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 SYMPOSIUM - PEDIATRIC DERMATOSES
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 76  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 357--365

Childhood psoriasis


Department of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunil Dogra
Department of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.66580

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Psoriasis is a common dermatosis in children with about one third of all patients having onset of disease in the first or second decade of life. A chronic disfiguring skin disease, such as psoriasis, in childhood is likely to have profound emotional and psychological effects, and hence requires special attention. Psoriasis in children has been reported to differ from that among adults being more frequently pruritic; plaque lesions are relatively thinner, softer, and less scaly; face and flexural involvement is common and guttate type is the characteristic presentation. Whether onset in childhood predicts a more severe form of psoriasis is a matter of controversy, it may cause significant morbidity particularly if it keeps relapsing. Most children have mild form of psoriasis which can be generally treated effectively with topical agents such as emollients, coal tar, corticosteroids, dithranol, calcipotriol etc. according to age and the sites affected. Narrow band UVB is the preferred form of phototherapy in children for moderate to severe disease or in patients not responding to topical therapy alone. Systemic therapies are reserved for more severe and extensive cases that cannot be controlled with topical treatment and/or phototherapy such as severe plaque type, unstable forms like erythrodermic and generalized pustular psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. There are no controlled trials of systemic therapies in this age group, most experience being with retinoids and methotrexate with favorable results. Cyclosporine can be used as a short-term intermittent crisis management drug. There is an early promising experience with the use of biologics (etanercept and infliximab) in childhood psoriasis. Systemic treatments as well as phototherapy have limited use in children due to cumulative dose effects of drugs, low acceptance, and risk of gonadal toxicity. More evidence-based data is needed about the effectiveness and long-term safety of topical, phototherapy and systemic therapies in children.






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