Understanding the causes of pediatric dermatology issues may allow parents to prevent them in some cases. Every child wants to avoid the discomfort and embarrassment of having something different from everyone else. Our world-class providers at Derick Dermatology understand that seeming the same as others lets children achieve a sense of safety and security. Our approach to treating any skin problem can help children cope with issues as they occur.
Dry, flaky and itchy skin may occur in almost 25 percent of the pediatric population, usually by age 5. About half outgrow it by adulthood. The exact cause remains unknown, but a break in the skin can allow the initial onset of eczema. Often a hereditary condition, irritants can cause the miserable condition as well. When eczema develops, it deprives the skin to serve as a barrier. As the skin loses water easily, it lets bacteria, allergens, and viruses enter the body. As a result, the immune system responds by making the skin red and itchy.
Prevention of eczema comes in two forms that children may find pleasing. Regular applications of moisturizer reduced its occurrence by 50 percent in a controlled study. Getting the attention of mom or dad and a soothing coat of moisturizer may produce an enjoyable effect. However, an option even more pleasing to most children occurs with the addition of a dog to the home before the child’s first birthday. In homes where a parent has asthma, hay fever or eczema, the risk of a child developing eczema before age four decreases.
Children and teens seem more likely to get a wart than other groups. Any child who bites their nails increases the risk of getting one, and hangnails make it more likely as well. Our dermatologists can treat warts that cause pain or bother the child in some way. In addition, warts that multiply quickly may need attention. Otherwise, children’s warts often disappear without treatment. The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts, usually occurring on a cut or scrape. Highly contagious, they can spread by touching one on someone else or a cloth that the wart touched.
Prevention of warts can start with not letting a child touch someone’s wart. Children need their own towels, washcloths, socks and all personal items separate from anyone else. Covering a wart can protect others from contacting any surface where HPV lives. Nail biting can cause tears in the skin that allow an entry point for the virus. Flip-flops can provide more protection than shoes for feet around swimming pools and other warm and damp areas. A wart on the foot may become the plantar variety, an extremely painful condition.
The reasons that some people seem more likely to get acne continue to puzzle scientists, but research points to hormones as a cause. The fact remains that acne can start at an early age. Our dermatologists see patients in the 7 to 12 age range. When it begins within the first six weeks of life, it may go away without treatment. However, it probably needs treatment when it occurs after six weeks. Newborns can develop neonatal acne, a condition that goes away without scarring and without increasing the risk of reoccurrence later in life. Infantile acne, though rare, can begin in children during the first six months.
Preventing pediatric acne may require limiting the intake of dairy. Avoiding soaps that affect sensitive skin and heavily perfumed air fresheners may help avoid the condition. Nursing mothers may pass along hormonal disturbances, but the research remains unclear.
New moles appear may appear on a child’s skin during childhood and adolescence as an ordinary type of skin growth. They may get bigger as the child grows, either becoming lighter or darker. Clusters of pigmented cells create them, but some moles fade and disappear.
Preventing concerns about pediatric moles requires staying aware of changes. Any that grows or changes quickly needs a dermatologist’s opinion. Shape matters in identifying problematic moles. For example, a dome shape or a jagged border and different colors in a mole can mean a potential risk. Most moles stay at the same size as a pencil eraser, but some children have much larger ones that need an examination. Encouraging children to become aware of moles can contribute to healthy outcomes.
We honor a commitment to our founder, who set a standard of excellence for service to the community. Her belief that exposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer led to the donation of an elementary shade structure to help protect children as they play outdoors.
Prevention requires seeking shade, wearing lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat with sunglasses. Regular self-exams for skin cancer can detect potential issues that our skilled professionals at Derick Dermatology can resolve. It may help to remember that any tanning event damages the skin, ages it, and increases the risk of skin cancer.
DERMATOLOGY NEAR ME
Derick Dermatology is a leading authority in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatological services with 23 stunning dermatology practices in Chicago, IL, and Tampa Bay, FL. Our dedicated dermatologists offer exceptional dermatological services for both adult and pediatric patients. Please complete our online form or call our main number at (866) 337-4251 to schedule a consultation.