Keeping healthy habits is all about starting them early.
No parent wants to see their kids in pain. Unfortunately, once your child has been diagnosed with psoriasis, it’s important to set healthy habits early to help prevent flares. This way, these tips and strategies will become second nature for your kids—which could benefit their long-term health.
Even adults have trouble remembering to take their medications, stick to healthy skincare, and keep up daily routines. Since adolescents may have a harder time following a daily treatment regimen, parents may play a big role. Here’s how parents can help lead by example so your child can thrive despite psoriasis symptoms on their skin.
Common Psoriasis Triggers In Kids And Teens
The first step is to know what triggers a psoriasis flare for your child. This way, you can help them establish some preventative routines. It will also help give your child some autonomy, which can help them be more responsible about their treatment in the future. Some triggers among kids include:
- Infections (including the common cold)
- Certain medicines
- Skin irritation (caused by certain fabrics, fragrances, detergents, scrapes, cuts)
- Cold and dry climates or rapid changes in weather
- Stress or trauma
- Drugs and alcohol
While some of these triggers can be unpredictable, plenty of them are within you or your child’s control. Finding ways to avoid or reduce exposure to triggers can help lower the risk of flares. This may help them feel more comfortable in their skin, literally and figuratively.
How to Help Your Child Prevent Psoriasis Flares
Growing pains, puberty, and constantly taking in new experiences can be tough enough on your children. Having a skin condition like psoriasis may add embarrassment, distraction, or discomfort.
It’s important to remind them that psoriasis is nothing to be ashamed of. However, if your child is self-conscious about their symptoms, it may help to remind them that sticking to their treatments can help reduce or eliminate those symptoms. It may also reduce inflammation in the body and help prevent complications.
Here are some ways to help prevent psoriasis flares in your child:
- Moisturizing regularly with doctor-recommended brands
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Practicing good hand hygiene to prevent infections
- Treating, cleaning, and covering cuts or other injuries immediately with soap, water, antiseptic, and bandages
- Relieving stress with exercise or meditation, and by learning good time management skills to prevent unnecessary anxiety at school
- Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight
- Using gentle, fragrance-free detergents
- Wearing psoriasis-friendly fabrics like cotton, bamboo, and silk
- Abstaining from smoking, drinking, and other substance use
While this may seem daunting at first, there are lots of ways to motivate and keep your kids committed to their treatment. Some examples include gold-star trackers, rewards, or even turning your routines into fun games or parties with music that can create more quality time for you both.
Need more ideas, or find that these tips and current treatment aren’t helping? Talk to your child’s doctor or a dermatologist to find the right treatment for you and your family.