7 Common Pediatric Skin Conditions Parents Should Know

pediatric skin conditions

There are many common pediatric skin conditions that pediatric dermatologists are trained to diagnose and manage in infants and children.  This includes eczema, rashes, skin bumps and growths, and skin infections.  There are seven very common pediatric skin conditions for parents to be aware of so that their child can get the proper diagnosis and treatment from board-certified pediatric dermatologists.

1. Acne

Acne is a very common skin condition affecting millions of Americans of all ages but can be particularly troublesome in the pediatric population. It is caused by a complex interaction of clogged pores, oil production, inflammation, and bacteria. Acne can lead to skin discoloration and permanent scarring, even without picking at pimples. Acne can affect a person’s self-confidence, and patients treated for their acne often report higher quality of life once their skin begins to improve.

Dermatologists have many treatments designed to improve acne including medicated washes, creams, and pills. Used in various combinations over time, these treatments can yield excellent results for most people. However, in some cases these standard therapies are not enough, and a stronger treatment method may be prescribed by a dermatologist.

2. Warts 

Warts are contagious skin growths caused by a virus in the skin. Warts can appear on any area of the body, but often on the hands, feet, or face. Some warts do not require treatment; however, a dermatologist may treat warts that are stubborn, painful, or spreading. Treatment can take several months, and options include in-office application of liquid nitrogen, surgical removal, or at-home application of anti-viral medication and/or salicylic acid

3. Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a contagious bumpy rash on the skin caused by a virus. These bumps may appear almost anywhere on the body, though most commonly in the skin folds of the underarms, back of knees, and groin. This condition is benign and does not require treatment in mild cases. A pediatric dermatologist may treat molluscum to limit spread to other areas of the body, control itching, reduce transmission to others (ex. athletes in contact sports), and minimize potential for scarring. Treatment options include in-office application of liquid nitrogen or cantharidin, surgical removal, or at-home application of anti-viral creams.

4. Eczema

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. Usually eczema can improve over time; however, some people require long-term treatment into adulthood. Treatment focuses on gentle fragrance-free skin care and hydration, trigger avoidance, infection prevention, and control of inflammation and itching. Treatment options include over the counter moisturizers, prescription creams for inflammation, antihistamines for itch, and in more severe cases, oral medications prescribed by a dermatologist.

5. Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a common rough and bumpy skin condition typically found on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. This condition 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.

6. Impetigo

Impetigo is a common bacterial skin infection that is 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.

7. Moles

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 they 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.

When looking for a local pediatric dermatology provider to discuss pediatric skin conditions, there can be a lot to consider. Your child’s health is very important, and you want to find a physician with deep knowledge and someone who has experience providing dermatologic care for children. At Vujevich Dermatology Associates, we’re proud to have Dr. Elizabeth J. Froelich in our practice. Dr. Froelich is board certified in both dermatology and pediatric dermatology and is one of the few pediatric dermatologists in the Pittsburgh area.

Vujevich Dermatology Associates offers medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology from some of the most highly trained physicians and clinicians in the greater Pittsburgh area.  You can reach our team at 412-429-2570 or visit our contact page to see all of our locations. You can also follow us on Facebook to see what’s new in the world of dermatology.

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