Pediatric dermatologists are trained to diagnose and manage a variety of skin conditions in infants and children. This includes rashes, skin bumps and growths, and skin infections.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a dry itchy skin rash that can develop during infancy and early childhood. Commonly affected areas include the skin folds of the elbows, knees, and wrists. In many cases eczema improves over time; however, some people require long-term treatment into adulthood. The itch associated with eczema can affect quality of sleep and attention at school. Treatment focuses on gentle fragrance-free skin care and hydration, trigger avoidance, infection prevention, and control of inflammation and itching. This may be accomplished with over the counter moisturizers, prescription creams to calm inflammation, antihistamines for itch, and in more severe cases, oral medications prescribed by a dermatologist.
Keratosis pilaris is a common rough and bumpy skin condition that typically affects the upper arms, thighs, buttock, and cheeks. This condition is common in childhood, and often improves over time. Treatment is not necessary unless the bumps are itchy or otherwise bothersome. Keratosis pilaris has been associated with dry skin and eczema, and treatment focuses on gentle skin care, exfoliation, and skin hydration. Dermatologists use a combination of over the counter and prescription creams to moisturize the skin and smooth the bumps. This condition requires long-term treatment to maintain results.
Impetigo is a common bacterial skin infection that is very contagious and can spread quickly on the skin. It causes yellow crusting, red sores, and fluid-filled blisters. It is often seen in children and athletes (especially in contact sports), or in people with skin conditions that cause breaks in the skin. Impetigo may be treated with antibacterial creams or pills depending on severity, to prevent deeper infections and further spread.
Moles are benign growths on the skin that begin to appear in childhood, and it is common to see new moles developing through the teen years and young adulthood. Moles may get larger as a child grows, and may lighten or darken over time. It is important to see a pediatric dermatologist if a mole develops rapid changes, does not look like other spots on the skin, is bleeding, or any has other concerning features. Pediatric dermatologists will monitor children closely who have more than 50-100 moles, very large birthmarks, or who have a parent with a history of melanoma skin cancer.