Skin is the largest organ of our body. It is a protective barrier to the external world for our body. It protects our body from external environment through physical, chemical and immunological barrier function. Skin also has hair follicles, sweat glands, oil glands and nails as appendages which also give protection against heat and trauma. Skin of newborns and children is very sensitive and predisposed to many problems as compared to adults.
Common Skin Issues:
Few common issues related to children skin, which at times are a major concern for the parents are :
All kids suffer from at least once in their lifetime from diaper rash. It is more common in newborns and after they have diarrhea. It is because of irritation caused by fecal matter and urine. Its management includes keeping the area clean, dry and exposed to air. It should be cleaned with soft cloth and lukewarm water and pat dry. Avoid overusing of water/wipes. Barrier cream containing zinc oxide should be applied to prevent further irritation of surrounding area. Consult your doctor for need of medicated creams.
It is a greasy scaly deposit on scalp commonly seen in newborns or early infancy. In severe cases it may spread to face umbilicus and diaper area. It usually needs only proper head wash with non medicated shampoo and emollients. In severe cases antifungal and/or steroid creams may be required.
It is usually diagnosed by its rounded itchy areas with raised borders. It usually responds to antifungal cream for 2-4 weeks time.
Generalized Skin Rash:
It can be of many types, like areas of redness, raised itchy wheals, pin pointed lesions, fluid filled blisters, bulla, desquamation. It has varied etiology. Commonly it is the result of viral infections like measles, rubella, chickenpox and others. Next common cause is allergic reaction to drugs. Whatever is the cause, you have to consult pediatrician because at times it can be manifestation of severe allergic reactions/infection like stevens-johnson syndrome or staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome which if not treated, can be life threatening.
Atopic Dermatitis /Allergic Skin:
Skin lesions are itchy, red and papular, usually involves face and outer surface of limbs in infancy. It is more common in 1st year of life. History of similar illness in family is also there. Its management includes hydration and moisturization of skin and steroid creams under supervision of your doctor.