Children’s skin is significantly more sensitive than adult skin, which is the reason why a special branch of dermatology – children’s dermatology – is focused on children. The discipline is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diseases in children. As a parent, it is necessary to monitor all changes in the skin and to consult a pediatrician in case of any suspicious changes.
Therefore, one of the most important things is not to diagnose yourself, but to leave it to professionals. At our polyclinic, the examination of children with dermatological changes is performed by the experienced and expeditious doctor Divna Radulović, who is adored by children. Once the diagnosis is established based on previously performed analyses, treatment can begin.
There are special dermatological diseases that are related to babies and older children, and we will focus on them in the following sections. We will talk about the symptoms of the diseases that should alert you. The following are some of the most common skin diseases in children.
One of the most serious children’s skin diseases is certainly atopic dermatitis, because it cannot be easily controlled and there is no cure for it. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition that affects about 10% of the world’s population.
Of these, the largest percentage of children (90%) have their first symptoms before the age of five. Girls contract it more often than boys. Its exact cause are unknown; they are believed to be related to genetics, polluted air (more developed and more polluted areas significantly increase the risk), mother’s age (the older the mother, the greater the risk of the child getting dermatitis).
Symptoms include itching, irritation, extremely dry skin, redness, flaking of the skin, inflammatory processes. In babies, inflamed skin usually appears on the cheeks, forehead, and chin. It can also spread throughout the body, on the neck, chest, legs, buttocks…
You will notice that eczema appears before any type of change: that of the weather, decreased immunity, increased pollution, maladjusted diet. Babies are particularly irritable and nervous during the inflammatory phase.
Treatment is focused on prolonging the quiescent phases and reducing the influences that could cause inflammation. That includes applying creams specially designed for atopic skin, constant hydration with emollients (regardless of the product in question), adjusting the diet and daily care.
In addition, here at our polyclinic we have been successfully applying the Bicom diagnostics and therapies for years, which have no harmful effect on children and adolescents. With this device, we determine with utmost certainty what loads from the external environment disturb the child’s immune system, as well as what foods the child is sensitive, intolerant, or allergic to. For years, we have had great success in treating children with skin changes and eczema. You can read more about all that in our Quantum Medicine section.
Vascular anomalies occur in 2% to 10% of the child population. They can usually be noticed already at the birth of the child and grow together with him. They occur three times more often in girls than in boys.
One of the most common forms of vascular malformations encountered by pediatric dermatologists is nevus flammeus. This is an anomaly of growing skin blood vessels. They appear in different places on the body, but most often on the face. They are usually red, look inflamed and swollen, and can also appear as pink spots.
If left untreated, they can turn purple over time and take the form of a nodule. Nervus flammeus is also known here as a ‘stork bite’ or ‘wine mole’.
That skin condition can be successfully removed with a yellow laser. The laser gradually warms the diseased tissue, affecting the calming and reduction of capillaries. The possibility of healing is greatly increased if laser therapy is started in the first year of life.
It is much more likely that sunburn, or solar erythema, will become malignant in children than in adults. Children’s skin is particularly sensitive and soft, it dries easily, disrupting its natural balance.
Therefore, during the summer months, when UV radiation is at its highest, one should avoid direct contact with the sun’s rays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Therefore, if you are going to the sea, it is best to go swimming with your children in the early morning or early evening.
Umbrellas or shade are no guarantee that the child will not get sunburned. Indirect radiation can be even stronger than direct radiation.
Be sure to apply creams with a protective factor. Keep in mind that higher protection factors do not mean greater protection, but longer protection. Factor 50 does not protect any better than factor 30, but longer. Lubrication is necessary several times a day and must be done after getting out of the water.
Therefore, when it comes to children’s sunburns, you must focus on prevention and do your best to avoid them. If they do occur, we recommend that you visit a pediatrician who will advise you on how to properly care for your child’s skin.
Scabies is a skin disease caused by the parasite sarcoptes scabiei, better known as the itch mite. Children have a much higher chance of getting this dermatological disease due to staying in closed spaces such as nurseries, kindergartens or preschools, with other children as carriers.
Itch mites are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, so they can be spread while children play. Another way of transmission in children is through clothes, blankets, using the same towels, touching the furniture on which the infected child was sitting.
Therefore, the itch mite is very easily transmitted, and the incubation lasts from two to six weeks. Therefore, when the first symptoms appear, it is necessary to treat the whole family.
The first symptoms of scabies are night itching, which occurs because the female itch mite digs tunnels in the skin during the night to lay her eggs, causing severe itching and irritation.
About three weeks after the infection has occurred on thinner areas of the skin (on the hands, the inside of the elbows, etc.), pustules and scabs begin to appear, which can also be itchy. In some cases, ulcers and suppurations also appear.
Treatment involves isolating the person, as well as other family members who are potentially in a state of incubation. Scabicidal agents are applied – creams and tonics prescribed by the children’s dermatologist. Bedding and clothes must be washed at a temperature of 90 degrees to kill the eggs. It is recommended to wash your hands frequently, as well as to sterilize the furniture and all the rooms where the infected person has stayed.
The treatment itself is relatively easy, since scabicides are quite effective, so your child will feel the symptom withdrawal after a few days.
Acne vulgaris in teenagers
One of the most common skin conditions that significantly affect your teenager’s self-confidence is acne. That is why it is necessary to start treatment and adjust the diet and care in time. In that way, you can avoid the appearance of scars.
There are several factors that affect the appearance of acne. Some of them are genetically determined: if both parents had acne during puberty, there is a chance of over 60% that the child will have it too. Hormonal imbalance and sebum secretion can lead to clogged pores, which is an ideal environment for the development of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria.
Other factors may include medications that are not good for the skin, poor diet (dairy products in particular are thought to worsen the condition), smoking, high levels of stress, use of harsh cosmetic products.
Acne represents an inflammatory condition in which the skin is inflamed, swollen, with a large number of pustules, papules, cysts, blackheads, and blocked comedones. The skin is oily due to increased secretion of sebum, and the face may become shiny.
This disease is quite painful, and the treatment can take quite a long time until the right formula is found that suits your teenager’s skin type and the nature of their acne. It is only important to be persistent and use cosmetic products and antibiotics prescribed by a dermatologist.
The good news is that acne can be successfully treated and completely removed. The treatment can be so successful that after the treatment there is no indication that they were there at all.
Of course, there are many other skin diseases that are most frequently manifested in children. Some of them are Molluscum contagiosum, verrucae planae juvenils, strophulus infantum, malaria… It is important that you react immediately to any change you notice on your little one’s skin. A false alarm is far better than ignoring the disease.