Answering Questions about Juvenile Arthritis
When most people think of arthritis, they usually picture an older person who struggles with this
disease. Most people know that arthritis means joint inflammation, but most people don’t know that it
can affect younger people as well.
The full name of this disease that is related to arthritis that appears in children is called juvenile
idiopathic arthritis. There are several different types of diseases that full under the category of arthritis-
related juvenile diseases.
Juvenile Idiopathic and Lupus
One such disease is called juvenile dermatomyositis. This disease is very debilitating, causing many of
the muscles in a child’s body to weaken.
With this disease, rashes usually appear on the eyelids on knuckles as well. Because this disease causes
muscles to weaken, it can often be difficult for a child suffering from this disease to run and play with
other children their age.
Studies have shown that about 1 in 5 children suffer from
arthritis, but it is often a very mild form of the disease. Still,
arthritis can limit many children from being as active as they
would like to be.
Another form arthritis-related disease in children is called juvenile
lupus. Lupus is a disease of the immune system.
Symptoms of lupus are varied, but generally include a butterfly-shaped rash over the bridge of the nose
and the cheeks, and pain in the joints and chest. People suffering from lupus often are very sensitive to
sunlight as well.
Another arthritis-related disease that develops in children is called juvenile scleroderma. The name of
this disease literally means “hard skin.”
Basically what happens is the skin on the child becomes hard and
tightens on their body. There are two main forms of scleroderma,
a localized form and a more widespread form.
The form that appears more often in children is the localized form.
This form only affects the skin of the body, not the internal organs.
There is no real pattern in how the skin changes in children who have scleroderma, just that changes do
occur. Oftentimes the skin will get either thicker or thinner, lighter or darker.
Usually, however, the skin usually becomes shiny. These skin changes can occur anywhere on the body,
but they usually occur on the arms, legs, and trunk of the child.
Yet another arthritis-related disease that occurs in children is called Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki disease
is particularly debilitating because it is usually followed by heart problems.
Kawasaki disease first manifests itself usually with a high fever. Then a rash, swelling, or redness will
usually appear around the hands and feet.
Then peeling will follow around the area where the rash had developed. Something scary about
Kawasaki disease is that juvenile arthritis can quickly develop from this condition.
Another scary thing about Kawasaki disease is that many children experience inflammation of the blood
vessels, which can lead to serious heart problems later in life. If you are currently worried about an
arthritis-related disease that your child may have, consult with Dr. Hofmann at Hofmann Institute.
Dr. Hofmann is trained in the symptom recognition and treatment for arthritis and arthritis-related
diseases. He can help you and your family get the help that you need.