Tips for Managing Skin Conditions in Children
Date: Apr 2019
If your child has an unusual rash or growth, is scratching their skin, or has other skin problems, then it’s important to get help. Skin conditions are very common in children and while they aren’t usually serious, it’s vital to find out the cause just in case. Skin problems can also be very uncomfortable and upsetting for children, so it’s important to seek treatment quickly to relieve the symptoms.
See an Expert in Children’s Dermatology
The most important thing you can do if you’re child has a skin condition is to see a doctor with plenty of experience in children’s dermatology. Children have very sensitive skin and there are many conditions that affect younger skin more than adults. A doctor with lots of experience treating children’s skin conditions will be able to provide the quickest and most accurate diagnosis. Specialists in children’s dermatology are also much better at handling younger patients
, so make sure that your doctor has plenty of experience.
What You Can Do
Seeing a dermatologist is important when your child has a skin problem, but there’s a lot you can do to support your child too.
- Talk to Your Child
Even young children can benefit from talking about their skin condition. Try to explain what’s wrong and what you’re going to do about it, in terms that your child can understand. A young child can be very reassured to hear that the medicine will make them feel better, while an older one may want to know more details about the condition and their treatment. It’s important to listen to your child too, so encourage them to ask questions and talk to you about how they feel.
- Be Sensitive
Children can feel very upset or embarrassed about their skin condition. It’s important not to make too much of a fuss about it, but you shouldn’t dismiss your child’s worries either. Watch out for changes in mood and behaviour that might indicate your child is being teased or bullied about their skin. If your child is feeling self-conscious then try to reassure them that skin problems are common and the treatment will help. Don’t force them to join in family photos or do things that make them feel self-conscious or upset.
- Take Steps to Prevent Scratching
Skin conditions often come with itchiness and while adults can usually resist the temptation to scratch, this isn’t easy for children. Depending on your child’s age, you might want to try some of the following tips to stop scratching:
- Gloves or mittens to prevent nails from damaging the skin, especially while sleeping
- Clothes that cover the affected areas can help, as long as they are breathable and don’t cause more irritation
- Distractions or treats can help children to forget the itchiness
- Adding salt, baking soda or oatmeal to bathwater can help to relieve itching
- An ice pack wrapped in a towel can soothe itchy areas
If you’re worried about your child’s skin then it’s important to seek medical advice. Use our children’s dermatology service to get advice on managing the symptoms and supporting your child.