Children with Psoriasis

We're on this journey with you.

Although psoriasis can start at any age, most people experience their first flare between the ages of 15 and 35.

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Approximately one-third of those who get psoriasis are under 20 years old when the disease first surfaces. Every year, roughly 20,000 children under 10 are diagnosed with psoriasis. [1] It may take time to get a correct diagnosis, as psoriasis is sometimes confused with other skin diseases like eczema and diaper rash.

Causes and Triggers

Psoriasis is not contagious. You cannot catch it from anyone. While scientists do not know exactly what causes psoriasis, we do know the immune system and genetics play major roles. The genetics of psoriasis are complex, and it is possible for people with no family history of psoriasis to develop it. A triggering event may cause a change in the immune system, resulting on the onset of psoriasis symptoms. Common triggers for psoriasis include stress, illness (particularly strep infections), injury to the skin and certain medications.

Some young people report the onset of psoriasis following an infection, particularly strep throat. One-third to one-half of all young people with psoriasis may experience a flare two to six weeks after an earache, strep throat, bronchitis, tonsillitis or a respiratory infection. Areas of skin that have been injured or traumatized are occasionally the sites of psoriasis, known as the "Koebner [keb-ner] phenomenon." However, not everyone who has psoriasis develops it at the site of an injury.

For Parents

If your child is newly diagnosed, you may be adapting to a new way of life. If your child has had psoriasis for a while and is now entering the teen years, new challenges may arise. Whatever the circumstances, know that you are not alone. There are thousands of parents whose children are living—and thriving—with psoriasis. They had worries just like you. Connect with other parents in the psoriasis community and know that we are all in this together. And learn how to better give the care to your loved ones with psoriatic disease with our free booklet.

Resources for Kids

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You're Not Alone

Learn how others like you have coped and thrived with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in the Our Spot featured story section.

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School Action Kit

Get tips on communicating about psoriasis with everyone in your life, including teachers, friends and even bullies.

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Welcome Kit

Get a free Welcome Kit that contains age-appropriate information and tools to help you learn more about treatment options and how to best support your child or teen.

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Learn more about families, teens and kids living with psoriatic disease.

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1. Goenaga-Vázquez Y, Lauck KC, Hebert AA. Therapeutic challenges in managing pediatric psoriasis. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2020;7(3):314-318. Published 2020 Oct 10. doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2020.09.012

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