Pediatric Skin Conditions
Pediatric Dermatology in Southern Colorado
Babies and children are susceptible to all kinds of skin conditions. At Vanguard Skin Specialists, we provide comprehensive skin care for children of all ages – from infants and toddlers to tweens, teens, and young adults.
With their compassionate, kid-friendly bedside manner, our dermatology providers will put you and your child at ease. They will take the time to make an accurate diagnosis, address your concerns, and recommend a treatment plan that is best for your child.
Common Childhood Skin Conditions
From head to toe, our providers treat all kinds of pediatric skin, hair, and nail disorders. Some of the most common childhood skin conditions include:
- Concerning moles
- Cradle cap
- Diaper rash
- Eczema/atopic dermatitis
- Molluscum contagiosum
- Skin infections
Call Vanguard today at (719) 355-1585 for an appointment with one of our dermatology providers in Cañon City, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, or request one online. Learn more about pediatric skin conditions in the FAQs below.
Erythema toxicum neonatorum is a common, harmless skin rash in healthy newborns. It doesn’t bother your baby or require treatment, as it will go away on its own. However, if you have any questions or concerns, please follow up with a health professional.
Milia are small, white, bead-like cysts. They are completely harmless and often go away on their own in infants and children.
While cradle cap generally goes away on its own, gently massaging the scalp with a soft bristled brush and mild shampoo during bath time can help soften and remove some of the scale. Do not force or pick the scale off as this is painful and unnecessary.
For mild diaper rash, a good barrier cream such as zinc paste, A&D Ointment, or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is helpful. Another option is to mix CeraVe cream with Aquaphor or Vaseline, which helps repair irritated skin as well as protect it. However, if the diaper rash is more severe or there is an overgrowth of yeast, your child may need further evaluation and possibly a prescription cream from a health professional.
While there are many good product lines, CeraVe Baby, Cetaphil Baby, and California Baby are all great ones to check out.
Sunscreen is recommended starting at the age of 6 months.
Wide-brimmed baby hats, clothing, and sunglasses with UPF protection can certainly help reduce, but not eliminate, UV exposure. Keep your baby under a canopy or tent if possible, and avoid being outside with your baby during the hottest part of the day, which is usually 10 am – 2 pm.
Keratosis pilaris is common and strongly genetic. Gentle soap and copious moisturizer is beneficial. If your child is 8 years old or older, you may use a moisturizer with salicylic acid that can help exfoliate (such as CeraVe SA Cream). Avoid scrubbing or picking at the bumps.
Pityriasis alba is a common type of eczema associated with dry skin. While the discolored patches aren’t usually itchy, they also don’t tan like the skin around it and are susceptible to sunburn. Apply a good moisturizer twice daily. The spots usually resolve with time but can take months or even years.
While those are excellent first steps, sometimes additional changes need to be made, such as using unscented laundry detergent and dryer sheets and avoiding scented candles and fragrances in the home. If the eczema still persists, it’s time to consult a health professional.
While eczema is usually more heavily influenced by skin care regimen, environmental allergies, and asthma, diet does affect eczema in some kids. Soy, dairy, and gluten are the most common culprits. If you are concerned diet is affecting your child’s eczema, be sure to discuss it with a health professional.
While Elidel and Protopic have had a black box warning since 2006, they are widely accepted as safe. A highly regarded medical journal (JAMA Dermatology) published a study in 2015 concluding that there is not an increased cancer risk as they were originally accused of.
While parabens have come under scrutiny in the past few years, they are generally considered safe due to the very small amounts used to preserve the shelf-life of products. However, there are many product lines that don’t use them, including CeraVe Baby, Cetaphil Baby, and California Baby.
Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer. California Baby is a great product line available at Target and on Amazon.
Tinea, more commonly known as ringworm, is much more contagious in kids than adults due to children’s less robust immune systems. However, if your child does have tinea, avoid touching the affected area of skin except to apply prescription creams and wash your hands frequently.
Molluscum, a common viral skin infection in children, is most contagious among children or those who don’t have strong immune systems. It is especially contagious when the skin is wet. While adults are far less likely to get molluscum, frequent hand washing and good hygiene is always recommended.
While apple cider vinegar may seem to “dry up” molluscum in some children, in many children it is overly drying and irritating to the skin, which can result in dry, itchy patches. If the skin gets too dry it makes it easier for molluscum to spread.
While the pediatrician is correct that molluscum do eventually go away, it can take months or years for some children. However, treatment can be frustrating and still not clear the molluscum.
Depending on your child’s age and skin type, common treatments include prescription creams, Cantharidin application in the office, and light cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen, or “freeze spray.”)
If your child has eczema, treatment can be especially difficult as molluscum treatment can irritate or worsen the eczema.
While there are many over-the-counter wart treatments available, it’s good to remember that children have sensitive skin and may not tolerate those treatments. Children may be more prone to burn, blister, or scar from these treatments. It is better to check with a skin professional if you have any concerns. Moreover, warts can be stubborn and often don’t resolve with over-the-counter treatments.
While the occlusive effect of salicylic acid or duct tape on a wart can be effective, it can also burn and blister sensitive skin or skin surrounding the wart. Its best use is probably for warts on the bottom of the foot, but if you have any concerns consult a skin professional.
Because scabies is so easily transmitted, everyone in a family with an affected family member should be treated. Sometimes you have contracted scabies before a rash or itching develops.
Your pediatrician likely has a lot of experience in identifying worrisome moles. Usually, your pediatrician will initiate a referral if she or he has any concerns. However, if you have specific concerns or would feel more comfortable with a second opinion, a dermatology specialist would gladly evaluate your child.