In this blog post, I interview Dr Jennifer Crawley about her expertise as a children’s skin doctor, an area she specialises in. She tells us about the range of children’s skin problems she treats here at Clinica London.
Miss Jane Olver: Thank you very much, Jennifer, you have told us a little bit about what you do here at Clinica in Adult Dermatology. You mentioned eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, keloid scars, skin tags, mole checks, biopsies of other the lesions, not just on the face but the whole body. I have just wanted to follow up on your work as a Paediatric Dermatologist. You said you treat adults a lot, but also I understand you are the lead Paediatric Dermatologist at University College Hospital.
Tell me a little bit about what you do with children’s skin problems, please.
Dr Jennifer Crawley: Certainly Jane. Yes, that is correct. I lead the Paediatric Dermatology Service at University College Hospital. Skin conditions are widespread in children and Jane we do see similar skin conditions to adults, but we also see a whole range of conditions in children that you do not see in adults. Remember that in children, skin cancer is sporadic. The most common skin conditions that we see in the paediatric clinic is eczema, skin infections, birthmarks, acne, and many more! Eczema is probably the most common condition we see. The majority of babies, toddlers, children will have eczema at some point at that young age.
Jane: What is the ratio for eczema of children and adults?
Jennifer: At least 70% of children will have eczema at some point in their childhood, and it is less in adults. Remember in children we see eczema associated with asthma and hay fever and, in particular circumstances, food allergy as well. I work very closely with the allergy team especially with regards to testing for the possibility of food allergy playing a role.
Jane: What kind of food allergies?
Jennifer: So the most common we see can include cow’s milk protein, egg, nuts and fish. These are what we call delayed hypersensitivity reactions, so we are not talking about a type 1 reaction, where for example, a child might eat a nut and get a rapid and severe anaphylactic type reaction. These are allergies that are slower to work, but can cause problems with eczema and flaring of eczema. So, I see lots and lots of eczema Jane. I also see lots of skin infections in children. So certain skin infections are more common in children than adults; one of them would be something like….
Jane: Ringworm? Scabies?
Jennifer: Yes, ringworm Jane and especially in school, scabies, and impetigo.
Jane: Impetigo, so what is that?
Jennifer: Impetigo is a bacterial infection of the skin, commonly caused by the staphylococcus bacteria on the skin.
Jane: Is it a big spot or boil? What does it look like?
Jennifer: It would look like a red, inflamed patch of skin with oozing and there is usually associated yellow crusting also. Sometimes you can get a blister occurring at the site.
Jane: Oh…. Sounds a little unpleasant. Where does that occur on the skin?
Jennifer: It can occur anywhere on the body. Children with eczema are more prone to impetigo. It is contagious, so if little children are in close contact, for example, playing together or bathing together, the infection can pass from one child to the other.
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