Psoriasis in children is caused by the interplay of genetic factors, the immune system and environmental triggers, explains The National Psoriasis Foundation. Children have a 10 percent chance of developing psoriasis if one parent has the disease and a 50 percent chance if both parents are affected.
Immune system factors are caused by T-lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that circulate through the blood stream and attack foreign organisms, explains Mayo Clinic. The T-cells in people with psoriasis mistakenly attack healthy skin cells in the same manner that they do when there is a skin infection or a wound. The triggers of psoriasis include respiratory infections, strep throat, ear aches, bronchitis and tonsillitis, according to The National Psoriasis Foundation. In some cases psoriasis develops at the site of a skin injury in a response called the Koebner phenomenon.
There is no cure for psoriasis and the purpose of treatment is symptom management, explains The National Psoriasis Foundation. Infants are treated with conservative measures that include the use of moisturizers, oatmeal baths and anti-itch creams. Children with mild psoriasis are treated with sunlight and moderate cases can be managed with narrow-band ultraviolet light B. Topical creams are used directly on psoriasis lesions and include steroids, calcipotriene, tazarotene, coal tar and anthralin. Children with severe psoriasis are sometimes treated with methotrexate, acitretin, cyclosporine and biologics.