Common Childhood Skin Problems
Wondering about that rash, welt, or bump on your child's skin? Sickness, allergies, and heat or cold are often behind kids' skin changes. Most aren't a big deal and are easy to treat. You can learn to tell what many of them look like.
Wondering about that rash, welt, or bump on your child’s skin? Sickness, allergies, and heat or cold are often behind kids’ skin changes. Most aren’t a big deal and are easy to treat. You can learn to tell what many of them look like. Of course, always check with your child’s doctor to know for sure and get the right treatment.
Worms don’t cause ringworm. And ringworm doesn’t need t be itchy. It’s caused by a fungus that lives off dead skin, hair, and nail tissue. It starts as a red, scaly patch or bump. Then comes the telltale itchy red ring. The ring has raised, blistery, or scaly borders. Ringworm is passed on by skin-to-skin contact with a person or animal. Kids can also get it by sharing things like towels or sports gear. Your doctor may treat it with antifungal creams.
This contagious and usually mild illness passes in a couple of weeks. Fifth disease starts with flu-like symptoms. A bright face ( classically described as a ‘slapped cheek’ appearance) and body rash follow. It’s spread by coughing and sneezing and most contagious the week before the rash appears. It’s treated with rest, fluids, and pain relievers (do not give aspirin to children). If your child has fifth disease and you are pregnant, call your doctor.
This once-common rash isn’t seen as much in today’s kids thanks to the chickenpox vaccine. It’s very contagious, spreads easily, and leaves an itchy rash and red spots or blisters all over the body. The spots go through stages. They blister, burst, dry, and crust over. Chickenpox can be very serious. All young kids should get a chickenpox vaccine. So should teens and adults who never had the disease or the vaccine.
Impetigo, caused by bacteria, creates red sores or blisters. These can break open, ooze, and develop a yellow-brown crust. Sores can show up all over the body but mostly around the mouth and nose. Impetigo can be spread through close contact or by sharing things like towels and toys. Scratching can spread it to other parts of the body. It’s treated with antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics.
A virus causes these funky but mostly harmless, painless skin growths. Warts can spread easily from person to person. They also spread by touching an object used by a person with the virus. They’re most often found on fingers and hands. To prevent warts from spreading, tell your child not to pick them or bite nails. Cover warts with bandages. Most warts go away on their own.