A newborn baby is delicate. Housed safely inside the mother’s womb for nine months, they are protected from everything external. When they are born, they are exposed to lights, dust, people, germs, viruses, and bacteria. Even though newborns are wired to go through a steep rate of adjustment and function as human beings, sometimes their sensitive bodies find these changes a bit too much to handle.
Right because of their bones that are flexible due to the recent birth of their organs, their digestive systems, newborn babies and infants are vulnerable to illnesses. Newborn babies and children are especially prone to several skin disorders because of their soft and sensitive skin.
As parents, you might read about certain pediatric skin disorders, but when your child’s skin is affected by one of them, you might hit the panic button and not know what it is or how harmful or harmless it could be. Here’s a quick guide on the most common pediatric skin disorders, what they look like, what you should do, and when you should consult with a pediatrician.
Mosquito bites are quite common in a place like India and children are quite vulnerable to them. Mosquito bites look like little bumps on your child’s skin and might take a reddish color. If your child is constantly trying to itch that particular spot and you do have mosquitoes around, it is most likely to be a rash due to these bites. Considering mosquito bites can lead to other associated diseases, it’s best to ask your doctor for the best mosquito repellent creams or lotions available for children and also use a mosquito net to prevent any further bites.
Hives are rashes on your baby’s skin that are either triggered by certain medications or food. In children that have started consuming solid food, hives could also be a result of eating food like nuts, shellfish, and even eggs. In fact, having a cold can also trigger the onset of this skin disorder. It usually goes away on its own after a couple of days, but if it is accompanied by any swelling in the face or any breathing problem, be sure that you take your child to the doctor as soon as possible.
As dangerous as it sounds, ringworms are not really caused by worms - they get their name from the shape of the rash that gets formed on the baby’s skin. Caused by a fungus that feeds off of dead skin or nails, it starts as an itchy red patch and then becomes the ‘ring’ from which it gets its name. You can easily identify ringworms because they are rough, raised from the rest of the skin, and have scaly edges. Ringworms spread - so if another child has ringworm, make sure that they don’t share things with other children at home. It is usually treated with antifungal creams or lotions.
Chickenpox isn’t as common as it used to be once and most babies are vaccinated for it. However, if your child isn’t vaccinated and has bright little red spots all over their skin, it could most likely be chickenpox. These spots go through four stages - first, they look like pimples, then they burst, become dry and eventually fall off. They might leave scars on your child’s skin so please do check with your doctor on what kind of care needs to be provided. Chickenpox is not harmless so immediate medical attention is a must.
Warts are an extremely common skin disorder not just in children, but also in adults. Mostly found around fingers and toes, these bumps happen because of a virus and can spread fast. While there are medications suitable for adult skin, it’s essential that you ask your doctor how warts in children should be treated as their skin is far more sensitive than that of grown-ups.
Children’s skin is very sensitive. Sometimes, parents tend to dress their kids in uncomfortable fabric and that can cause them to sweat a lot more. Tropical climate and summers can have the same effect. When this happens, babies’ sweat glands and pores get clogged because of which they develop little red spots in patches that are extremely itchy. These are known as prickly heat. Make sure that your children wear breathable fabric like cotton to avoid this.
Dermatitis looks like red patches that are sore. These patches happen when your children’s skin comes in contact with something they are sensitive to and may last for up to 48 hours. They are generally harmless and go away on their own.
These are some of the most common pediatric skin conditions. If you notice something unusual on your baby’s skin, please do not panic. Consult with your doctor immediately.