What is psoriatic arthritis in children?
The psoriatic arthritis in children is called “psoriatic juvenile idiopathic arthritis” or” juvenile psoriatic arthritis.”
Psoriatic arthritis is one type of arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis happens very often in children who have a skin condition called psoriasis. Psoriasis causes patches of red skin that may be covered by silver/white scales at times. In certain cases psoriatic arthritis is observed in children who don’t have the psoriasis rash, but who the history of Psoriasis in their family members.
What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis in children?
Symptoms are not the same in all children. Children younger than 5 or 6 years often have swelling of their fingers or toes. This makes the fingers or toes look like sausages. Symptoms also depend on a child’s age. In general, psoriatic arthritis causes joint pain and swelling. The most commonly affected Joints include those in the knees, ankles, hips, wrists, hands, and feet. Older children and teens often have joint pain in their back or hips.
In addition to joint symptoms, children with psoriatic arthritis sometimes have:
A psoriasis rash – This looks like red, raised patches of skin. These areas are sometimes hard to see because they might be in the hairline or behind the ears.
Nail changes – The nails can look “pitted,” as if they were pricked by a pin. The nail can also come up off the nail bed.
Eye redness – This is usually painless, but the cause of the redness is a condition called “uveitis,” which can be serious. Uveitis can lead to vision loss, so make sure to mention this symptom to your child’s doctor.
To figure out what’s causing your child’s symptoms, the doctor may recommend:
Blood tests and X-rays of the affected joints
How is psoriatic arthritis in children treated?
There is no cure for this condition, but different treatments can help ease and control symptoms. Treatment for psoriatic arthritis is usually long-term. Depending on your child’s symptoms and other factors, treatment usually involves 1 or more of the following:
Medicines called nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, or “NSAIDs” for short – NSAIDs are a large group of medicines that includes ibuprofen (sample brand names: Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (sample brand name: Aleve).
Shots of steroid medicines that go into the painful joint – These are not the same as the steroids some athletes take illegally. These steroids help reduce swelling and pain.
Medicines called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, or “DMARDs” for short – Some of these include methotrexate, sulfasalazine, or leflunomide. Others include medicines called “anti-TNF” medicines.
It is very important for your child to stay active. He or she might want to avoid being active because of pain. But this can make things worse. It can make the muscles weak and the joints stiff. A physical therapist can help figure out which activities and exercises are right for your child.