Now that school is firmly back in session – and in person – the needs that children can encounter for a pediatric dermatologist are certainly in season. And yet, while many of the conditions they may encounter requiring treatment can be traceable to their exposure to each other, or to the environment of school, many others are their own.
Equally, these are conditions of the skin, hair, and nails for which a qualified pediatric dermatologist can restore children’s sense of well-being – the way they feel – as well as the health of their skin.
Behind that Rash
Often it can be a rash that first brings to parents’ attention the need to see an Atlanta pediatric dermatologist. A red and inflamed area anywhere on the skin can be the first cause for attention. Although some rashes respond to home treatment, such as avoiding soaps and bathing in warm water, many others are not so easy. What is especially not easy is to discover the cause of a rash, and this in many cases is where we can be of considerable help.
A rash might be the skin’s response to a harsh chemical – perhaps a cleaning solution used at school, an outdoor irritant such as poison ivy, or animal dander from a friend’s unfamiliar pet. The number of irritants or conditions that can produce a rash is vast, unfortunately, and so discovering causes and conditions can be a pediatric dermatologist’s greatest contribution.
The Prevalence of Eczema
Between 10% and 20% of infants are born with eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. In most cases the condition subsides with gentle cleaning and moisturizing. And yet, as the name “atopic” suggests, it is the nature of eczema that it can appear on a portion of the body that is not in contact with the irritant that caused it, or in fact with any irritant at all.
As a result, one of the best reasons to reach beyond a home cure is to discover what is causing the itchy rash. Eczema can be chronic, and so the importance of getting a better answer is great.
Not Enough Names
Acne is frequently the condition that first prompts parents to bring their child to a pediatric dermatologist, and, as a result, the ages 12 to 14 are often when we meet. And yes, it is true that these are the patients who least like to be called children. The first thing we hope to provide in these cases is compassion.
While it can be true for some that acne is a passing phase, a normal feature of adolescence, this answer left to itself can be truly damaging. The reason is that acne is suffered on so many diverse levels, and in so many ways and degrees, that it rightfully should come with different names. Few, if any, cases are just alike.
Higher Stakes than You May Think
Few adolescents experience the consequences of acne in the same way. For some, it is an occasional embarrassment that seems to arrive on clue, just in time for picture day or the prom. For others – they wake up to a different face every morning, and right at the time when their self-esteem is in full formation – molten and malleable.
Still another vexing aspect of acne is that you don’t know at the outset what course the condition will take. An accomplished friend of ours said that if he had known at age 13 that he would still have some degree of acne at 43, he does not know if he could have faced it.
The paradox of acne – to take it seriously enough without adding to the alarm that it may bring – is yet another good reason to seek the expertise of a pediatric dermatologist, sooner rather than later, when acne joins the household.
Childcare can include so many instances in which having a pediatric dermatologist on your side can make a difference, that we welcome any opportunity to get acquainted and join the team.