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When should you take your child to a pediatric dermatologist?

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Posted date on Sep 25, 2020

Parenting is no easy feat and it can be quite a daunting task to take your child to see a doctor. Children have different needs and concerns as compared to adults and these should be addressed accordingly. Dermatologists are often considered as specialists exclusively for adults. However, we are here to do away with this misconception. Skincare is an integral part of our overall health and it is always a good idea to make sure that your child is taken to a professional for the best possible treatment. As a practicing pediatric dermatologist myself, I am here to guide you in ensuring that your child’s skin is looked after as well. 


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Who is a pediatric dermatologist? 

Let's begin by clearing away some doubts that you may have with regards to what a pediatric dermatologist does. A pediatric dermatologist specialises in caring for skin conditions that affect infants, children and adolescents. They treat a wide variety of skin disorders that affect children such as birthmarks, moles, eczema, hives, acne rashes, allergies, warts, skin cancer, dermatitis, skin infections, psoriasis, cradle cap or inherited disorders such as ichthyosis. 

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Pediatric dermatologic care focuses on children as their skin changes rapidly and they are well equipped with the qualifications to understand these changes in order to provide the necessary medical treatment. Children are prone to sensitive skin and can have difficulty in communicating well. With specialised training to be able to discern what is a cause for concern and what is normal, pediatric dermatologists will help in providing the best care and precautions. They are aware of how to put a child’s mind at ease in addition to having kid-friendly offices and medical equipment specially designed for children that can be used if need be. 

What is the right age to take your child to a pediatric dermatologist? 

The right age to consider booking an appointment with a pediatric dermatologist will depend on the skin condition. For example, if a condition is congenital such as albinism and a child is born with it, you should consult with a pediatric dermatologist at the earliest. 

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Other conditions that are prevalent in adolescents such as acne can cause children to have a low self-esteem. Acne and acne scarring are difficult to treat as it can take some time to get rid of them. The key to treating acne is consistency with prescribed medicines and skincare routine and teenagers between the ages of 12 to 15 are most susceptible to acne. Therefore, this is the apt age to consult with a pediatric dermatologist. 

Another common skin condition that children face are rashes. Especially as a result of new medication, after a cold or a virus. Red and dry, itchy skin is often observed and if this fails to treat itself after a few days, it is advisable to visit a pediatric dermatologist. Eczema is also a condition where a red, itchy inflamed rash appears and can even continue into adulthood. There are many components at play when it comes to how or why your child may develop a skin condition. For instance, if you have a family history of allergies or asthma, the child could be at a higher risk of developing eczema. 

A good skincare routine is indispensable and it is never too early to start your child off on skincare practices that serve to protect their skin in the long run. Using sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun is essential and can protect the skin from developing skin cancers later in life. Inculcating these habits from a young age can be useful. While skin cancer is extremely uncommon in children, if there is a family history of melanoma or moles, it is best to get it looked at by a pediatric dermatologist. 

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The internet is filled with both useful information as well as misinformation about a lot of topics. As your child’s health is your priority, make sure you pay heed to their skin concerns as well and get them looked at in time. Skincare should not be treated lightly and a pediatric dermatologist can help in diagnosing and treating skin conditions early on.  



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