. Let them know about your child's skin condition and any allergies he or she may have,” Wang said. 

Consider suggesting some simple, non-invasive things they can do to make their house more comfortable for your child. For example, in the winter time, most houses turn the heat high for warmth and comfort, but if the temperature is too high, the ambient moisture level in the house can be low. The dry and hot air can trigger a flare. “You can simply suggest placing a humidifier in the kids' room for the night. If the hosts don't have one, you can bring one over,” Wang said. 

Prepare the right clothing

Since psoriasis can be triggered by dust, heat, cigarette smoke, pet hair and other allergens, it makes sense that your child wears cool clothing at all times, Wang said. “Long-sleeved pajamas should only be worn if it is not hot and humid. This is great if the child will stay overnight.”

Children can enjoy visiting other places without having to worry about psoriasis, Wang said. All it takes is some preparation. “As a parent, these preparations can be a huge undertaking, time-consuming, and may also be embarrassing to ask for these requests,” he said. “Keep in mind that your patience will pay off once you see that big smile on your child's face.”

Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

Recent Blog Posts

WPD Blog
In honor of World Psoriasis Day, we share stories from our international...
lotion or moisturizer on lady's hands
Not all moisturizers are created equal when it comes to soothing your psoriasis...
A veteran volunteer recalls her rookie experience with patient advocacy and...
medicine to fight the flu
Doctors urge patients with suppressed immune systems to get yearly influenza...
Selfie of Pattie Barry in her garden
Pattie Barry became a nurse so she could help others. When nursing became...
We invite you to be there when we gather the experts in one room to talk about...
Stephen Gerring holding 3-month-old daughter Georgia.
A veteran of Team NPF Run offers ideas to carry you all the way to the finish...
collage of medical symbols
As states battle to shore up their health insurance exchanges, some are taking...
Massachusetts state capitol
Help educate your lawmakers on psoriatic disease and raise awareness at the...