Common Skin Conditions in Children

If you’re worried about your child’s skin and you’re not sure what’s wrong then this information may be of help to you. If you’re in doubt, speak to your local Alphega pharmacist who will be able to give you advice and make recommendations on the best solution.

Children can experience a variety of skin rashes, and most will disappear within a couple of days, with no lasting effects. Here’s an overview of the most common skin problems:


Eczema is a skin condition that causes redness, swelling, rashes, dryness, crusting, flaking or even bleeding. The most common form of eczema is known as Atopic Eczema.  It’s also known as ‘flexural eczema’ because it affects the folded areas of skin around the joints.

Eczema tends to be more common in children but can continue into adulthood.  In 8 out of 10 cases, atopic eczema occurs before a child reaches the age of five. However, many children will find their eczema disappears as they grow older – studies show that in 65% cases, atopic eczema clears up by the time the child reaches 16 years of age. In fact, NHS studies show that 53% of the time it clears up before a child reaches 11 years old. 

The most commonly seen types of eczema include:

  • Discoid eczema

  • Contact dermatitis

  • Varicose eczema

  • Seborrhoeic eczema

most commonly seen types of eczema

What Causes Eczema in Children?

If a family member has Eczema then it’s possible a child will be genetically inclined to develop it at some stage in their life. Symptoms are also more likely to occur in people who have other allergies, such as a food allergy or hayfever. Although we know the triggers of Eczema, the exact cause of atopic eczema is still unknown. Common triggers that induce itchiness, rashes and other symptoms in sufferers can include:

  • Stress

  • Dust mites

  • Animal fur/dander

  • Pollen

  • Milk

  • Eggs

  • Nuts

  • Soya

  • Wheat

  • Dampness

  • Harsh Soaps

  • Over-washing

  • Rough Clothing, such as wool

  • Chemicals such as perfume

How might Eczema affect my child?

As a skin condition, Eczema doesn’t present any long-term damage to your child, but constant scratching can lead to a variety of problems. Cracked, sore and bleeding skin is not uncommon and consistent broken skin is likely to lead to infection. If you’re worried, talk to your Alphega pharmacist for advice.

Many eczema sufferers have disrupted sleeping patterns due to scratching and discomfort and, in some cases, irritation can be so severe that it takes a significant physical and mental toll on the body.

Preventing and treating Eczema

Keep the skin constantly moisturised to prevent it from becoming dry and cracked, reducing tenderness and itching.

  • Emollients (moisturising treatments) help to prevent water loss by forming a protective film. They are a very common and important treatment for atopic eczema.

  • Topical corticosteroids, which are used to reduce swelling and redness during flare-ups.

  • Antihistamines will help sever itching.

  • Topical immunosuppresants (such as pimecrolimus cream, tacrolimus ointment) also help to reduce reaction.

  • Infected eczema can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics.

Warts and Verrucas

Warts come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re usually round rough lumps on your skin and you’ll often find them on hands, fingers or feet. Verrucas develop on the soles of your feet and are often white with a dark dot in the centre.

How do you stop the spread of warts and verrucas in your children?

  • Wart's and verrucas shouldn’t be touched and certainly not picked as this will spread the virus.

  • Towels, flannels, socks and shoes should not be shared with someone who has a wart / verruca.

  • If your child is going swimming or using communal showers get them to wear flip flops or (ideally) verruca socks.

Care needs to be taken when using treatment products and your local pharmacy team will be able to advise you accordingly to ensure you are using them effectively and safely. 

For further information about children's health issues or any symptoms they may be suffering from please visit your local pharmacy to see how they can help.


If you’re worried about your child’s skin and you’re not sure what’s wrong speak to your local Alphega pharmacist who will be able to give you advice and make recommendations on the best solution. Find your local Alphega pharmacy by searching here. (Services may differ between pharmacies so get in touch with your local pharmacy to make an enquiry and book your appointment).