In most cases, people have their first outbreak between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can appear at any age. About one-third of those who get psoriasis are under 20 years old when the first signs of the disease appear. Younger children can be affected too, and the disease may be misdiagnosed because it is confused with other skin diseases.
Symptoms in younger children include pitting and discolouration of the nails, severe scalp scaling, diaper dermatitis or plaques similar to that of adult psoriasis on the trunk and extremities. Psoriasis in infants isn’t very common, but it can happen. Only close observation can determine if an infant has the disease.
What causes Psoriasis?
No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis, but it does have a genetic component. If one parent has the disease, there is about a 10 percent chance of a child developing it. If both parents have psoriasis, the chance of the child developing psoriasis increases to 50 percent. Predicting who gets psoriasis is difficult. Research indicates that at least 10 percent of the general population has one or more of the genes that make people more likely to develop psoriasis, but only 2 to 3 percent of the population develops the disease. This is probably due to the role environmental factors play in triggering the development of psoriasis.
Triggers in Kids
In some younger psoriasis patients, the disease seems to begin after an infection, particularly strep throat. Infections can also trigger flare ups, with one-third to one-half of all young people with psoriasis experiencing a flare-up 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 phenomenon.” However, not everyone who has psoriasis develops it at the site of an injury.