Pediatric psoriasis consists broadly of 3 age groups of psoriatic patients: infantile psoriasis, a self-limited disease of infancy, psoriasis with early onset, and pediatric psoriasis with psoriatic arthritis. About one-quarter of psoriasis cases begin before the age of 18 years. A variety of clinical psoriasis types are seen in childhood, including plaque-type, guttate, erythrodermic, napkin, and nail-based disease. Like all forms of auto-immunity, susceptibility is likely genetic, but environmental triggers are required to initiate disease activity. The most common trigger of childhood is an upper respiratory tract infection. Once disease has occurred, treatment is determined based on severity and presence of joint involvement. Topical therapies, including corticosteroids and calcipotriene, are the therapies of choice in the initial care of pediatric patients. Ultraviolet light, acitretin and cyclosporine can clear skin symptoms, while methotrexate and etanercept can clear both cutaneous and joint disease. Concern for psychological development is required when choosing psoriatic therapies. This article reviews current concepts in pediatric psoriasis and a rational approach to therapeutics.
- Topical corticosteroids