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Childrens' Skin

Caring for skin from birth to 18 months No longer protected inside its mother, a newborn child must adjust to a host of changes in their new environment. The world outside the womb can be harsh and, as the external barrier, the skin is the body’s first defense against these conditions. An infant’s skin must adapt to tackle a variety of chemicals, weather conditions, physical stresses, skin disease and attack from microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses. Until recently, little has been known about the structure of babies’ skin due to ethical issues of using certain experimental methods on infants. With the advent of newer, noninvasive techniques, however, we are beginning to learn more about the unique qualities of young…
Caring for skin from birth to 18 months Two skin problems seen in babies are so common we’ve given them their own pages: click on the following links for information about baby acne and nappy rash. Many of the skin problems seen in toddlers are also seen in babies. Read about conditions which commonly affect toddlers. Birthmarks - blemishes or markings on a baby’s skin on any part of the body. The two most common types are known as port-wine stains, which are present at birth, and hemangiomas, which can appear later on. Birthmarks may change over time, growing with the child or fading. While usually harmless, some people find birthmarks unflattering and opt to minimise their appearance with corticosteroid…
Caring for skin from birth to 18 months Baby acne are small bumps (whiteheads and pimples) on an infant’s skin. These bumps are usually closed, but open, inflamed or rash-like eruptions can also appear. Acne usually arises within the first few weeks of life and generally resolves within a couple of months. Babies normally get acne on their cheeks, but baby acne can also occur on the nose, forehead, chin, neck, arms and back. Baby acne is known by many names - neonatal acne, infantile acne, acne neonatorum, acne infantum or pediatric acne. It is an extremely common skin ailment and is usually mild. Up to 20% of newborns develop acne, with it being more prevalent in boys than girls.…
Caring for skin from birth to 18 months Many babies develop nappy (diaper) rash, a common condition where the skin covered by the nappy becomes irritated, red and inflamed; it may also be spotty, sore or itchy. Nappy rash is usually caused by prolonged contact with soiled or wet nappies, excessive rubbing or friction in the groin area or overuse of creams, lotions and oils. The longer the skin is left wet, the worse the nappy rash will become as the excess moisture damages the skin surface. Once broken, the skin can be further aggravated by urine, faeces, soaps, detergents and infections. Prevention and treatment While most babies will develop mild nappy rash, there are steps you can take to…
Caring for skin from birth to 18 months When you have a baby or young children, it can seem like a colossal task just to get out of the front door with everyone and everything you need. What’s more, there’s nothing worse than being stuck out and about with a wet, dirty, cold, bored or hungry child. This comprehensive checklist is designed to take the hassle out of packing your nappy bag and help you be prepared for (almost) any eventuality. Nappy (diaper) bag checklist For changing Nappies/diapers - the number of nappies you pack will depend on your baby/child’s age and the duration of your outing or trip. A good rule of thumb is to always take a few…
Caring for skin from 18 months - 4 years The skin of toddlers is more resilient than newborn skin, but still a long way from structural and functional maturity. While generally more fragile than adult skin, toddlers’ skin is also able to rapidly grow and heal, but requires a different level of care. Toddler skin structure New skin cells are formed at the bottom of the epidermis (the top layer of skin) and travel up to the surface where they are shedded, or ‘sloughed off’; continually renewing the skin. In toddlers and babies this process happens quickly, providing a high turnover rate of skin cells. As a result, the skin cells of little children are smaller and more tightly packed…
Caring for skin from 18 months - 4 years Many of the skin problems seen as babies or during childhood are also seen in toddlers. Click on the links to read about conditions which affect children or newborn babies. Chickenpox - caused by infection of the highly contagious varicella zoster virus. The virus spreads through the air or via physical contact and the incubation period is between 10 and 21 days. The physical symptoms begin with itchy spots, usually on the chest and back; the rash then spreads all over the body in the following three to four days. The spots develop into blisters which can break easily and form scabs. Other symptoms of chicken pox can include; fever, lethargy,…
Caring for skin for children aged 5-12 years As with other parts of the human body, the skin is an organ which develops and changes throughout our lifetime. Skin carries out many essential tasks, protecting us from the environment; regulating body temperature; sensing touch and pain and producing vitamin D. The development of skin is a gradual process, beginning in utero and continuing through childhood to maturity. Skin structure A child’s skin structure is very similar to their parents’, and develops over time. The epidermis (the outer layer of skin) in children has largely the same structure as adult skin, however, the stratum corneum (the top layer of the epidermis) is not as robust. The collagen fibres (protein which gives…
Caring for skin for children aged 5-12 years Many of the skin problems seen in toddlers are also seen throughout childhood. Click here to read about conditions which affect toddlers. Chicken pox - caused by infection of the highly contagious varicella zoster virus. The virus spreads through the air or via physical contact and the incubation period is between 10 and 21 days. The physical symptoms begin with itchy spots, usually on the chest and back; the rash then spreads all over the body in the following three to four days. The spots develop into blisters which can break easily and form scabs. Other symptoms of chicken pox can include; fever, lethargy, headache, cough and rhinorrhea (runny nose). Most often,…
As the teenage body begins to mature in preparation for adulthood, the skin must also adjust to a number of factors, including hormones, which significantly changes its structure and function. Generally, teenage or adolescent skin is tougher and more resilient than that of children, but is still elastic and able to regenerate quickly. Adolescents encounter some distinct dermatologic problems, including acne, and thus their skin requires specific care. Treating skin conditions in teens can, at times, be difficult due to additional issues occurring during this critical period of development. Setting a good example for skin care and sun protection at this age is vital to instilling healthy practices in the future, as puberty is a time when many values are…
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