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Eczema in children and other skin problems – how private dermatology can help

It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish eczema in children from other common skin problems. Finding the triggers for flare ups and deciding on the right treatment can also take time. Therapy for skin problems in children needs to be tailored to the individual child for optimal benefits. Opting for private treatment can mean that your child has access to a wide range of tests and treatments so that their condition can be managed effectively or even cured.


Specialized tests available in private hospitals include:

  • Computerised tomography (CT) scans

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans

  • Ultrasound scans

  • Skin biopsy 


Eczema in children

Atopic eczema is the most common type of eczema in children and can affect up to 15% of people under 18 in the UK. It is a very itchy rash that most commonly occurs on the face, knees, hands and feet, making the skin very dry and scaly, and often thickened. The cause of eczema in children is not known but it tends to run in families and is often found in children with a history of other allergies or asthma.


Even moderate eczema in children can be distressing, because of the persistent itchiness, which is often worse at night and so disrupts sleep. The visual appearance of eczema in children can also make it more distressing, particularly as they enter the self-consciousness of the teenage years.


Eczema in children can be treated with emollients, steroids or anti-inflammatory creams or tablets, but results are variable. Further help may involve assessing your child’s diet and environment to try to identify a trigger. This may require a stay in hospital. Sometimes, ultraviolet light therapy can be effective for treating eczema in children. Some complimentary medicines such as homeopathy may also be helpful. 


Psoriasis in children

Psoriasis typically affects the outer elbows and the fronts of the knees. The scalp and nails are also often involved. It is not always itchy but can be in some cases. Psoriasis can be triggered by stress and illness – skin problems in children involving psoriasis are often triggered by throat infections. Treatment for psoriasis involves creams and immunosuppressants and may improve with phototherapy. 


Birthmark surgery in children

Birthmarks are coloured areas of skin that are present from birth or develop soon after. They may be flat or raised, and can be classed as red (involving blood vessels) or pigmented marks that can be brown, black, bluish or blue-grey. Most birthmarks don’t need any treatment. They may fade as your child grows, and are generally not problematic. However, you may wish to consider removal via birthmark surgery for cosmetic reasons. Birthmark surgery may also be medically necessary, such as if a raised birthmark is close to the eye and interfering with your child’s vision.


Other skin problems in children include vitiligo (loss of pigment), roseola (a viral rash), ringworm (fungal infection), impetigo (bacterial infection), warts, prickly heat (blocked sweat ducts), contact dermatitis (an allergic reaction) and urticaria (caused by food intolerance).


As skin problems in children tend to be chronic in nature, and need continual assessment to maintain treatment that is effective, having private treatment under a private healthcare scheme or through family health insurance from work can ensure good continuity and convenient access to appointments when they are needed.