There are several common skin problems in children that can manifest throughout childhood. Many of these skin problems look the same and may need to be diagnosed by a doctor. Read on for all you need to know about the most common skin issues in kids and how to treat them.
Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a chronic skin condition that is common in babies and children. Symptoms include dry, itchy, scaly patches of skin that can become infected.
Eczema flares can be exacerbated by a number of triggers, including food allergies, heat, sweat, fragrances, chemicals, dust, dander, and pollen.
Eczema can be painful and difficult to get under control, often requiring the assistance of a dermatologist or other professional. Treatment includes moisturizing and avoiding triggers.
Cradle cap (also known as seborrheic dermatitis) is a form of eczema caused by the combination of an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp and excess oil production. Cradle cap most often presents as yellow scaly patches on the head that may be accompanied by a red rash.
Although it is most common in infants, older children can still struggle with cradle cap. Cradle cap often goes away on its own but may require topical treatments in order to clear up a flare.
Rosacea is another chronic skin condition that, like eczema, often manifests itself in flare-ups.
Triggers include heat, the sun, spicy foods, stress, hot drinks, and some medications. Having a family history of rosacea can make it more likely to present in your child as well.
Symptoms of rosacea in kids include redness, pimples, and broken blood vessels, most often in the face. It may present as flushed cheeks similar to blushing. Without treatment, redness can become permanent, as the blood vessels are affected. Rosacea may also affect the eyes.
Rosacea can be managed by avoiding triggers, but severe rosacea may require medication.
Contact dermatitis and other allergic reactions like hives can be caused by a variety of irritants, including plants, metals, soaps and detergents, perfumes, lotions, and certain foods.
Contact dermatitis often looks like scaly red patches of skin that may blister. Treatment includes thoroughly washing the skin to get rid of the irritant and moisturizing as necessary.
Although not caused by a worm at all, ringworm is still an itchy and painful skin condition that often requires medical treatment. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection that causes rashes, bumps, and red scaly patches. It may have a circular ring pattern, which is how it got its name.
Ringworm is most often treated with over-the-counter creams, sprays, or powders, although in more serious cases, oral medication may be needed to help get the infection under control.
Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that can look alarming but is relatively mild. Impetigo occurs most commonly in young children ages 2 to 5 and often spreads rapidly in childcare settings. It may also develop around the nose and mouth after a cold or other illness.
Impetigo consists of red, itchy sores that may break open and leak fluid or pus. Once these sores rupture, they develop a yellow or brown crust that makes impetigo very easy to identify.
Treatment typically includes oral or topical antibiotics and proper hygiene to prevent the bacteria from spreading.
Many kids develop hormonal acne when they start to go through puberty, usually between the ages of 10 and 13. Breakouts most commonly occur on the face, back, and chest.
Treatment of acne in kids includes a commitment to proper hygiene and the use of medicated cleansers with active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid (be sure to check with your child’s pediatrician before using these products on children).
Baby acne is also common in newborns, especially on the face, but usually goes away within the first three months of life. Most over-the-counter treatments are too harsh for babies, so see your child’s pediatrician if their acne doesn’t clear up on its own.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s skin issues, give us a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly board-certified pediatricians.