Skin Infections in Children

 

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a pox virus and involves the outer layer of the skin, causing tiny white bumps. The centre of the bumps may have a depression filled with while material.

Molluscum contagiosum is contagious and can be transmitted to other areas of the skin or to other children. It can spread via skin to skin contact and sharing of clothes and towels. It is advisable to avoid swimming if  your child has molluscum. Infants and toddlers are more susceptible to catching molluscum. Usually, it causes no harm.
 
Your doctor may try to treat the molluscum by pricking, freezing or applying a medicated cream (like imiquimod) to the surface. Left untreated, molluscum may last 2-3 years. It clears when immunity to the virus develops.
 


Viral Warts

Warts are growths on your skin caused by an infection with human papilloma virus, or HPV. 

Types of warts include:

 
  • Common warts, which often appear on your fingers, toes and on the knees
  • Plantar warts, which show up on the soles of your feet
  • Genital warts, which are a sexually transmitted disease
  • Flat warts are skin-coloured and can appear in any area of the body
  • Periungual warts prefer to grow at the sides or under the nails and can distort nail growth
Warts are contagious and may spread from one area of the body to another or to others. There is no way to prevent warts.
 
In children, warts often go away on their own. In adults, they tend to stay. If they hurt or bother you, or if they multiply, you can remove them.
 
Treatment
 
Many people don’t bother to treat them because treatment can be more uncomfortable and troublesome than the warts – they are hardly ever a serious problem. However, warts may be painful and they often look ugly and cause embarrassment.
 
 

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is the most common treatment for warts. The wart is frozen with liquid nitrogen repeatedly, at one to three week intervals. This is uncomfortable for a few minutes and may result in blistering for several days.
 
Chemical treatment
 
Chemical treatment includes salicylic acid, 5-fluorouracil and imiquimod which work by removing the dead surface skin cells.
 
 

Electrosurgery

Electrosurgery is used for particularly large and annoying warts. Under local anaesthetic, the growth is pared away and the base burned by diathermy or cautery. The wound heals in about two weeks.
 
Laser treatment
 
Large warts can also be treated by CO2 laser. This can result in a wound which can take about 2 weeks to heal.

 

Impetigo

Impetigo is a skin infection caused by bacteria. It develops if the bacteria, most commonly Staphylococcus or Streptococcus, gets into the skin. Impetigo is more common when the skin has a poor immune function or if the immune system is impaired. It is occurs more commonly in children with eczema. It can appear as painful blisters , sores or yellow crust.
 
Treatment
 
Impetigo can be treated with oral antibiotics. See your doctor and complete the course of antibiotics. Children should not share towels with others and they should be encouraged to wash their hands frequently.
 
As impetigo can spread to others, affected children should be kept away from school until their lesions have recovered.

 

Candidiasis

 
Candidiasis is a skin infection caused by a fungus. It affects the body folds like the diaper area where the skin is moist and warm. It appears as red areas with small blisters.
 
Treatment
 
For infants wearing diapers, frequent changes are recommended and try to keep the area dry. Your doctor will prescribe an anti-fungal cream and use it 2-3 times a day until the rash clears.
 
 

Scabies

 
Scabies is a skin infection caused by the scabies mites. It presents as red bumps and can cause itch particularly on the hands, skin folds, abdomen and genitalia. It is transmitted from humans and often occurs within families especially when there is close contact.
 
Treatment
 
Your doctor will prescribe a lotion which get rid of the mites. All family members who have been in close contact with the affected child should also be treated. Repeat treatment 1 week later may be needed and it is important to have a follow up visit with your doctor to confirm that the treatment had been successful.

Dr Lynn Chiam…

Dr Lynn Chiam graduated from the National University of Singapore and subsequently received her Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (Internal Medicine) United Kingdom. She completed her specialist training in dermatology...

More about Dr. Lynn...





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Through consultation with our doctor, a thorough analysis will be undertaken to determine the ideal treatment methods for the best possible results.

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