The most common pediatric skin conditions:
Intertrigo is an inflammatory condition that appears between the folds of the skin, including the diaper area. It is caused by friction, heat, moisture, and an alkaline environment. The skin’s horny layer becomes macerated, which leads to an inflammatory reaction: oozing, bright red skin patches in flexures, such as neck creases, armpits, and genital area. Yeast (Candida Albicans) or bacterial infection might occur once the skin layer gets damaged.
Advice: After taking a shower or bath, carefully wipe the folds around the baby’s neck, as well as flexures (armpits and genital area). Apply a thin layer of a skincare cream. Treat flexures with baby powder.
Atopic dermatitis is a genetically predisposed chronic and recurrent eczema that is characterized by itchy and dry skin. Many factors may trigger this disease: allergy, moisture, cold weather, emotional stress, sweat or soap irritation, as well as irritation caused by wearing wool or synthetic clothes.
The first symptoms may appear as early as in the third month and become visible on the cheeks, forehead, chin, scalp, joint folds (knee and elbow pit), and neck, in the form of red, irregularly shaped patches of skin that have small bumps and crusts on the surface.
Advice: Use a baby soap or a medicinal product intended for children with atopic dermatitis (oil baths), and dab the skin with a soft terry towel. After showering, apply medicinal cream to your child’s skin. Dress the child in cotton, brightly-colored clothes. Avoid overdressing.
Papular urticaria, also known as strophulus infantum, is an acute skin disease that develops in children aged 2-7 years who are hypersensitive to the insect bites (fleas and mosquitoes). The disease typically occurs during summer and fall. The most common symptom is the appearance of vesicles on top of the red skin patches, followed by an intense itching sensation. Mosquito bites are known to affect arms and legs, while flea bites may affect the torso. Babies tend to develop papules on their palms and soles.
Miliaria, or heat rash, usually occurs during summer months, due to excessive sweating. The symptoms include small circumscribed papules that might be followed by an itch and appear on a child’s face, neck, armpits, and torso.
Impetigo contagiosa is a contagious skin disease that affects the superficial layer of the epidermis. It is common in children and caused by bacteria (streptococci and staphylococci). It occurs in warm months and is likely to affect the existing skin lesions, injuries, or insect bites. It is characterized by blisters filled with cloudy fluid, followed by yellow and green crusts that appear on top of the red skin patches. Impetigo contagiosa typically affects the face, scalp, arms, and legs.
Advice: Schedule a doctor’s appointment to receive proper therapy.
VERRUCAE PLANAE JUVENILES:
Skin-colored or slightly darker flat papules with a round base that are caused by a virus and appear on a child’s forehead, chin, cheeks, and hands. For treatment and removal of these papules schedule a doctor’s appointment.
Moluscum contagiosum is an easily transmittable skin disease characterized by smooth, raised, watery warts that usually affect a child’s torso, face, arms, and legs. These skin changes should be treated at a doctor’s office.
A contagious parasitic skin disease characterized by itchiness (that intensifies during the night) and typically affects the whole family. A pimple-like rash usually appears between the fingers, on the inside of the wrists, armpits, waist, stomach, and thighs. Face, palms, and soles might be involved in children who are two or younger. It is easily transmitted, so the whole family should be treated.
SOLAR ERYTHEMA – SUNBURN:
Excessive sun damage during childhood is considered to be one of the leading causes of skin cancer later in life. Keep your little one out of the sun, especially between 11 A.M. and 4 P.M. Always use sunscreen and reapply it every two hours and after swimming. Use a sunscreen that is recommended for children.
Is there anything better than watching your baby having fun, smiling, and playing with water and bath bubbles right before bedtime?
We all enjoy these moments with our children and try to make their childhood as great as possible. However, the majority of children have sensitive, dry-prone skin and taking a long hot foam bath is not advisable. Instead, opt for a quick, warm shower, and use a baby soap for sensitive skin. If you insist on using the tub, keep bath times short. Add baby oil or use bath products for dry, atopic skin. After the bath, make sure to apply a moisturizing, emollient cream.
Your child’s room should be properly aired and the temperature should be comfortable, not too hot. The air should not be too dry since it causes the appearance of cracks, itchiness, redness, and scratching, which might lead to various dermatological issues.
Written by Sunčica Živković, spec. dermatovenerologist