When an Itch Isn’t Just an Itch
Psoriasis, another word that you would have no idea about unless you looked it up in a dictionary. But as a parent this is one ailment you should familiarize yourself with. A patch of skin that a child continually aggravates by scratching or an area of the skin that rubs against a child’s clothing and becomes sore isn’t your normal, run-of-the-mill itch. When an itch spreads, gets red and warm, and its pain increases, it’s time to consult a specialist.
Last month was Psoriasis Awareness month. Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes scaling and inflammation (pain, swelling, heat, and redness). Skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. Since a person’s skin in the largest organ of the human body (yes, the skin is considered an organ) it needs to be kept just as healthy as all the others.
Doctor’s aren’t sure why people get psoriasis, but some known risk factors include:
- Infections such as strep throat and colds can weaken the body’s immune system, causing it to be more susceptible to a psoriasis outbreak.
- People who are obese are often plagued with psoriasis because the skin condition can develop in the folds within the skin.
- Certain medications have been shown to increase the risk of psoriasis.
- Winter weather keeps many kids indoors, which can lead to psoriasis outbreaks. Sunlight exposure can help improve psoriasis.
- Irritations in the skin can increase the chance of a psoriasis outbreak.
- Stress weakens the immune system and can also increase the incidence of psoriasis.
Psoriasis can mirror many different skin diseases, which is why it’s important to get any skin concern checked out by a doctor immediately. Psoriasis can also run in families. It’s also important to know the areas of the body psoriasis can appear:
- Elbows, knees or other parts of the leg
- Scalp, lower back, face
- Palms and the soles of the feet
Oddly enough, this ailment can also appear inside the mouth and even on the genitals. Never dismiss a child’s scratching for playing in the grass or dirt, or even sweating; you could be overlooking a very serious condition that’s treatable with time and attention. Though psoriasis is more common in adults, a child could get it as well. A child hasn’t built up the same immunity to diseases as an adult, so it’s important to get children to a doctor and treated quickly.
Don’t worry that you’re being an over concerned parent. If your son or daughter has something that looks like a bite or scratch and you’re just not sure, bring them in for a consultation. Please give us a call at (910) 486-5437.