LET’S TALK TINY HUMAN SKIN
Dr. Natasha Tungare (PT)
From being a delicate canvas to shield our body to becoming a mirror of human health, human skin tends to be the largest organ of the body. Did you know that 70.24% of patients that present with skin diseases are children aged 0-5 years? Any parent will tell you that their kids’ skin is different from their own; it is innately sensitive, susceptible to rashes, irritation, eczema, and inflammation. So today, let us delve into this intriguing topic of some rare to common skin disorders in children.
Acne, a prevalent skin disorder which is an unwelcoming companion that often accompanies a child enters pubertal phase. It emerges due to a combination of factors, primarily by excess of sebum production, excess bacterial growth, inflammation and clogging of hair follicles. The treatment approaches for Acne Vulgaris depend on severity and skin type. Topical lotion, gel and ointments which contain benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and salicylic acid have proven to be effective.
Genodermatoses is a group of inherited disorders with systemic involvement. To elaborate some:
1. Ichthyosis: Abnormal skin scaling and thickening due to genetic mutations.
2. Epidermolysis Bullosa: Blister formation from mutated skin proteins.
3. Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Pigmented skin lesions, tumors, and systemic issues.
4. Xeroderma Pigmentosum: Extreme UV sensitivity, sunburn, and skin cancer risk.
5. Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC): Facial growths, hypopigmentation, multisystem involvement.
6. Albinism: Hypopigmentation, sun sensitivity, increased skin cancer risk.
7. Pachyonychia Congenita: Thick nails, skin, mouth patches due to keratin gene mutations.
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Atopic dermatitis, commonly referred to as eczema, is one of the most prevalent skin conditions among children. It’s characterized by red, itchy, and inflamed skin patches. Eczema can vary in severity, with symptoms often worsened by factors like allergies, irritants, and climate changes. Genetic predisposition also plays a significant role in its development. Emollients, topical corticosteroids, and avoiding triggers are primary strategies for managing eczema.
Diaper rash is a familiar condition that affects infants and toddlers. It occurs due to prolonged exposure to wetness, friction, and irritants in the diaper area. The rash appears as redness,
inflammation, and sometimes even small bumps or blisters. Preventive measures like frequent diaper changes, using gentle wipes, and applying barrier creams can help alleviate and avoid diaper rash.
Cradle cap, medically known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis, often affects newborns. It appears as scaly patches on the baby’s scalp, resembling a yellowish or brownish crust. The exact cause isn’t clear, but it’s believed to be related to overactive oil glands and a yeast called Malassezia. Gentle washing and using a soft brush to remove the scales can help manage cradle cap.
Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that results in small, flesh-colored or pearly bumps with a dimple in the center. It’s highly contagious and spreads through direct contact. While the bumps usually clear up on their own over time, they can be removed through procedures like cryotherapy, curettage, or topical treatments if necessary.
Hives are raised, itchy welts on the skin that can be triggered by allergies, infections, medications, or stress. They can vary in size and shape and may appear and disappear suddenly. Most cases of hives resolve on their own, but if they persist or are accompanied by severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, medical attention is essential.
Certain viral infections, such as chickenpox, measles, and roseola, can cause characteristic rashes in children. Chickenpox results in itchy blisters, measles presents with red spots and high fever, and roseola causes a pinkish rash after a high fever. Vaccinations have significantly reduced the prevalence of these viral infections, but early identification and medical care are crucial when they do occur.
Pediatric skin conditions are diverse and can be distressing for both children and parents. Proper care, hygiene, and vigilance are vital in preventing and managing these conditions. While many of these conditions resolve on their own or with basic treatments, seeking medical advice is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. As children’s skin is delicate and sensitive, a proactive approach can help ensure the overall well-being and comfort of the youngest members of our society.
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4. Website- kidshealth.com