Skin Problems in Infants and Toddlers

Jan 24, 2022
Skin Problems in Infants and Toddlers
Skin Problems in Infants and Toddlers

Your baby was probably born with gorgeous skin; soft, smooth, unmarked and just about perfect. You’re expecting that beautiful skin to stay beautiful, at least until the teen years.

Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t – and it happens much earlier that you are prepared for. Here at The Center for Advanced Pediatrics, Dr. Stephanie Mason explains the top three conditions you are likely to see and when you’ll need to schedule an appointment.


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) one out of 10 children will develop eczema. Eczema presents itself as an itchy red, dry rash. It occurs when your child has a deficit of the protein filaggrin in their outer layer of skin. Filaggrin is what forms a strong barrier between your child and the environment, so less filaggrin means more bacteria and irritants will enter their system, causing irritation.

Eczema occurs most commonly during seasons of allergies and asthma. Dr. Mason advises parents to be observant about when eczema flare ups occur, to find any correlations between irritants in the environments, such as household cleaners or perfumes. Finding these triggers will help you determine what to eliminate in your household to minimize occurrences.

You can also help prevent flare ups by giving your child a daily bath in lukewarm water and heavily moisturizing their skin with petroleum jelly.

With a healthy skin care regiment and treatment plan, it is possible to keep your child’s eczema under control. Monitor break-outs to ensure that complications such as bacterial or viral infections do not develop in conjunction with the eczema. Call us if you notice yellow or honey-colored crusting or scabbing or pus; these may require antibiotics.

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap has nothing to do with being in a cradle or with wearing a cap. Cradle cap occurs when crusty, scaly patches of skin form on your child’s head. This is caused by an excessive amount of sebrum, an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands to lubricate the skin. It is not painful to your child, but we understand your concern.

Cradle cap is usually seen in newborns, but it can present in toddlers as well. Typically, this condition will resolve on its own within a few weeks to a month or two. To help speed healing, apply mineral oil to your child’s scalp. After a few hours, wash the scalp gently with a mild shampoo. After washing, brush the scalp with a soft brush. Perform this daily and the condition should show signs of improvement within a few days.

If not, make an appointment so we can evaluate your chld. A low-potency hydrocortisone cream or a shampoo with 2% antifungal ketoconazole medication may be needed. Do not use any over the counter medications or shampoos without our recommendation, as these products may harm your baby’s delicate skin.


Roseola is a viral infection that most commonly occurs between the ages of six months and 3 years. Watch for roseola after your child has run a high fever (above 103° F) for up to a week, with cold and flu-like symptoms. The rash will appear after the fever breaks; red or pink, spotty or patchy. You may see “halos” around the spots. Typically, the rash starts on the stomach and spreads to the back, neck and arms. The rash itself is not painful.

Whenever your child experiences a high fever for more than 24 hours, and the fever is not responding to acetaminophen or ibuprofen, call Urgi-Kids and bring in your child. Unfortunately, about 10-15% of children with roseola have febrile seizures. While these episodes usually do not have long term affects, contact us if your child experiences a seizure.

More typically, roseola will clear on its own with home care and monitoring. After your child has experience roseola, they should have immunity that lasts into adulthood.

Skin rashes in infancy and after an illness can be unsettling. While most rashes will resolve on their own, don’t hesitate to message Dr. Mason or any physician through your child’s patient portal. At The Center for Advanced Pediatrics, we are always here to help.