Child-Centric Dermatologic Care

The dermatologists at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital take a holistic, compassionate approach to diagnosing and treating children with skin disorders. From an isolated rash to a chronic skin condition, skin disorders in children can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, allergic reaction or genetic condition. Our team is here to diagnose and treat a variety of skin problems in children of all ages.

Led by one of the only board-certified pediatric dermatologists in central Pennsylvania, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital has a child-centered experience you won’t be able to find at other area hospitals. Our team of experts has a particular interest and specialized training in congenital and acquired vascular lesions, as well as rare genetic disorders of the skin (including ichthyoses and epidermolysis bullosa), and work closely with other specialists to provide multidisciplinary care.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

There are many symptoms of a skin issue, and they can present differently from child to child. In general, anything that is new on the child’s skin should be watched closely. If it spreads or doesn’t heal, it’s time to call the doctor. Issues of a skin issue that would require medical attention include:

  • Bumps
  • Bruises that won’t go away
  • Excessively dry, flaky skin
  • Lesions
  • Pimples
  • Rashes
  • Raised moles
  • Weeping or pus-filled cuts

Children typically come to our clinic with referrals from their primary care physician. At their first appointment, we’ll ask questions about their symptoms and skincare routine to make an accurate diagnosis. Most children recover with medications or procedures. However, more complex skin disorders require more in-depth medical management.

Experts in Care

The experts Penn State Health Children’s Hospital provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary dermatology care for a variety of pediatric skin conditions.

Find a Doctor Near You

Why Choose Penn State Health Children’s Hospital for Care

Specialized Treatment Options

Treatment for skin disorders vary by condition, but the most common skin conditions include:  

  • Acne: combination therapy of topical retinoid in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide. If your child’s acne is severe, the dermatologist could recommend oral antibiotics (tetracycline), as well as medications like isotretinoin (Accutane) or oral propranolol (problematic hemangiomas).
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis): two-step treatment approach, beginning with a sensitive skincare routine of gentle cleansers and frequent fragrance-free moisturization to hydrate the skin. A topical corticosteroid will help to reduce inflammation. Additional options include a topical calcineurin inhibitor or antibiotics (oral or topical). Occasionally, sedating antihistamines like Benadryl are suggested for nighttime. 
  • Port-wine stains: pulsed-dye laser therapy treatment that uses bright light to target and destroy abnormal blood vessels in the skin.

Complex Vascular Malformations

Our specialists see children with complex vascular malformations, such as an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), lymphatic malformations or venous malformations at our multidisciplinary Vascular Anomalies Clinic.

Commitment to Clinical Trials

Dermatology clinical research is very active with studies on topics like acne and atopic dermatitis. Learn more about new Penn State Health clinical trials at StudyFinder. For inquiries about Penn State Children’s Hospital, please call 717-531-5136.

Support Groups

Support groups provide children and their families an opportunity to connect with others in similar situations. Learn more about the support groups offered at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.

View All Support Groups