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What organs affect psoriasis?

Psoriatic Arthritis in Children

Psoriatic arthritis is a rare form of arthritis or joint inflammation that affects both skin and joints. Psoriasis is an ongoing (chronic) condition that causes a red, scaly, itchy rash. It also causes nails to become thick and pitted with tiny holes. Psoriatic arthritis causes painful joint pain and swelling, along with skin rashes. It most often affects finger and toe joints. But it can also affect wrists, knees, ankles, and the lower back. This condition is most common in adults ages 30 to 50. But it can start in childhood. In many cases, the skin disease starts before the arthritis. Early diagnosis and treatment helps to ease pain and prevent joint damage from getting worse.

What causes psoriatic arthritis in a child?

The cause of psoriatic arthritis isn’t known. But things such as a child’s immune system, genes, and the environment may play a role. Children with this condition often have a family member with arthritis or psoriasis.

What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis in a child?

  • Inflamed, swollen, and painful joints, usually in the fingers and toes
  • Morning stiffness in the joints
  • Reddened skin over the affected joints
  • Sausage-like swelling of fingers and toes, plus swollen wrists (more common in girls age 1 to 6)
  • Deformed joints from chronic inflammation
  • Symptoms in the spine or sacroiliac joint (more common in older children)
  • Eye pain
  • Lack of energy (fatigue)

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can seem like other health conditions. Make sure to see your child’s healthcare provider for a diagnosis

How is psoriatic arthritis diagnosed in a child?

Psoriatic arthritis is easier to confirm if your child already has psoriasis. If the skin symptoms have not yet occurred, diagnosis is more difficult. Your child’s healthcare provider will take your child’s medical history and do a physical exam. The provider will ask about your child’s symptoms. Your child may have blood tests such as:

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or sed rate). This test looks at how quickly red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube. When swelling and inflammation are present, the blood’s proteins clump together and become heavier than normal. They fall and settle faster at the bottom of the test tube. The faster the blood cells fall, the more severe the inflammation.
  • Uric acid. High blood uric acid levels are linked to psoriatic arthritis.
  • Complete blood count (CBC). This test checks for low counts of red blood cells (anemia), white blood cells, and platelets.
  • Antibody blood tests. These tests are done to look for certain kinds of proteins, called antibodies, in your blood. These tests can be positive for many kinds of rheumatic diseases. Younger children are more likely to have a positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) test.

Other tests may include:

  • X-rays. This test uses a small amount of radiation to create images of organs, bones, and other tissues.
  • Eye exam. This is done by a pediatric eye doctor (ophthalmologist). The exam looks for uveitis, a swelling of the middle layer of the eye.

How is psoriatic arthritis treated in a child?

Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

The treatment team will include your child’s primary healthcare provider. It will also include a pediatric rheumatologist, and an ophthalmologist.

Treatment is done for both the skin condition and the joint inflammation. Some medicines used to treat psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve symptoms. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
  • Medicines that weaken the body’s immune system (immunosuppressives). These can be used to ease inflammation if NSAIDs are not working.
  • Vitamins and minerals to slow bone deformities. These include calcium and vitamin D.
  • Biologic medicines such as infliximab
  • Corticosteroids to ease redness and swelling

Other treatment may include:

  • Ultraviolet light treatment (UVB or PUVA)
  • Heat and cold
  • Splints
  • Exercise
  • Physical therapy to improve and keep muscle and joint function
  • Occupational therapy to improve ability to do activities of daily living
  • Managing the psoriasis skin rash
  • Surgery to fix or replace a damaged joint (often not needed until years after diagnosis)

What are the possible complications of psoriatic arthritis in a child?

Children with psoriatic arthritis are at risk of having an eye condition called uveitis. This is an inflammation of the eye’s middle layer.

With early diagnosis and treatment, children can go into remission. This means that symptoms go away. But when treatment is delayed, remission is less likely. Then the condition may lead to long-term disability.

How can I help my child live with psoriatic arthritis?

Help your child manage his or her symptoms by sticking to the treatment plan. This includes getting enough sleep. Encourage exercise and physical therapy and find ways to make it fun. Work with your child’s school to make sure your child has help as needed. Work with other caregivers to help your child take part as much possible in school, social, and physical activities. Your child may also qualify for special help under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. You can also help your child find a support group to be around with other children with pediatric arthritis.

Key points about psoriatic arthritis in children

  • Psoriatic arthritis is a rare form of arthritis or joint inflammation that affects both skin and joints. It can occur in people who have the skin disease psoriasis.
  • It is most common in adults ages 30 to 50. But it can start in childhood.
  • This condition causes inflamed, swollen, and painful joints. It also causes eye pain and fatigue.
  • Treatment may include medicines, heat and cold, splints, exercise, physical therapy, and surgery.
  • Early treatment can help the disease go into remission. Delayed treatment may lead to long-term disability.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.

What organs affect psoriasis?

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Meet the NEW Seaweed Bath Co.

Psoriasis is More than Skin Deep: Fighting Inflammation

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A recent study conducted by Dr. Nehal N. Mehta, a preventive and nuclear cardiologist with the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and backed by the National Psoriasis Foundation, took a closer look at the connection between psoriasis and the inflammation of internal organs and structures. Using a highly sensitive, groundbreaking imaging technique, researchers “detected inflammation in the liver, joints, tendons, and aorta in [psoriasis sufferers] that had no [other] symptoms or risk factors for diseases that affect those organs,” indicating that psoriasis is a disease that affects the entire body, not just the skin. The results of the study are published in the Archives of Dermatology. This study sheds new light on the pain and medical struggles of millions of psoriasis sufferers worldwide.

So what can we do to prevent and reduce inflammation in our bodies?

Nature provides numerous ways to combat inflammation through diet and skincare.

What we eat

One simple way to prevent and reduce inflammation is to add to our daily diet foods, drinks, oils and herbs that contain bioflavonoids and polyphenols that limit the effects of free radicals. Herbs such as turmeric, garlic, oregano, and ginger have been recognized for their anti-inflammatory effects. Foods such as wild salmon, avocados, blueberries, green tea, cold or room temperature extra virgin olive oil, cherry juice and kelp also have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.

What we put on our skin

To topically soothe inflammation caused by psoriasis, eczema, or other skin irritations, our favorite ingredient, brown bladderwrack seaweed, is often recommended by health experts because it contains so many valuable nutrients that can be absorbed by the skin and positively affect your entire body. Notably, bladderwrack seaweed contains fucoidan, a complex-carbohydrate and potent natural anti-inflammatory. You can bathe in the seaweed for maximum impact, or apply a seaweed lotion or paste to the affected areas.

It is also extremely important to keep the skin properly hydrated when combating inflammation. We use kukui oil and argan oil in our products. Kukui oil, rich in oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids, absorbs rapidly and soothes and nourishes irritated skin. Argan oil, rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, is also very popular for its moisturizing properties. These oils are great to apply throughout the day and add to a seaweed soak to lock in the moisture.

We recommend taking warm or luke warm baths or showers, and patting the skin dry, as opposed to rubbing, which can further irritate the skin. Avoid soaps and lotions that contain alcohols and sulphates that can dry out and aggravate inflamed skin. Neem oil, tea tree oil, and totarol are all great natural alternatives because of their anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties.

Tell us: Have you experienced inflammation in your body? What do you do to fight it?

What organs affect psoriasis?

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What Organs Can Be Affected By Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a condition that is visible on the skin, the largest organ in the human body. But can it affect other organs too? In this blog, we investigate if psoriasis is more than skin deep.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by the immune system attacking the skin, leading to a rapid build up of excess cells. These manifest as itchy patches, often covered in plaques or scales. The patches may be raised and inflamed and, depending on the colour of a person’s skin, might appear flushed or darker, while scales may appear silvery.

The skin is the largest organ and psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body, although it is most common on the scalp, arms, legs, torso and back. It can also appear in sensitive areas where skin touches skin; for example in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, around the genitals and in skin folds. It can also show up on the hands, fingertips, feet and on fingernails and toenails.

But although psoriasis is classed as a dermatologic disease, the systemic inflammation it causes can also affect the joints, arteries and other internal organs. As a result, psoriasis sufferers are more likely to be at risk of developing conditions, such as:

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Lung diseases
  • Some cancers
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Liver diseases

This doesn’t mean that every psoriasis sufferer will inevitably contract one or more of these diseases, but it is important to be aware of the risks. We recommend that you discuss your overall psoriasis treatment plan with a doctor and, where possible, have regular screenings to rule out more serious conditions.

Because psoriasis sufferers can be at greater risk of developing lung disease; it is particularly advised that you take a proactive approach to lung health by avoiding or wearing a filtration mask when exposed to environmental irritants such as chemicals, dust, smoke and asbestos. Your doctor may advise you on your risk of lung disease, taking into account your family history and your age and tell you to avoid specific medications.

Making lifestyle changes can be incredibly helpful for psoriasis sufferers. Adopting a nutritious diet, quitting smoking and boosting the immune system have all been shown to have beneficial effects, in some cases lowering the risks of comorbidities.

Take a look at our other blogs on the subject, particularly psoriasis-campaigner Jude Duncan’s article on how to manage psoriasis triggers.

Recommended products for skin prone to psoriasis

As well as keeping your overall health in great shape, we recommend the following three natural products to alleviate itchiness and discomfort caused by psoriasis.

Balmonds Skin Salvation
our traditional balm is gently formulated with natural ingredients to reduce the risk of skin irritation and itchiness associated with psoriasis.

Bath & Body Oil
free from parabens, petrochemicals and perfect for skin prone to psoriasis.

Balmonds Scalp Oil
our beautiful blend or herb infused oils is perfect not only for hydrating scalp psoriasis, but can be used holistically on the body as a deeply moisturising treatment.

Important Note

If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.

If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.

Do not delay getting help if you’re worried. Trust your instincts.

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