Pediatric dermatology deals with the particularities of newborns’, children’s and adolescents’ skin. Numerous skin conditions first appear at this tender age, or are more common in these age groups.
The most common of all is acne, which usually affects teenagers, nevertheless it may sometimes be encountered in newborns (neonatal acne), and more rarely in children.
Another common skin disease is atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema, which is estimated to affect an average of 10-12% of children worldwide, with a higher incidence in developed countries.
Viral skin infections such as common warts and molluscum contagiosum are also quite widespread. Although self-limited, they should be treated because they are contagious. They may be inoculated to other parts of the patient’s own skin, or transmitted to other people, by direct contact.
Diaper rash is a common form of irritant dermatitis in infants. It concerns the area under the diaper and is caused by irritation from components of the urine and feces, that remain in contact with the skin. On the other hand, fungal infection with Candida Albicans might develop in the same area. This two entities must be differentiated, in order to decide on the appropriate treatment.
A special group of diseases that we encounter in children, are vascular lesions. Vascular malformations are more common, whether hemangiomas are rarer. The use of modern vascular lasers has revolutionized the treatment of these lesions.
Localized hair loss on a child’s scalp may be due to simple involuntary mechanical pulling and detachment of the hair (trichotillomania), but might also be a manifestation of alopecia areata or a fungal infection.
Finally, there are many rare genetic skin conditions, called geno-dermatoses, that first appear in childhood and might affect multiple organs besides the skin.
What is more, diseases that usually occur in adulthood, may present in children and have a modified clinical appearance.
So pediatric dermatology is an intricate and fascinating field, which requires a strong clinical acumen and specialized knowledge of the physiology and pathology of skin at young age.
Gaining the trust and cooperation of our young patients ensures the best therapeutic outcomes. Parents are our allies in this endeavor, so we thoroughly inform them about their child’s condition and the available treatment options. Together, we take the best care of children’s skin!