Bullying: When The Pain Of Psoriasis Is More Than Physical

Children can be cruel

That old social axiom, “children can be cruel,” has never been truer in this age of online bullying and social media sniping.  Sadly, more often than not, the daily news is replete with stories of online torment and social ostracization, for the slightest of social faux pas; resulting in cases of complete despair and tragedy for those targeted.

Additionally, as the nation grasps for answers to explain the rise in school violence, “being bullied” is frequently cited as a trigger for action by the perpetrator.

Singling out the “other” in another person is certainly not new and it represents an old formula for bullying since time immortal.  The easiest thing for a craven tormenter to do is point out perceived differences for the purposes of mockery, and the emotional scars can be devastating.

That’s why a disease like plaque psoriasis can serve as a beacon for abuse owing to the physical manifestation of the disease.

Although not contagious, children afflicted with this chronic skin condition are at risk of not only the physical discomfort occasioned by the disease, but also the mental turmoil caused by childhood bullying.

Signs of Psoriasis

According to WebMD, psoriasis is little understood by experts but they believe that abnormalities in the body’s immune system are at the root cause of the disease.  Showing a genetic disposition, the condition is known to run in families although it is also known to skip generations.

Psoriasis can present as plaques of red skin, which is often layered with loose, lighter-colored scales that are itchy and painful.  Left untreated, the dry skin tends to crack and bleed, which expands the condition over a larger areas of the body.

Normally, psoriasis affects the knees, elbows, and scalp, but can appear on torsos, hands, and feet. Additionally, other physical manifestations include discolored finger and toenails, as well as nails that detach from the nail bed.

Various triggers, from streptococcal infection to emotional stress can activate an outbreak, and while uncomfortable and embarrassing, psoriasis treatment for children is available and patients respond well to various treatment regimens.

Needless to say, for children confronted with the condition, the added stress of social bullying makes recovering from an episode more difficult.

Signs of Bullying

Unlike the obvious signs of psoriasis, the mental scars occasioned by bullying because of the condition can remain hidden deep within the child’s psychology for years.  Frequently, that pain goes unaddressed by the child and unnoticed by the parent.

To recognize the signs of bullying, parents need to be aware of the subtle shifts in their child’s temperament that might indicate that they are subject to the slings and barbs of schoolyard bullying.

Owing to the physical characteristics of the disease, an outbreak can put a target on your child that bullies will aim towards.

A study conducted under the auspices of the United States Department of Education’s, Partnership in Character Education Program, points out that more than 160,000 students skip school each day because they fear the taunts, jibes and abuse of bullies.

As a concerned parent, you already recognize the readily available signs that signal an outbreak of psoriasis, now you need to attune yourself to the emotional pain caused by bullying, which are so much more difficult to discern.

+Dr.Lee  Eberting has developed a sensitive skin care product line which she blogs about regularly at cherlyleemd.com