Pediatric dermatology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions in infants, children and adolescents. Pediatric dermatologists can also help teenagers with chronic problems when they make the transition from pediatric to adult care. Pediatric dermatologists treat conditions like birthmarks, eczema, warts and acne.
What Kinds of Treatment Can a Pediatric Dermatologist Provide?
Pediatric dermatology involves a variety of services, including the following:
- Prescription medications
- Skin biopsies
- Surgical removal of small lumps in the skin, like warts or cysts
- Medical exams
Pediatric dermatologists have had special training to help them work with children. They realize that children, especially young ones, cannot always say what is bothering them or understand medical questions. They know how to put a child at ease during a medical exam or treatment. They use equipment that is scaled down to a child’s size.
When Should Someone Take Their Child to a Dermatologist?
In many cases, the child’s pediatrician will refer the child to a pediatric dermatologist. They are especially apt to do so if they are not certain how to treat a given condition. The pediatrician will also refer a child to a pediatric dermatologist if their condition has not responded to treatment or keeps coming back. The pediatrician will also call a pediatric dermatologist if the child has a serious condition. Signs of a potentially serious condition include itchiness and sudden changes in size, color, texture or shape. Recurrent skin problems or those that might be linked to allergies can also be serious.
A parent should also see a pediatric dermatologist if their child has a congenital condition, like a birthmark. The pediatric dermatologist can monitor the skin condition and make sure it does not become infected, cancerous or otherwise harmful.
What Happens During a First Visit?
During the child’s first visit with a pediatric dermatologist, the doctor will take the patient’s medical history. She will want to know how long the child has had their condition, and what the symptoms are like.
The pediatric dermatologist will also perform a physical exam, during which she will check the child’s whole body for any potential problems. If the dermatologist finds something, she may order tests like skin scrapings, blood tests or tissue biopsies.
When Should a Teenager See a Dermatologist for Acne?
Mild cases of acne can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications. If such treatments stop working or the acne keeps coming back, it’s time to see our dermatologist. If the acne is affecting the child’s self-esteem to the point they are skipping parties or getting depressed, it’s time to go to the dermatologist.
Learn More About Pediatric Dermatology
If your adolescent has any worrisome skin conditions, set up a consultation with our board-certified pediatric dermatologist at RidgeView Dermatology. We have locations in Lynchburg, Smith Mountain Lake and Forest. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.