Childhood Skin Problems

Childhood Skin Problems

Children experience a number of different skin conditions mostly seen in babies and very young children, though older children can get them too. While people of all ages can get certain skin conditions, these skin problems are only common in young children and include cradle cap, Fifth disease and roseola. Below you will find the main causes, symptoms, risk factors and treatment options for the skin conditions so that you know when to consult a doctor and how best to offer your child relief from the associated symptoms.

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap, also referred to as infantile seborrheic dermatitis, is a rash that exists on a baby’s scalp and is accompanied by scaling and redness on their head. It is non-infectious so others around your baby won’t contract the skin condition. Cradle cap is also a form of eczema. It is very common in infants, usually in the first few weeks of the baby’s life and will disappear slowly within a month. It isn’t usually uncomfortable, itchy or painful. The cause of cradle cap is unknown however a type of yeast called pityrosporum ovale is thought to be a risk factor for the skin condition. Cradle cap is usually treated with mild shampoo though in most cases it will go away on its own. Your baby’s hair and head will be washed more often than you were previously along with very soft brushing to remove any loose scales.


Another skin condition that occurs in young children is roseola, which is a viral illness. This condition occurs mostly in children between 6 months and 2 years old and is accompanied by a pinkish-red raised or flat rash and fever. Roseola is possibly caused by two different viruses; the human herpes virus type 6 or the human herpes virus type 7. Both are in the same family of herpes virus though they don’t cause the typical side effects of herpes like genital infections or cold sores. Roseola is contagious however and can be spread to others with fluid from the mouth or nose. Symptoms of roseola, aside from the fever and reddish bumps, are a small appetite, swollen lymph nodes and irritability. Roseola goes away on its in most causes and doesn’t need treatment. Your child’s fever can be treated with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Fifth Disease

Fifth disease is another common skin condition in young children which is very contagious and caused by the human parvovirus. It causes a reddish rash in the fake that makes the child look like their cheeks were slapped. Fifth disease is most common in young, school-aged children and can be transmitted to other children by coughing or sneezing. The symptoms of Fifth disease include the facial rash, cold and flu like symptoms such as runny nose coughing, fever, body aches and pains, irritability, and loss of appetite. Like other skin conditions, Fifth disease goes away on its own and therefore doesn’t require treatment.

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