Skin Conditions Child

As a parent, protecting your child’s health is likely a top priority. While it is vital to protect your child from such infectious diseases as mumps, chickenpox and the stomach flu, it is just as important to protect your child from harmful skin conditions. After all, the skin is the largest organ of the human body. Therefore, protecting your child’s delicate skin is of the utmost importance.

As children’s skin is often more sensitive than the skin of an adult, it is often more susceptible to rashes, including heat rashes and childhood eczema. A rash is simply a reaction of the skin. Rashes can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • a drug
  • a virus
  • an allergen
  • an infection.

Interestingly, rashes that are caused by different things often look the same. Thus, it can be difficult for a parent or a physician to pinpoint the cause of certain rashes.

While most rashes will subside on their own and without treatment, some rashes can be a symptom of a serious health condition. Therefore, it is important to let your child’s pediatrician know if your child develops a rash that does not clear in a timely manner or if the rash is accompanied by other symptoms, such as shortness of breath.

In this section, we’ll discuss a number of childhood skin conditions. We’ll discuss the underlying causes of skin conditions and also list treatment options and ways you can protect your child.

Childhood Eczema

Eczema is an itchy, scaly, irritating rash that can affect babies, children and adults. Childhood eczema affects 10 percent to 15 percent of all children in the United States, including 1.5 million children under the age of 2.

Although 90 percent of childhood eczema appears before the age of 5, the first symptoms typically begin appearing during infancy. The characteristic symptom of eczema is a rash that is red, itchy and scaly. The affected skin becomes extremely dry, enhancing the itchiness. In some cases, the itch is so bad that chronic scratching causes the skin to look leathery. If the skin becomes infected, it may crack and the rash may develop a wet appearance.

The good news is that 40 to 50 percent of children outgrow childhood eczema.

Diaper Rash

At some time or other, most babies will experience diaper rash. Due to the moisture of urine that gets trapped in a diaper and the rubbing of the diaper against a baby’s delicate skin, diaper rash is almost impossible to avoid. While many parents think wet diapers are the sole cause of diaper rash, irritation that leads to diaper rash can be caused by any of the following:

  • baby wipes
  • diapers that are left on too long
  • diapers that fit too tightly
  • soap used to wash cloth diapers.

Once a baby develops diaper rash, he is more likely to develop other skin conditions, including a yeast infection. Therefore, it is important to take the proper steps to avoid diaper rash.

Heat Rash

Many parents agree that it is often hard to tell if an infant is too cold or hot, especially when they are too young to talk and cannot tell you if they are uncomfortable. One clear indication that your child is dressed too warmly is the appearance of a heat rash.

Children develop heat rashes when they sweat so much that their pores clog, preventing sweat from escaping. This usually happens in weather conditions that are hot and humid and when clothes are too heavy or too tight. Since babies have smaller pores than adults, they’re especially prone to heat rash.

Resources

Gibson, William A. (2006). Skin Rashes in Children. Retrieved Sept. 6, 2007, from the eMedicineHealth Web site: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/skin_rashes_in_children/article_em.htm.