Epidemiology and clinical features of pediatric psoriasis in tertiary referral psoriasis clinic


  • Conflict of interest: There is no financial support or conflict of interest.

Jai Il Youn, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28-Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, 100-744 Seoul, Republic of Korea. Email: jaiil@snu.ac.kr


Few epidemiological studies of pediatric patients with moderate to severe psoriasis have been available despite there being no approved systemic therapy for these patients. The aim of the present study was to elucidate clinical features of pediatric psoriasis in a tertiary referral psoriasis clinic. We analyzed the clinical data of 358 patients under 18 years of age referred to our clinic from other private clinics and medical centers. Our data showed a male : female ratio of 1.06:1 and a peak age of onset of 10–11 years. Of the patients, 32.4% had a positive family history. The most prevalent phenotype was plaque type (67.3%) and the mean Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score was 17.2 ± 12.7. The most frequently affected body part was the trunk (69.5%), followed by the legs (65.3%). Exposure to sunlight and summer season improved psoriatic lesions, while stress and winter season aggravated the clinical course. Only 26.0% of patients received systemic therapy or phototherapy during the therapeutic course. Oral acitretin (11.2%) was most frequently used followed by ultraviolet B phototherapy (7.3%). The childhood group (<13 years) showed higher prevalence of guttate and generalized pustular phenotypes and more severe clinical course compared with the adolescent group (13–18 years). In conclusion, our patients showed distinctive features in clinical phenotypes, disease severity and affected body parts compared with previous reports. We also found that clinical application of systemic therapies were limited considering the severe disease state of our patients, demanding a need for more research on treatment of pediatric psoriasis.