Unexplained rashes, bumps, or redness seem alarming when they appear unexpectedly on your child. Children experience many of the same skin conditions that adults do, and it’s common to see skin issues develop during the years when the immune system is still developing. Additionally, children are exposed to more germs and other children than adults are, and this contact facilitates the fast and easy spread of viral and fungal rashes among kids.
Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers is here to present some of the more common skin conditions your child may develop, as well as signs and symptoms to look for.
Infantile Rashes and Skin Conditions
Infants are prone to developing multiple skin issues within the first months to years of their lives. Newborns have more sensitive skin than adults, an immature skin barrier, and an underdeveloped immune system, which leaves them vulnerable to skin irritants and environmental triggers. Common infantile conditions include:
- Diaper dermatitis. Also called diaper rash, it appears as a red, irritated rash over the buttocks. It’s caused by wet or infrequently changed diapers.
- Cradle cap. Also caused seborrheic dermatitis, it appears as a rough, yellowish, scaly rash across the scalp. It usually clears up on its own after a few months.
- Heat rash. It appears as a red, warm rash, sometimes with tiny blisters spread across the affected area. Heat rash can be caused by warm weather, clogged sweat glands, tight swaddling or clothes, or overdressing.
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Eczema typically presents in childhood, and it’s more common among children with a family history of allergies or asthma. While eczema is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, many children outgrow frequent flare-ups when they become adults. Eczema may cause dry, red, scaly, itchy, and inflamed skin patches to develop anywhere on the body. Children usually show signs and symptoms behind the knees and in elbow creases.
Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection that spreads easily among children through skin-to-skin contact and from sharing personal items like towels, sports gear, and hairbrushes. Many children also develop ringworm from walking barefoot at public pools, because fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. Ringworm causes the development of red, itchy, scaly patches of skin shaped like a ring. The infection is most common on the feet (athlete’s foot), groin (jock itch), body, and scalp. In children, ringworm of the scalp can lead to bald patches.
Viral Skin Rashes
There are several viral infections that cause children to develop skin rashes, including:
- Fifth disease
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease
Rashes are a common skin issue among children, and the cause of a rash may be impossible to differentiate and diagnose from appearance alone. For parents, it’s important to note all other signs and symptoms your child is experiencing along with a rash. Some rashes are easier to identify than others – for example, chickenpox is characterized by distinctive itchy red bumps or blisters all over the body. Other rashes may be more difficult to identify, but look for these differentiators:
- Fifth disease is most common among school-age children. The infection begins with flu-like symptoms, followed by development of its characteristic “slapped cheek” rash, named so because it looks like a slap mark over the cheeks. The rash can spread over the body.
- Roseola is most common among children ages 6 months to 2 years old. The infection begins with a fever, and a rash develops over the torso, back, arms, and legs when the fever breaks.
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease is common among children under 5 years old. The infection causes a fever, sore throat, mouth sores, and a red bump rash on the hands and feet. Sometimes the rash can also affect the knees, elbows, buttocks, and genital area.
Viral infections like the ones listed above are extremely contagious and can be spread through skin contact, bodily fluid contact, or through sharing personal hygiene items.
Warts are caused by a viral infection and they’re more common among children than adults. Warts are harmless, painless skin growths that appear on the hands and fingers. Like other viral infections, warts are contagious and can spread from skin-to-skin contact and sharing personal hygiene items. Children can also spread new warts to themselves by touching and picking at existing ones.
Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers Treats Common Skin Disorders
We treat all conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. If you notice an unusual growth, rash, or lesion on yourself or your child, our experienced team of professionals will make an accurate diagnosis and get you started on a personalized treatment plan. We can also provide helpful tips for child skin care. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or appointment.