Paediatric Skin Lesions: Care and Precautions

  • Vanessa Crowle Bachelor of Science - BSc Biomedical Science, Anglia Ruskin University, England
  • Christina Weir MSc, Biotechnology, Bioprocessing & Business Management, University of Warwick, UK

In this article, we will explore paediatric skin lesions (care and precautions) to understand how to identify and care for them, as well as any available precautions available.

Paediatric skin lesions require detailed care and precautions to ensure the overall health of the child’s skin. This process begins with visual inspection and assessment in which the skin lesions are identified and differentiated between concerning and benign lesions. In regards to benign lesions, maintaining proper hygiene and cleanliness, monitoring for any changes, and taking topical medications (if required) are essential. In addition, preventive methods such as minimising any scratching, avoiding irritants as well as using sunscreen with high SPF are crucial to prevent the worsening of the skin lesions plus prevent future complications. Through emphasising regular skin care and the important role of caregivers and parents, we can ensure the overall health and well-being of a child’s delicate skin. 

Read on to discover key guidelines for identifying, caring for and taking precautions against common paediatric skin lesions. Learn how to promote and improve the health and well-being of a child’s skin as well as when it's crucial to seek medical attention concerning skin lesions. 


Importance of paediatric skin lesion care

The importance of paediatric skin lesion care cannot be overstated due to a child’s skin being particularly vulnerable to infections as well as a wide range of issues and conditions. The skin acts as a crucial protective barrier, and its overall health can directly affect the child’s overall well-being. Among paediatric patients, skin lesions can range from a simple rash to potentially serious conditions, highlighting the importance of early identification and diagnosis. Effective skin lesion care not only helps to improve physical comfort but also aids in preventing scarring, complications and long-term dermatological issues.1 By understanding how to care for paediatric skin lesions, we can ensure the overall health and wellbeing of children. 

Common types of paediatric skin lesions

The common types of paediatric skin lesions can cover a wide range of dermatological conditions commonly encountered in children. These various lesions can include birthmarkers (such as port-wine stains and hemangiomas), infectious rashes (such as eczema, warts and chickenpox), as well as various other types of skin infections. In addition, paediatric skin lesions can also cover insect bites, allergic reactions as well as contact dermatitis.2 Full recognition and understanding of these common types of skin lesions can help provide healthcare providers, caregivers and parents with the necessary precautions as well as appropriate care to ensure the well-being of children’s overall skin health. 

Identifying Paediatric Skin Lesions

Visual inspection and assessment

The process of identifying paediatric skin lesions starts with a thorough visual inspection and assessment. Healthcare professionals, as well as caregivers, should start with a close examination of the skin to look for any concerning or unusual lesions, abnormalities or rashes. Key symptoms to consider include the lesion's colour, size, and texture, as well as any further symptoms such as pain or itching.3 A key critical part of the visual inspection is the early identification and differentiation between benign and any potential problematic skin lesions, this helps to guide the appropriate precautions and care for a child’s skin health. 

Differentiating between benign and concerning lesions

To help establish the proper care and precautions for skin lesions, distinguishing between concerning and benign skin lesions is essential. Benign skin lesions (which are often harmless and noncancerous) often exhibit typical characteristics such as a regular shape and uniform colour, as well as minimal growth or changes over time. In comparison, concerning lesions may display rapid growth, colour variations, irregular borders or signs of inflammation.2 Any lesions that display any concerning features should seek immediate medical attention to rule out any serious conditions and ensure timely treatment for a child’s skin health. 

Seeking medical evaluation when in doubt

When in doubt regarding a child’s skin lesion, it is essential to seek prompt medical advice. Healthcare providers can accurately diagnose as well as differentiate between concerning and benign skin lesions to ensure that the appropriate precautions and care are being taken.4 In addition, timely diagnosis and identification can be key in preventing any future potential complications, which provides parents and caregivers with peace of mind regarding their child’s skin condition. 

Care for Benign Paediatric Skin Lesions

Cleanliness and hygiene

When caring for benign paediatric skin lesions, maintaining proper hygiene and cleanliness is essential. This involves cleansing the affected area with warm water and mild soap, followed by patting it dry. Keeping the affected area clean helps to prevent any irritation and infection.1 In addition, ensuring that the surrounding skin is also kept clean and dry helps to support the healing process as well as minimising any discomfort for the child. 

Topical treatments (if recommended)

In certain circumstances, topical treatments may be recommended to aid in the management of benign paediatric skin lesions. These topical treatments may include applying over-the-counter creams such as moisturisers and ointments, as advised by a healthcare professional. The topical treatments can promote healing as well as reduce irritation and soothing symptoms.5 When applying topical treatments it is crucial to adhere to the recommended application guidelines as well as consulting a healthcare professional for the appropriate guidance on the correct topical treatment to use for the specific skin lesion. 

 Monitoring for changes

A key aspect of care and management regarding paediatric skin lesions is regular monitoring, this is essential to track the progress and ensure the lesions are healing as expected. It is important to keep a close eye on the texture, colour and size of the lesion, and any changes such as unusual colouration, any pain or discomfort and an increase in size should be reported to a healthcare professional.2 Regular monitoring aids in detecting any potential issues early, allowing for any needed adjustments in precautions and care to ensure that the child’s skin lesion continues to improve. 

Encouraging self-care in older children

In cases of benign paediatric skin lesions amongst older children, they can be encouraged to take an active role in their care. Teaching older children about proper hygiene, how to apply topical treatments and how to monitor their condition can empower older children with responsibility and knowledge regarding their skin lesions. These can not only foster independence but can also help to ensure they are playing an active role in maintaining their skin health.6 

Precautions for paediatric skin lesions

Protection from sun exposure

Shielding paediatric skin lesions from sun exposure is crucial to prevent the worsening of the lesion or any complications. Sun protection measures can involve dressing the child in protective clothing, avoiding peak sun hours and applying sunscreen with high SPF. Exposing skin lesions to the sun and UV rays can not only worsen the skin lesion but can also cause discomfort as well as lead to long-term skin damage, this makes protection from the sun an essential precaution for a child’s skin health.7 

Preventing scratching or further irritation

A key aspect of dealing with paediatric skin lesions is preventing scratching or further irritation. Trimming the child’s nails can help to minimise the risk of any accidental scratching. In addition, it may be useful to consider using breathable, soft fabrics for bedding and clothing to help reduce friction and discomfort.2 Teaching children the importance of not scratching the affected area can help to prevent the worsening of the condition as well as prevent infection and potential scarring, ensuring better overall skin health. 

Avoiding harsh chemicals or irritants

Another precaution for paediatric skin lesions is to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals or irritants. A key way to do this is to be mindful of the products that are used on the child’s skin and to opt for hypoallergenic and mild moisturisers, soaps and detergents. Harsh chemicals and irritants can not only worsen irritation and trigger allergic reactions through disrupting the healing process of the skin.8 Minimising the potential exposure to any irritants can help maintain the integrity of the skin as well as promote a comfortable healing environment for the child. 

Managing infection risk

When dealing with paediatric skin lesions, managing the risk of infections is a paramount precaution. Keeping the affected clean as well as encouraging proper hygiene can help to prevent the introduction of harmful bacteria into the skin lesion. The common signs of infection consist of increased swelling, redness, warmth and pus, if any concerning symptoms arise seek prompt medical attention.1 It is essential to take proactive steps to minimise the possibility of infection, allowing for the child’s skin lesions to heal properly and without any future complications. 

Promoting a healthy lifestyle for overall skin health

To prevent paediatric skin lesions as well as improve overall skin health promoting a healthy lifestyle is essential. Encouraging children to maintain regular physical activity as well as balanced nutrition and good hydration can all contribute to resilient and strong skin, resulting in a reduced likelihood of developing any skin issues.9 By encouraging and fostering a healthy lifestyle, caregivers and parents can play a key role in safeguarding their child’s skin from a range of skin conditions and ensuring the long-term overall health of the skin. 

Seeking medical attention

When to consult a healthcare provider

When there is any concern or uncertainty in regard to paediatric skin lesions it is essential to consult a healthcare provider. When a lesion exhibits concerning features such as changes in shape or colour, rapid growth, signs or infections, persistent discomfort or itching, or failure to improve following recommended care.1 Early evaluation with a healthcare professional can ensure accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment as well as addressing the potential for underlying issues and ensure the overall health of the child’s skin.

Diagnostic procedures and tests

When seeking medical attention in regards to paediatric skin lesions healthcare professionals can use a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures. These tests can include dermatoscopy and visual examination, in certain cases a skin biopsy may be performed to help determine the exact nature and cause of the lesion. In addition, a blood test may be performed if an underlying condition is suspected to be causing or worsening the skin lesion.10 Diagnostic procedures and tests help healthcare professionals to accurately identify and diagnose the skin lesion and personalise treatment plans to improve the child’s skin health. 

Treatment options for concerning or problematic lesions

Healthcare professionals can offer a range of treatment methods in the case of concerning or problematic skin lesions. This may consist of topical medications, cryotherapy, oral medications, surgical removal or laser therapy, depending on the severity of the skin lesion. The choice of treatment made by the healthcare professional aims to address the specific condition as well as alleviate discomfort and prevent any potential future complications.10 Seeking medical advice from trained medical professionals can ensure that the appropriate treatment and management measures are taken to ensure the child’s overall well-being and skin health. 


In summary, the care for paediatric skin lesions involves a combination of precautionary and proactive measures. Regular skin monitoring and care are essential to enable the early identification of any potential issues and allow for timely intervention. In addition, caregivers and parents play a key role in this process as they must monitor changes, maintain cleanliness, and promote protective measures such as applying sunscreen with high SPF to avoid any accidental scratching. By emphasising the significant role caregivers, parents, and guardians play in maintaining children’s skin health, we can ensure that the child’s skin lesions are managed effectively, minimise any discomfort, and reduce the risk of potential complications.


This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Vanessa Crowle

Bachelor of Science - BSc Biomedical Science, Anglia Ruskin University, England

Vanessa is currently a masters student, completing her master’s degree in medical microbiology, alongside working as an experienced medical writer intern.

Vanessa’s master’s course focused on key areas of microbiology, with a central focus on patient diagnosis. Her research specialises in breast cancer treatment and antibiotic resistance and she looks forward to writing more about life and health sciences to help deliver knowledge to the general public.

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