Discovering a planet-sized patch of protruded skin on your child can be an unnerving experience, especially if you’re a first-time parent. But more often than not, that rash, bump or swelling on your mini’s skin is just a reaction to a sickness or allergy, or perhaps even a change in climate.
Most skin infections aren’t a cause for concern, and can be managed easily with the right treatment. Here’s a round-up of the most likely skin conditions that affect children. So, the next time you spot unusual looking skin, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Impetigo is a bacterial condition that gives rise to red bumps or blisters. These pop, reveal an oozy brown liquid and then crown over. Impetigo can manifest all over the body but is common in the mouth and nose. The condition spreads through skin-to-skin contact and through the use of common towels, clothes and toys.
TREATMENT: ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT OR ORAL ANTIBIOTICS (SEE A DOCTOR)
Ringworm is caused by a fungal skin infection that thrives on dead skin. Ringworm first appears as a pink scaly protrusion, followed by a red itchy ring that encircles the patch or bump. The ring is elevated, rough and blistery. Like impetigo, ringworm is transmitted purely through physical contact, and also through the use of common towels, clothes and gear.
Treatment: Antifungal creams (see a doctor)
If you haven’t already, make sure you have your child vaccinated for chickenpox. Chickenpox is highly infectious and can spread like wildfire in children who haven’t been immunized. The virus starts with a red itchy skin rash all across the body. These spots then go on to develop into blisters. Eventually, the blisters reduce, dry and become crusty, only to fall off a few days later. Although chickenpox was once considered a fairly common virus, it can pose serious consequences.
Treatment: See a doctor
Warts look like mini mushrooms that centre around the fingers and hands. Although they’re painless and not dangerous, the condition can spread easily through contact. If your child develops warts, there’s no reason to worry. That being said, it’s important to teach your little one the importance of hygiene to contain the condition. Discourage nail-biting and persistent picking of warts.
Treatment: No treatment; most warts disappear without intervention
In India, heat rash is common throughout the year, thanks to the tropical climate that exists in most cities. Heat rash looks like red stippling on skin, with prickly pimples clustered together on the head, neck, arms and shoulders. Heat rash is caused by blocked sweat glands, often a result of a baby bundled too warmly. Don’t blame yourself if you notice heat rash though; any baby is susceptible to it when the mercury rises. As a rule of thumb, your baby should wear only one more layer than you.
Treatment: Keep skin dry & dust affected area with powder
The root cause of eczema isn’t known, but children with the condition are often suspected to have other allergies and lower immunity. If your child scratches persistently and displays a protruded rash, seek an evaluation for eczema. Some children shed the condition as they grow, while others exhibit fewer symptoms in adolescence and adulthood.
Treatment: Topical treatments (see a doctor)
Skin conditions in children are more common and easier treated than you think. With this guide, you’re more likely to be in sync with symptoms that appear on your child’s skin. Whether you identify the condition or not, make sure you have it formally diagnosed by a doctor so that you can seek the right medication for your child. As you become more seasoned in the parenting department, you’ll learn how to respond to various conditions. And in time, you’ll develop a thicker skin.