As they are exposed to all kinds of allergens, irritants, and pathogens in their growing world, children often develop skin irritations. Some are mild, others are more severe. The first thing a parent needs to know is when such a condition warrants an immediate trip to the emergency room. Hives that appear with severe allergic reaction are a good example of a condition that could be deadly if treatment is delayed.
Once you’re confident that you’re dealing with run-of-the-mill irritation, a more deliberate treatment process is called for. You need to be systematic in examining the things that your child has touched, worn, and eaten so that you can get a definitive determination of what happened–and a definitive means of treatment.
Here are some steps to walking through this process. The idea is to steer you toward the best way to handle a problem without overreacting or underreacting.
Consider The Simple Stuff
Children’s skin is sensitive. The things that can inflame and irritate it won’t make any impact on your skin. So you have to examine the problem in the context of what would bother skin that’s far more sensitive than your own.
A good example is clothing. Something like fabric rubbing against our skin doesn’t normally bother us, but a child can have some irritation from these simple sources. In addition, the very youngest kids may not put clothing on correctly. Every twisted or misplaced garment can cause discomfort, which is why seamless products are getting so popular among parents.
Detergents are a common offender. Families switch brands, do a couple loads, and then the child shows up with skin irritation in only the areas where the clothes touched her skin. Sure enough, she’s allergic to the new product.
Look at the shape and size of the irritated area and see if it matches what the child has worn. If there’s a match, you just need to apply some soothing lotion and either make a wardrobe adjustment or make sure clothes are going on correctly.
Find Timely Medical Care
One of Murphy’s Laws of children is that when a doctor needs to see something, you can never find a doctor. It’s frustrating to wait a day or two for care only to have the condition disappear before the appointment–and then reappear after it. It becomes a frustrating cycle that leaves you and your child miserable.
Technology is helping. Virtual consultations with doctors are now possible 24 hours a day, with a quick and affordable online consultation that will help you get a doctor’s attention at just the right time. It’s the perfect way to make sure that they get an accurate view of what’s going on with your child, better targeting treatment options.
Be Steadfast In Treatment
Speaking of treatment, many skin conditions take a while to heal. Ordinary irritations from friction will clear up quickly if the source is eliminated, but once you’re dealing with things like athlete’s foot, poison ivy, and other conditions with a fungal or allergic origin, the time can be much longer.
During treatment, you will probably start to see some improvement in a couple of days. But if you don’t continue medication even after the visible symptoms disappear, the problem could return. Fungal problems like athlete’s foot and ringworm thrive on damp skin, so be sure your kids dry off thoroughly after swimming or bathing and before putting dry clothes back on.
On top of sore throats, stomach problems, sunburn, lice, and the countless other afflictions of childhood, skin irritations are just one more worry on the Mom & Dad Worry List. It’s very important to make sure that the skin problems that indicate a serious condition are treated aggressively and quickly, but the more benign issues need attention too. Understanding what has likely caused the problem is key to clearing it up.