Pediatric Skin Conditions

Few things are worse than seeing your child in distress due to a painful, uncomfortable, or unsightly skin condition. Though many childhood skin problems are temporary or expected, some require the care and treatment of dermatologist. If your child is experiencing a skin issue, your dermatologist can easily evaluate the problem and determine the best course of action to get your child back to their full health.

What are Common Pediatric Skin Conditions?

Fungal Infections

Everyone has skin fungi that lives among the top layer of their skin cells in moist areas of the body, such as diapered areas, between toes, and under the arms. While this fungi is usually harmless, it can sometimes grow out of balance and cause infections. Some fungal infections only create minor irritations, but others can cause uncomfortable scaling, itching, blistering, and swelling. Common pediatric fungal infections include ringworm, tinea versicolor, and one type of diaper dermatitis, also known as diaper rash. Most treatments include antifungal creams or medication.

Viral Infections

Several common childhood skin conditions are caused by viruses known as viral exanthems, which means a skin eruption or rash. Viruses are often very contagious, so it’s important to catch and treat these infections immediately to avoid spreading them to other children. When infected with one of these viruses, patients may suffer from fevers, rashes, hives, sores, and flu-like symptoms. Common pediatric viral infections include:

  • Chickenpox
  • Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease (Coxsackie)
  • Measles or rubeola
  • Rubella
  • Roseola
  • Fifth Disease
  • Warts

Though medication can sometimes soothe the symptoms of a viral infection, most lack a cure. Some are preventable through vaccines and others may be treated through antiviral drugs to lessen the symptoms. Your child’s doctor will determine the best course of action depending on your child’s symptoms and needs.

Parasitic Skin Infections

Since children often interact with their surroundings more than adults, they can be at increased risk for common parasitic infections. These infections are caused when a small worm or insect enters the body to lay eggs or live under the skin. These infections or infestations are also easy to spread, putting children at increased risk during interactions at school or social gatherings. Once infected, patients may experience lesions, rashes, crusty or scaly skin, and itching. Common parasitic infections include:

  • Lice
  • Scabies

If a parasitic infection is suspected, your dermatologist will examine the skin or take a skin sample to inspect for parasites. Once confirmed, they will help you create a treatment plan to cure the infection and prevent its spread or recurrence. Common treatments include topical ointments, antihistamine medication, and medicated lotions and creams.

What Should I Do If I Notice a Skin Problem?

It isn’t unusual to find bumps or red marks on your child’s body, but they may be signs of a pediatric skin condition. If your child complains of excessive itchiness or skin discomfort, displays a rash, or something seems off with their skin, call your dermatologist. They can diagnose and treat any pediatric skin conditions or set your mind at ease about normal occurrences.

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