Skin problems are common in childhood. You will want to know about the early signs of a skin infection, what treatment is available and what to do if the skin condition gets worse. 


A child's hand showing a skin condition

Simple steps you can take to prevent your child getting a skin infection.

A boil is a tender red lump on the skin which is caused by an infection of the hair root or sweat pore. Boils are not usually a serious problem. There is a small chance of your child becoming sicker if the infection spreads – if this happens you should take your child to your family doctor.

Any area of skin can become infected with cellulitis if the skin is broken in some way. Cellulitis is a serious infection that needs treatment with antibiotics.

How to care for cuts, grazes or puncture wounds. If your child has a wound that won't stop bleeding, see your doctor or go to the emergency department.

Eczema is a dry skin condition. It cannot be cured but it can usually be controlled.

There are 3 really important steps when caring for your child with eczema: using lots of moisturiser; bathing once a day and using steroids when your child's skin has active eczema. Watch the video to see these steps in action.  

Bathing can be really helpful for children with eczema. Bathing once a day helps to clean the skin and prepares the skin for creams after the bath.

Find out how you can reduce eczema's impact on your child's quality of life. Use lots of moisturiser - at least twice a day, more if possible. Use it all over the body, including the face.

If your child's skin has active eczema and is red and itchy, topical steroids can help to soothe that and allow the skin to heal and become comfortable again. You use steroid creams alongside other important eczema treatments, particularly moisturisers and avoidance of soap.

Head lice are small insects that live on the human scalp. They are common and cause concern and frustration for parents, children and young people. Dimethicone lotion is an effective treatment that your family doctor can prescribe - check out our step by step guide.

An insect bite is usually a red itchy bump. There may be a blister in the middle. Sometimes insect bites are painful (especially spider bites) as well as itchy.

Henoch-Schonlein purpura is a disease which causes irritation and swelling of the small blood vessels in the skin. This  results in a rash (purple spots or purpura). The illness usually affects children from 2 to 10 years of age.

You can prevent nappy rash by keeping baby's skin clean and dry. Change nappies as soon as possible after they become wet or soiled.

Ringworm is a flat, ring-shaped infection. See your doctor if the ringworm is on your child's scalp as this needs to be treated with medicine.

Scabies is caused by a tiny insect known as a mite which digs under the skin and lays eggs. Small blisters grow on the skin above each egg and the skin gets very itchy.

School sores (impetigo) starts with blisters on exposed parts of the body (hands, legs, face).

Warts are common, harmless skin growths caused by a virus. In children, 90 percent of all warts will disappear within 2 years.

A 24 page booklet with information, diagrams and photos about looking after your child's skin and treating skin infections.
Every day check, clean, cover, eat well, sleep. Wash your hands before and after touching infected skin.

A poster with information about a range of skin conditions comparing early signs; what to do; what to do if it gets worse; how it is spread; time off from school or kura.