Pediatric Dermatology

Gentle, Expert Children’s Skin Care

pediatric dermatologyDermatologists know that a child’s skin is much different from that of adults, and their lifestyles and habits are very different as well.  As a result, the skin conditions commonly seen in pediatric dermatology are different from those commonly seen in adults.  Children are especially susceptible to infections.  Most infections seen in pediatric dermatology are easily treatable, with proper techniques.  A child’s delicate skin is also more susceptible to the outside world.  Childhood rashes such as “eczema” and diaper rash are largely treatable and even preventable, with the right kind of instruction.  If your child has a skin condition, let us show you how our years of training and experience in pediatric dermatology can make the difference.

Infections in Pediatric Dermatology

Children are in closer contact with each other than adults.  They sit close together, hug each other, and wrestle around.   Regardless of their cleanliness and socioeconomic background, like high school wrestlers this increased skin contact puts them at increased risk for a whole host of pediatric dermatology infectious diseases, including:

Children are also in closer contact with our pets, making them more susceptible to bites from fleas and ticks.  And their world overlaps much more with plants as well, making them prone to botanical allergies from plants such as poison ivy, chrysanthemums, lavender, and wild parsnips.

A child’s skin and lifestyle makes them susceptible to many skin infections, most of which are easily treatable by an experienced pediatric dermatologist.

Effective treatment is available for all of these childhood infections.  Pediatric skin infections need not be a source of shame or anxiety for you – many children get them!  And treatment need not be painful or traumatic for your child.  As skin specialists, over the years we have developed gentle, effective treatment techniques designed particularly for children.

Childhood “Eczema” and Diaper Rash

childhood eczemaWhat parent is not distressed by a child’s itchy red rash that just won’t go away?  Many children and their parents are frustrated by what is called “ezcema“.  Some have been told that there is nothing one can do, and that the child will just have to “grow out of it”.  Others have been given advice, passed on from generation to generation of non-dermatologists, on products or techniques which are disproven or outdated – the “old chestnuts” in pediatric dermatology.

One of the chief functions of the skin is to keep the outside world out – its “barrier function”.  This waterproof barrier function is provided by the outer keratin layer of the skin, or “stratum corneum”.   In children, this layer is thinner than in adults, resulting in a less effective barrier to all the things that our skin comes in contact with in the 21st century.

As always, the right treatment begins with the right diagnosis.  “Eczema” is not actually a diagnosis at all, but rather a chapter heading in dermatology.  The term “eczema” is greek for “dermatitis” which is latin for “rash”.  What is usually meant by “eczema” is atopic dermatitis, which is present in childhood and goes away during the teenage years.  The cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, and it is thought to be incurable.  This diagnosis offers little hope.

Many parents are told that their child’s “eczema” is incurable, and they will just have to “grow out of it”.  This is a hopeless diagnosis.  Actually, many cases of eczema can be treated or even prevented.

children's dermatologyWe see significant hope for many children with “ezcema”.  Along with a growing number of pediatric dermatologists, at Rustad Dermatology we believe that many cases of eczema are actually forms of contact dermatitis.  Contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to a specific allergen or irritant.  Children are more susceptible to contact dermatitis because of their less effective barrier function.  As opposed to being of unknown cause and incurable, the cause for contact dermatitis often can be found, which makes it both treatable and preventable.  This change in opinion about atopic dermatitis has come about with modern patch testing techniques.  We have begun to patch test children for allergies, find specific allergens, and effectively prevent their rashes.

If your child has an infection or rash, let us use our training and experience in pediatric dermatology to help you.  Many childhood skin conditions are easily treatable, or even preventable with the right information.  To schedule a consultation with our board-certified dermatologist, call us at 402.484.6222.