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Childhood Skin Disorders

In Pediatric

Childhood Skin Disorders


Your baby’s skin is as delicate as it is soft. Insect bites, small cuts and scrapes are commonplace. Cradle cap, diaper rash, eczema and sunburn can also occur and cause itching, redness and local or widespread rashes. Most childhood skin disorders are usually harmless and can often be treated with products that can be found in the over the counter section at the pharmacy.

Cradle cap

What is it?

Crusts on the scalp are caused by a surplus of oily secretions. Either yellowish or greyish, cradle cap is very common and many babies get it.


Often a good hair washing is usually enough to remove it. Gently massage your baby’s head, let the shampoo work for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse well with lukewarm water.

If the scaly crusts do not go away, rub some olive or baby oil on them. Let the oil soak in for a couple of hours, then use a soft brush to remove the crusts. You can use ordinary shampoo to wash the scalp and hair afterwards.

If you still don’t see an improvement, talk to your pharmacist who will advise you about other products to try.

Diaper rash or diaper dermatitis (severe diaper rash) 

Symptoms (Balise H3)

Baby’s bottom, thighs or genitals are red, hot, painful and are covered with red patches, sometimes outlined with little red spots.



How to prevent severe diaper rash:

  • Change diapers as soon as they are soiled and as often as possible.
  • Clean the area very gently with lukewarm water and a soft cloth.
  • Apply a protective cream on your baby’s bottom at each diaper change.
  • Expose your baby’s bottom to air for a few minutes on a regular basis.

It is not necessary to remove all of the protective cream each time you change the baby.


Most of the time, diaper rash disappears after a few days without medication. If it gets worse after 3 or 4 days despite taking care of it as described above, it could be an infection caused by candida, a microscopic fungus that grows in folds in the skin. If this is the case, you should talk to your doctor who can prescribe a medicated ointment with an antifungal agent, and sometimes cortisone to relieve the pain.

Sunburns and sunscreen 

How to protect your child’s skin from the sun

Babies under 6 months

No sunscreen should be used before the age of six months. You should however use physical sun barriers, such as zinc oxide (ointment or paste), clothes that cover baby’s body or a parasol to shield baby.

Babies over 6 months

Use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30. Apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure, then every 2 hours and after each swim.

How to relieve sunburn

  • Apply cool compresses for 20 minutes, a few times a day.
  • Avoid more sun exposure.
  • Ensure that your child drinks enough liquid to compensate for water loss due to sun exposure.
  • Apply an unscented moisturizer 48 hours after getting sunburned.
  • Administer, as needed, a pain reliever such as acetaminophen, to soothe the pain and burning sensation.
  • Lotions with aloe procure a cooling sensation and can relieve sunburn.


Mosquito and other insect bites


  • Put a mosquito net on your child’s stroller.
  • Dress your child in clothes that cover their arms and legs.
  • Avoid going out at sunrise and sunset, periods when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Avoid using products with citronella, lavender or eucalyptus oils on children under 2.

Mosquito repellents cannot be used on children under 6 months. Talk to your pharmacist about the best approach to protect your baby.

If your child is bitten

  • Clean the affected area with soap and water.
  • Apply a cold compress to soothe itching and reduce swelling.

Minor cuts and scrapes


  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Rinse the wound with running water.
  • Clean the wound with soapy water and be sure to remove any dirt.
  • Cover with a bandage or gauze.  
  • To avoid stinging, do not put rubbing alcohol on your child’s cuts or scrapes.

If you are not sure how serious the wound is, talk to your pharmacist who can advise you if you need to see a doctor.

Minor burns

No matter the burn, put the affected area in cold water as soon as possible, for at least 10 minutes. If this is not possible, soak a clean cloth in cool water and apply it to the burn.

It is not necessary to remove clothing touching the burn before placing the affected area in cold water.

Twenty-four hours after the incident, apply an unscented moisturizer to soothe the burned area.

Dry skin and eczema

Tips to relieve itching  

  • Apply an unscented moisturizer several times a day.
  • Use unscented soap to wash your child’s hands and bottom. Wash the rest of baby’s body with water several times a week.

To download the PDF brochure, click here

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