Home > Kids > Children's General Health > Childhood Illnesses > Dermatitis in Young Children
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Dermatitis in Young Children

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Shari Nethersole, M.D.

Q: My 4-1/2-year-old daughter has had some type of dermatitis since she was about 8 months old. This appears in between her toes (like athlete's foot at first), behind her ears, in the folds and curves of her ears, under her arms, and in the folds of skin at the leg and groin area. It gets so raw and cracked that it bleeds. I took her to see a dermatologist when she was about one. He said that she would outgrow this by the time she was two. He recommended triple antibiotic cream for the times when it gets extremely rough.

However this only helps for a short time. If I miss even one day, it starts the cycle of becoming raw and oozing. When the areas are not raw and oozing, they appear like very dry, chapped skin. Do you have any other suggestions?

A: It is very hard to make a diagnosis involving a skin rash without actually seeing it. There are many different types of skin conditions that could be present in your child that are all treatable. Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and seborrhea are very common in young children. My major recommendation would be to go back to your primary physician or dermatologist to have it re-evaluated.

When a physician makes a diagnosis, she is not saying that another diagnosis is impossible, just that this is the most likely cause of a particular problem. But if the child is not responding to the recommended treatment then she needs to be seen again.

Probably one of the great miscommunication problems we have in terms of patient/doctor interactions these days is not making it clear that patients should come back if they are not improving. I think some patients have the idea that they are bothering their doctors or that they are causing a problem if they return for treatment of the same complaint again. It is very helpful for a physician to find out if the first recommended therapy didn't work; he can re-evaluate the problem and see if a different treatment or evaluation is needed.

More on: Expert Advice

Shari Nethersole is a physician at Children's Hospital, Boston, and an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and did her internship and residency at Children's Hospital, Boston. As a pediatrician, she tries to work with parents to identify and address their concerns.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.