Birthmarks are coloured marks that are visible on the skin. They’re often present at birth or develop soon afterwards.
There are several different types of birthmark and some of them are very common.
The two main types of birthmarks are:
Vascular birthmarks often occur in the head and neck area, mainly on the face. But both types of birthmark can appear anywhere, including inside the body.
If surface blood vessels are affected, a vascular birthmark will appear red, purple or pink. If the affected vessels are deep, the birthmark will appear blue.
Pigmented birthmarks are tan or brown-coloured skin marks.
Most birthmarks are harmless and don’t need to be treated. Some types of birthmarks will fade over time, whereas other types will be permanent if they’re not treated.
In some cases, a birthmark will need to be treated for medical reasons or to prevent complications.
Read more about dangerous moles on your children’s skin.
What is a diaper rash?
What causes diaper rash?
Diaper rash can be caused by:
What are the symptoms of a diaper rash?
How should I treat the diaper rash?
If the rash is severe or infected, your doctor might prescribe a medicine for you to use on the area.
What is eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes itchy, dry and flaky skin. Another term for eczema is “atopic dermatitis.”
What are the symptoms of eczema?
Eczema can look different in people of different ages and different skin types:
How can I treat my symptoms at home?
Use unscented thick moisturizing creams and ointments for dry skin.
Avoid triggers that can exacerbate eczema, such as:
Medical treatment for eczema.
Using regular moisturisers and avoiding triggers may not be enough to control your eczema.
The medical treatments for eczema include:
About half of children with eczema grow out of it by the time they become adults.
Can eczema be prevented?
Babies who have a parent, brother, or sister with eczema have a higher risk of getting it, too.
In these babies, using moisturizing creams or ointments (starting right after birth) might help prevent eczema during the first year.
Contact dermatitis is a rash caused by your skin reacting to a substance it has come into contact with. You may need patch testing to identify the causative substance. A steroid cream or ointment will usually clear the rash. However, the long-term treatment is to avoid contact with the agent that’s causing it.
There are two types of contact dermatitis – irritant and allergic.
Irritant contact dermatitis
This is caused by direct contact with a substance which irritates the skin. It most commonly affects the hands.
Allergic contact dermatitis
This occurs when your immune system reacts against a specific substance (allergic skin reaction).
Many substances can cause an allergic contact dermatitis. Common ones include:
The skin can be infected with bacteria, viruses, mycobacteria and fungi.
Skin can also be infested by parasites such as scabies, lice and other organisms.
Your dermatologist will be able to distinguish between these different infections by performing a skin scraping to evaluate under the microscope or by sending a sample for a culture.
The treatment of these infections will be dictated by die identified organism and by medication susceptibility studies.
Dr. Johann de Wet is a top Paediatric Dermatologist in Stellenbosch and treats skin conditions in babies, toddlers and young children.