Even the children with mild psoriasis were more likely to be overweight.
Which condition drives the other? "My speculation is that they are heavy and that psoriasis is part of the metabolic disease," she said.
Experts know that an overproduction in the body of substances called inflammatory cytokines is associated with both obesity and psoriasis in adults. So inflammation may drive both disorders, according to Paller.
When obese adults with psoriasis lose a lot of weight, their psoriasis may go into remission, studies suggest.
The new research findings suggest that dermatologists need to have a more ''holistic'' approach when treating kids with psoriasis, Paller said. "You can't just jump in and treat them with systemic medications or topical," she said. Doctors have to heed weight issues, she added.
In agreement is Dr. Ana M. Duarte, director of pediatric dermatology at Miami Children's Hospital. She reviewed the study findings.
"What I took away from this is, we need to get a handle on obesity in this country," Duarte said.
The research findings seem to reflect what she sees in her practice. "Thinking back, some of my obese patients have more severe disease," she said. "The milder are not as obese."
For parents, the best advice is to seek a doctor's care, said Dr. Lawrence Green, chair of the research committee for the National Psoriasis Foundation. "Whether your child is overweight, has psoriasis, or both, please seek help from your doctor (for weight advice) or your dermatologist for help in treating psoriasis because both conditions cause chronic inflammation in the body and this can lead to heart and other metabolic disease in their future," he said.
Another dermatologist discussed the study's implications.
"This paper highlights the clear association between obesity and psoriasis," said Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. While it is unclear which
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