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Pediatric Dermatology

Pediatric Dermatology, Atlanta | Dr. Kathleen J. SmithAccording to the Society for Pediatric Dermatology, the pediatric dermatologist is jointly trained in pediatric care and dermatology. Dermatology Consultants of Atlanta, a national triple board-certified dermatology practice, evaluates, diagnoses, and treats skin conditions and illnesses for patients of all ages. Dr. Kathleen J. Smith specializes in diagnostic studies, surgical and medical therapies.

Skin is the body’s largest organ and, because it’s exposed to the sun’s UV rays and environmental conditions, it’s also likely to suffer from many types of injuries over the patient’s lifetime. Infants are sometimes born with skin, hair, and nail conditions. Older children suffer various infections, burns, rashes, or growths. Simple contact allergies, such as poison ivy, can cause distress and secondary infections. Acne is a big concern for children as they enter the teen years, but children can also experience serious skin disorders like psoriasis, skin cancer, and eczema. It’s essential for the patient to have the skills of a pediatric dermatologist when these conditions present. Dermatology Specialists of Atlanta is a family-focused dermatology practice.

Condition Types

According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, pediatric dermatologists frequently treat acne, birthmarks, vascular conditions, diseases that cause blistering, and others:


Acne: is a condition that may affect young and older patients, but all can benefit from treatment. Acne results from hormonal stimulation of the body’s sebaceous, or oil-producing, glands. This increased skin oil also attracts bacterial growth on the skin, along with clogged and blocked pores. Solidified oil plugs are seen as blackheads and whiteheads. When the pore or follicle is infected below the skin, a pimple results. These eruptions may look unsightly and cause pain. Some patients experience breakouts on the face, back, neck, and backs of thighs or buttocks. Dr. Kathleen J. Smith is likely to diagnose acne on the basis of appearance and location. Since acne is a common skin condition during puberty and adolescence, it’s usually contained to the teen to early twenties years. However, some patients suffer with acne for much longer. It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid scarring and secondary infections from some forms of acne.

Patients shouldn’t pick or squeeze pimples and blackheads as this action may injure the skin and spread infection. The patient’s hair and face should be kept clean, and prescription treatment products may be recommended to prevent skin irritation and dryness. Self-treatment is often a frustrating process, and over-the-counter preparations may not successfully treat the patient’s condition. Pediatric dermatology can help the patient to clear his or her skin, or manage severe outbreaks.


Birthmarks (including hemangiomas, port-wine stains, vascular and lymphatic malformations: As the name suggestions, birthmarks are often present on the patient’s skin when he or she is born. Most need no treatment, though some visible discolorations may cause anxiety in the patient or family. They may appear anywhere on the body. The colors of birthmarks include red (hemangiomas) varieties, which are often soft to the touch and puffed above the level of surrounding skin. Port-wine stains are, like the color of port wine, deep purplish red. So-called “stork bites” (nevus simplex) are coral-pink colored patches that resolve without treatment on up to seventy percent of infants. In other instances, birthmarks appear within months of the baby’s birth. Any birthmark causing concern should prompt a call to the pediatric dermatologist. Some birthmarks may benefit from laser treatments at the proper time in the child’s life. The appearance of any newly discovered discoloration or rash should be brought to the attention of the dermatologist.


Blisters: may appear on the child or young person’s skin for various reasons. These usually round/oval-shaped fluid-filled lesions first appear under the skin. They may cause pain or skin itch, or may not present any symptoms at all. They may have an infectious cause or result from contact with an allergen. Some common diseases causing blisters include (bullous) impetigo, Coxsackie virus, chicken pox (varicella zoster virus), or herpes. A common allergen causing blisters is poison ivy-poison oak. Other blisters occur in the aftermath of burned skin or when the skin is rubbed too hard. Some blisters result from eczema, and may cause bumps, skin itch, and inflamed red skin.

Some medicines can cause blisters. Sun can increase the patient’s photosensitivity and cause the patient to suffer blisters with a sunburn. Other reactions, known as TEN, cause blisters to form in the respiratory or GI tracts and make the patient feel very sick. The patient may also experience fever and flu-like symptoms along with blisters.

Patients may be more prone to blisters than others. Allergy testing may be warranted to confirm an allergen. Others may require biopsy to determine the diagnosis.

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer: is sometimes seen in children. Parents and caregivers should limit the child’s exposure to sunlight, especially between the hours of 10am – 4pm. It’s important to use high SPF factor sunscreens prescribed by the pediatric dermatologist. Parents should always report any unusual lesion or rash to the dermatologist, because skin cancer is seen in children.


Children’s tender and sensitive skin requires loving care and protection. Patients and families within the Atlanta Metro area, including North Atlanta, North Decatur, Doraville, Panthersville, Druid Hill, North Druid Hills, and all the suburbs, should contact Dermatology Specialists of Atlanta, a triple board-certified pediatric dermatology provider, at 678-904-4932 today.

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