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Feature Article

Paediatric psoriasis: a common skin disorder with potential multisystem implications

Andrew Lee, Gayle Fischer

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Abstract

Paediatric psoriasis is a diagnostic challenge but it can be managed well if recognised and treated correctly. With evidence increasing that children with psoriasis are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome later in life, a young patient with this chronic skin disorder presents an important opportunity for preventive action to reduce future health risks.

Key Points

  • The presentation of psoriasis in children may differ markedly from the typical adult presentation. It can be confused with atopic dermatitis or discoid eczema.
  • Psoriasis in children is generally a mild disease, and most cases can be managed successfully with regular topical treatment.
  • Narrow-band UVB phototherapy is beneficial and safe for children.
  • Specialist referral is recommended for the small group of children who require systemic medication for psoriasis that is severe and widespread.
  • Evidence is increasing that children with psoriasis have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome later in life.

    Picture credit: © Peg Gerrity.

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