Skin is the largest human organ and is susceptible to a range of medical conditions and infections. Whilst most people are of the opinion that skin conditions primarily affect adults, the fact is that it can affect anyone, including children, adolescents and newborns. Studies have shown that there are several skin conditions that can commonly present at the time of birth.
Conditions that can affect children:
Here are some of the most common skin problems that can affect children:
Eczema – This is actually a generic name for a range of conditions that can affect the skin and can cause the skin to become inflamed, red, tender or swollen. Conditions such as atopic dermatitis can present itself in the form of an itchy rash, which can appear on almost any part of the body. While the cause of the condition is still unknown, there can be a lot of irritation and itching due to which the child can be quite uncomfortable. In most cases, topical ointments and general precautions as stated by the doctor will be more than enough to tackle the disease.
Chicken pox – Caused by a contagious virus known as varicella zoster, chicken pox is actually quite common and there are very few children in the world, who have not had the chicken pox. The infection will start showing in the form of small spots, which will by itchy and will turn red. The spots can appear all over the body and even on the scalp. In a matter of days, the spots should start to dry off and scabs will start to form. Once the scabs fall off, the chicken pox is supposed to have completed its course. It is best to refer to a dermatologist to see its severity and advise treatment.
Hives – Many children have to struggle with hives, in which the surface of skin becomes raised, red and itchy. The condition is caused by histamines, which are actually chemicals created by the body in response to a range of foreign bodies. Hives can be caused by certain allergens like pollen, insect bites, viral infection and as an allergic reaction to certain medicines. In most cases, hives do not require any treatment, as they tend to fade away in a matter of days. However, if the child is having trouble in breathing, it would be best to take the child to the doctor immediately.
Moles – Moles are actually benign spots on the skin, which could be in any shape or size. The colour of the moles can vary from light pink to black. In most cases, moles are benign and there is no harm caused due to them. However, for some children, the moles are too big and placed in parts of the body, where it looks odd. In such cases, the moles can be removed by a dermatologist.
Warts – Growths or tumours that are benign in nature are often categorised as warts and these can be found on any part of the body. They are caused due to viral infection and meeting a doctor might become essential.
Community Acquired Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureaus – Commonly known as CA-MRSA, this is a kind of infection that is caused by a bacteria and enters the body through cuts or open wounds. The condition is very contagious and can spread quite quickly. Treatment can be done using antibiotics, but it has to be started as quickly as possible. If the child has an open cuts or bruises, it would be best that they are washed and cleaned and then wrapped in bandage to avoid infection.
Impetigo – Impetigo is also known as school sores and is caused by either the staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria. It can cause small blisters, which are red in colour and can be quite itchy. Although the condition can affect any part of the body, they are most commonly seen around the mouth and nose. When the sores break open, there is a liquid that oozes out and then a crust will start to form on top. Touching the scabs or the blisters is what makes the condition contagious, which is why parents should deter their child from doing the same.
Molluscum contagiosum – This is a viral infection caused due to the poxvirus and is quite contagious. Once the virus has incubated, round growths will start to appear. While they might look like warts, these rounds can be irritating and can spread quite easily. The treatment is a little more than medication, because the growths will have to be removed by needle extirpation, cutting them out, cryotherapy or freezing them using liquid nitrogen or even laser therapy.
Psoriasis – Most often, people consider this to be a condition that affects only adults, but psoriasis can affect children too. This is a chronic skin condition that makes the skin red and inflamed. The cause is considered to be a fault with the immune system of the body and hence is not contagious. The treatment of the condition depends on the types of psoriasis.
Fortunately, advances in medical science have actually made it much easier to handle such problems. However, in order to treat the condition, it is imperative that the exact biology and nature of the same be understood. With the use of medicines and certain types of surgeries, congenital skin lesions, vascular birthmarks and moles can all be taken care of. In addition, the usage of anaesthetic creams has ensured that any kind of treatment, surgical or non-surgical, is minimally painful for children.