Children’s skin is very delicate and easily prone to irritation, redness or peeling. Here’s how to recognize and treat dermatitis (diaper, cradle cap, eczema), ichthyosis and childhood psoriasis.
Children’s dermatological diseases
Children’s skin is more delicate than that of adults, for this reason it is more easily subject to redness or peeling, that is seborrheic dermatitis, from diaper or atopic, ichthyosis, psoriasis infantile. In some cases these are transient phenomena, which pass by themselves or with the application of moisturizers, but sometimes certain manifestations can be the signal of a dermatological problem to be treated or the cutaneous sign of a systemic (internal) disease.
Here is a guide on the main ones dermatological diseases of children, photos to recognize the problem, symptoms and treatments.
The guide was developed with the advice of Prof. Maya El Hachem, Head of the Dermatology Operating Unit at the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome.
In this article
1. Diaper rash (or erythema)
What is diaper rash
Diaper rash (or erythema) is ainflammation of the skin of the child affecting the region covered by the diaper, that is the bottom and the genital area. This is a classic condition that almost all children experience at least once in the first two years of life and especially between 9 and 12 months, as they sit for a very long time.
In the most common form, due to irritation (irritative dermatitis), manifests itself with a redness of the skin, which in some cases also appears slightly swollen and hot to the touch. The erythema can be limited (just a few patches in one or more points) or extended, in this case also affecting all the buttocks.
Depends on what?
- Repeated rubbing with the diaper. Combined withhumid environment (due to sweat or stagnation of urine, unavoidable even with the most absorbent diapers), this can lead to maceration of the skin;
- Irritation due to contact with urine and fecthe. For this dermatitis can appear during episodes of diarrhea and it is more frequent in children who are prone to diarrhea;
- Contact allergy: in this case the irritation may be due to a reaction to detergents, perfumes, creams, nappy materials or, in the case of washable nappies, detergents used to wash them.
- Infections. The environment of the diaper is warm and humid (especially between the folds of the skin): therefore perfect for the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and yeasts. An example is theCandida infection (candidiasis), which manifests itself with the involvement of the perianal and inguinal region and the presence of small pustules around the patches of erythema.
- Changes in nutrition. The introduction of new foods (for example during the weaning) can lead to changes in the consistency and composition of the stool, which can be more irritating to the baby.
- Seborrhea: it is a form of dermatitis that can also affect other areas of the body (this is the case of cradle cap) and is manifested by small greasy yellowish scales.
How is it treated?
We recommend keep the area as dry and clean as possible. For this, it is necessary change the diaper frequently, washing the baby with water at each change and, only when necessary, with a neutral and non-aggressive detergent. After washing, the bottom must be swabbed with a soft, not rubbed towel. It may be helpful to apply a thin veil of a soothing and protective cream.
It is advisable keep the diaper a little loose or use a slightly larger size, to allow greater air circulation. If using washable nappies, try changing detergent.
Whenever possible, for example in the summer, it is worthwhile leave the baby without a diaper as much as possible.
Diaper rash: photos to recognize it
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Inflammation of the skin on the bottom and genitals is called “erythema or diaper rash” and is common in the first months of a baby’s life. In the form…
2. Cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis)
What is cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis
There cradle cap is a skin rash typical of newborns, which can occur in the first weeks of life. Typically, it shows up with scabs on the head, but the problem tends to resolve itself in a short time. To foster the removal of scales, you can use them oily products or emollient creams.
This pathology manifests itself with erythematous plaques at the level of the flexor folds (neck, armpits, diaper area) and with some yellowish scales more or less thick located on the scalp, forehead, superciliary arches and retro-auricular regions.
Depends on what?
Seborrheic dermatitis is an idiopathic skin manifestation in its own right (i.e. not linked to any other cause), however, in some cases, it could be the first manifestation of atopic dermatitis or psoriasis.
How is it treated?
It is important the daily bath carefully drying the folds. The treatment is based on the application of emollients pending spontaneous healing. Seek medical attention if the scales spread or begin to produce a yellow serum.
- Wash your hair every 2-3 days with a oil-based cleaner or enriched with emollient substances or with specific shampoos that prevent milk crust;
- After washing, wipe the skin with a cotton ball dipped in almond oil, olive or calendula, to dissolve the sebum and soften the scales. Alternatively, you can use a specific emollient cream for the treatment of cradle cap; especially better if it contains Sunflower Oil Distillate which soothes the scalp. Arobinogalactane, on the other hand, helps eliminate the milk crust thanks to its emollient properties;
- Never ‘scratch’ the crusts with the comb or with your fingers, as the skin could become irritated. At the most, it is possible to facilitate the removal of already detached scales with a soft brush.
Seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap) in children: photos to recognize it
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