CHILDREN’S DERMATOLOGY: COMMON SKIN CONDITIONS IN KIDS - MCR Health

CHILDREN’S DERMATOLOGY: COMMON SKIN CONDITIONS IN KIDS

Did you know that adults aren’t the only ones who have skin problems? It’s true! Children of all ages can also have skin conditions that itch, irritate, burn, or worse. But it’s hard to know when a marking on your child’s skin is normal or if it’s cause for alarm. That’s where we can help! 

While there are many minor conditions that clear up in a matter of days, there are some skin conditions that every parent should know about and be on the lookout for.

And after reading this article, you’ll be able to identify the most common types of dermatologic conditions and know when it’s time to take your child to a dermatologist.

ECZEMA 

Eczema often appears in young children, and without treatment, the condition can be very uncomfortable.

Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema commonly appears by the age of 5 years old. This condition is so common that The American Academy of Dermatology has stated, “1 in 10 Americans” suffers from it. Symptoms of eczema include things such as dry, itchy, painful skin, and rashes. So the sooner eczema is diagnosed by a dermatologist the sooner treatment can begin.  

The National Eczema Association has determined the most common triggers for eczema in children.

  • Dry skin
  • Irritants
  • Heat and sweating
  • Infection
  • Allergens such as pet dander, pollen or dust

Because triggers of eczema can vary, it’s important for parents to identify potential triggers, so their kids can avoid flare-ups. When flare ups appear, it’s important to act fast! Our specially trained healthcare professionals can help you develop a treatment plan. Quality care for children is available through us! 

While a direct cause of eczema remains unknown, another common skin condition does have an obvious cause: Poison ivy.

Poison Ivy Rash

When it comes to poison ivy, since most children don’t think twice about what’s around them, exposure to this toxic plant is very common.

When contact is made with poison ivy, the skin can develop several painful symptoms. Thankfully, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined a list of symptoms to help parents stay informed and know when to act.

  • A red rash
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Bumps on the skin,
  • Patches
  • Blisters 

In the event of exposure to poison ivy, the CDC advises that first aid care should take place immediately. Once treated, skin affected by poison ivy will usually return to normal within about 5-12 days under normal circumstances.

In general, most kids are less concerned about poison ivy, but as they grow older, they’ll definitely be concerned about another type of skin condition. 

Acne 

Oftentimes, acne first appears during puberty, and according to KidsHealth, this condition can take on the appearance of “whiteheads, blackheads, and red bumps” along the face.

With acne, kids might be self-conscious especially in social settings, so it’s important to treat the condition effectively.

Thankfully, most acne can be treated with ease and is nothing for kids to be embarrassed about. In fact, many parents and young adults have success dealing with acne by using some of the following approaches from Healthline:

  • Applying apple cider vinegar
  • Taking zinc supplements
  • Taking a fish oil supplement
  • Exfoliating regularly
  • Following a low glycemic load diet
  • Cutting back on dairy
  • Reducing stress
  • Exercising regularly

These tips can help just about anyone eliminate their acne at best and improve their acne at worst. But they won’t work for everyone because all skin is unique. If your kid’s acne gets worse, speaking to a dermatologist can always help. 

Hives 

Another common condition with red bumps as a primary symptom is hives. In order to prevent the likelihood of exposure to hives, KidsHealth points out some common causes that parents can watch out for.

  • Allergies to certain foods
  • Exposure to the cold 
  • Exercise
  • Sun exposure
  • Nervousness
  • Infection caused by viruses 

A hive breakout can range from a short mild case to a longer lasting more severe case, in which there may be wheezing, coughing, and trouble breathing. These signs could be an indication of a more serious allergic reaction that requires urgent care. 

Thankfully, in most cases, it’s easy to pinpoint the cause of hives for your kids. Another skin condition that has a fairly clear cause is a common sunburn. 

Sunburns 

It’s great for kids to get some time outside to play in the sun, but too much sun exposure can leave kids sunburned. 

Sunburns are a type of skin irritation that comes from overexposure to the sun. Kids and adults should both exercise caution to reduce skin damage over a lifetime. 

There are a few risk factors that can increase the chances of how soon kids start getting a sunburn, according to WebMD.

  • Skin type 
  • The intensity of the sun
  • The length of exposure to the sun 

While some fairer-skinned kids might be at a greater risk of sun damage than others, anyone exposed to the sun should be cautious, regardless of skin type, heat, and time spent outdoors. Spending too much time in the sun can result in a sunburn, which has a few primary symptoms to watch for. 

  • Reddening of the skin
  • Itchy skin 
  • Irritation of the skin 
  • Peeling of the skin 

As bad as these symptoms are, they’re mild compared to some others. If the burn is bad enough, WebMD warns, potential symptoms can include weakness, swelling, blisters, chills, nausea, headaches, and fevers. 

With a severe sunburn, it’s best to take your child directly to a dermatologist immediately, just in case things become more serious.

When To See A Dermatologist 

While many skin conditions are manageable, the decision to see a dermatologist should be made after considering many personal factors, like pain, insecurity, discomfort, and more. The answer to the question really depends on the child themselves.

Our board-certified dermatologists can assist in providing great care in all divisions of dermatology. Patients and families can find relief at MCR Health from a variety of our dermatology services.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dermatologist to evaluate your child for skin conditions today. 

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