The skin of babies and children is more delicate than that of adults and they often have skin alterations such as rashes or lesions that make parents alarmed and go to the paediatrician’s office. But there are times when these skin alterations need to be reviewed by a pediatric dermatology expert to assess and treat the condition. They are diverse, frequent and benign but sometimes disabling and annoying for both the child and the family so their recognition and treatment is important.
Among the most common cases of consultation in pediatric dermatology we can highlight 4 that occupy the first places. Atopic dermatitis, is an allergic reaction characterized by symptoms such as dry skin, redness, cracks, itching. Atopic dermatitis usually occurs more in children, between 2 and 6 months of age, although it can appear at any stage of life. As the child grows, the lesions change shape and appear in different places. Most commonly, they appear on the scalp, face, trunk, elbows, and knees as children. In childhood and early adolescence, the lesions appear on the feet, flexor areas (anterior elbow crease, posterior knee crease), and neck. Atopic dermatitis affects up to 20% of the pediatric population in developed countries. It is a very common viral infection in children under 5 years old. Also known as “water wart” it is produced by a virus member of the Poxvirus family. Molluscum warts, being a viral infection, can disappear on their own over a period of months to years although the lesions usually multiply and cause considerable discomfort. It is usually spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or through contaminated objects, such as towels, clothes, or toys.
Viral warts are most commonly found on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, although they can appear on any skin or mucosal surface. This HPV infection affects 10% of the population and is most prevalent in children with atopic dermatitis. Impetigo is characterized by yellow or golden scabs that usually appear on the face, upper trunk, and arms. In children it can also appear in the nose area. This skin infection caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus is very contagious and it proliferates more when temperatures increase and children start going to the beach or swimming pools.