How to Treat Scabies in Children

There are a number of creams that treat scabies. In general, the principle is the same for all of them. The cream must be applied from the hairline down to the toes and left on overnight — a min­imum of 8 hours but up to 14 hours. The entire surface of the body needs to be covered, including between the fingers and toes, under the fingernails, and in the crease of the buttocks. The only places that do not get covered with cream are the center of the face, the scalp, and the female genitals (the penis and scro­tum should be treated). In the morning, bathe your child to clean off all the cream. Do not limit the cream to the areas with the rash because the mites can crawl elsewhere. Sometimes the treatment is repeated after 7 to 10 days. Continue reading “How to Treat Scabies in Children” »

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What to Do If Your Child Has Ringworm

There is not much you can do to prevent tinea except minimize the environment in which it likes to grow. If your child has ring­worm in an area that is warm, dark, and moist, try to make the area cool, light, and dry.

For rash in the diaper area, let the area air out. Keep your child naked between diaper changes or let her run around the house naked for as long as possible. If your child is already wearing underpants, make sure they are loose fitting, allowing air to get in and out. And if the underpants get wet, put on a dry pair as soon as possible. Continue reading “What to Do If Your Child Has Ringworm” »

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Understanding Ringworm in Children

What is happening inside my child’s body? Ringworm (also known as tinea) is not caused by a worm at all. Rather, it is an infection caused by a fungus. The infection can actually appear anywhere on the body, and depending on where it is, it is given different names. Ringworm on the feet is called tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), on the scalp tinea capitis, and on the rest of the body tinea corporis.

Tinea on the majority of the body looks like a perfect circle with central flaking and sometimes some mild redness. If you look closely at the edges, you may be able to see tiny pinpoint blisters forming the perimeter. Dark skin may appear lighter where there is ringworm. Continue reading “Understanding Ringworm in Children” »

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How to Treat Molluscum Contagiosum in Children

Molluscum will go away on its own, but this can take anywhere from six months to five years. Sometimes schools or day care cen­ters will bar entry to a child with obvious molluscum. Because it takes so long for the rash to go away on its own, children in a school or day care quandary may be candidates for more aggres­sive treatment.

Molluscum can be removed in a doctor’s office in a number of ways, including cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen or dry ice); scooping out the lesion using a scalpel or other instru­ment to get rid of both the superficial bump and the virus under­neath; treating with a liquid (such as podophyllin, cantharidin, iodine, or salicylic acid) to burn or blister the area; or even tape stripping (repeatedly applying and removing adhesive tape to remove the top layer of skin). Lasers and electric needles (called electrocautery) also can be effective. Regardless of which approach is used, retreatment is usually required every four to six weeks for several months. Because the treatments themselves can be painful and leave scars, they are generally used on toddlers only when absolutely necessary. Continue reading “How to Treat Molluscum Contagiosum in Children” »

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How to Treat Impetigo in Children

Impetigo will usually go away on its own. When it doesn’t, anti­biotics can be used to help kill the bacteria. For isolated spots of impetigo, you can use a topical antibiotic cream or ointment. Many different types are sold over the counter, including Neo-sporin, bacitracin, and triple antibiotic ointment. If one of these does not help, your doctor may prescribe a stronger topical anti­biotic, such as mupirocin (Bactroban).

Generally speaking, antibiotic ointments work better than creams because the medicine penetrates more deeply. However, creams tend to be less greasy. Continue reading “How to Treat Impetigo in Children” »

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Freckles and Moles in Children – Symptoms and Treatments

What is happening inside my child’s body? A freckle is a small pigmentation, usually no bigger than an eraser head, caused by exposure to the sun. A mole is a bigger version of a freckle and results from a combination of genetic predisposition and sun exposure. They both come from skin cells (called melano­cytes) that produce dark pigments. Whereas freckles usually show up in sun-exposed areas and in patches by the dozen, moles can appear anywhere on the body, ranging widely in shape and size. In medical terms, a mole is also known as a nevus. Continue reading “Freckles and Moles in Children – Symptoms and Treatments” »

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How to Treat Eczema in Children

The best treatments for eczema are moisturizing and removing the irritant.

Some cases of eczema may be treated with a steroid cream or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory cream. These are used in addition to moisturizers. Steroid creams come in a range of strengths. Over-the-counter creams contain either 0.5 percent or 1 percent steroid. Prescription creams can contain 2.5 percent steroid or more. These creams have some side effects if they are used too often or over too big an area, because the body absorbs the steroid. When too much is absorbed, side effects such as mood or appetite changes can result. However, it is important to empha­size that this is extremely rare. More commonly, steroid creams used in the same area over time can cause the skin to thin, chang­ing the pigmentation. Among the steroid creams are the mild steroid hydrocortisone 1 percent (sold under a number of brand names, including Cortaid), the moderate steroid triamcinolone acetonide (Aristocort), and the strong steroids fluticasone propi­onate (Cutivate) and mometasone furoate (Elocon). Continue reading “How to Treat Eczema in Children” »

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Diaper Rash in Children

Diaper rashes are rashes on the skin of the groin and buttocks. Despite the name, these rashes can appear even when your child is out of diapers. The phrase has come to describe any rash that appears in the area covered by diapers, pull-ups, and even underpants. This includes the buttocks, the skin folds of the thighs, the penis or vagina, and around the anus.

There are four basic types of diaper rash: irritation rashes, chafing rashes, yeast infections, and bacterial infections. Many other types of rashes that appear in the diaper area also appear on other parts of the body. These rashes — including eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, and scabies — are not exclusive to the groin and buttocks area. Continue reading “Diaper Rash in Children” »

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Coxsackie Virus In Children – How Serious Is It?

What is happening inside my child’s body? This infection is appropriately named because it causes a rash on the hands and feet and in the mouth. The rash consists of small blisters (1 to 2 millimeters) on a red base. The blisters do not itch, but they can be tender.

Coxsackie is the virus largely responsible for the dreaded hand-foot-mouth disease. Coxsackie is a member of a group of viruses known as the enteroviruses. Even though Coxsackie is by far the most common culprit here, other viruses in the same family have been known to cause a similar rash. Continue reading “Coxsackie Virus In Children – How Serious Is It?” »

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Chicken Pox in Children

What is happening inside my child’s body? Getting chicken pox is almost inevitable during childhood — or at least it used to be. Chicken pox, also called varicella, is a viral infection that causes fever and a rash that evolves from red spots to blisters to scabs over 48 to 72 hours. The hallmark of this ill­ness is that spots of all ages are clearly visible, from young and pink to old and crusted. The spots are small, ranging from 1 to 5 millimeters.

Because the rash tends to be extremely itchy, children will often scratch and unroof the blisters. When this happens, the open sores can become infected with bacteria. Infected pox are more likely to scar. The open skin also provides an entry point for bacteria into the body, creating the potential for more serious complications. Continue reading “Chicken Pox in Children” »

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