The coronavirus pandemic adds stress for all of us and has wider medical implications, which deserve specialist support
We should initially point out that our clinic is now able to offer treatment to children. Lessons learned from the initial wave of coronavirus prove how important this is, to prevent more damage that the virus might cause.
As explained in our coronavirus information pages, there are changes. Infection control is given priority, an alternative entrance is available, patient flow is controlled, staff will be wearing PPE.
Face to face appointments are available, although the first consultation may take place via a secure video link. Our approach to using teledermatology has been honed during the pandemic and this is proving very effective.
In order to maintain safe dermatological care, we are unable to treat patients with a positive diagnosis of Covid-19, or with symptoms. Anyone arriving at the clinic will be screened, in a non intrusive way.
At a time when dermatologists in general, especially experienced paediatric dermatologists are in short supply, we are pleased to offer care. The need to support children with specialist diagnosis and treatment is clear.
The increasing incidence of skin disorders and skin cancer over recent years applies to children as well as adults. Most cases will be for natural reasons, although there can be issues related to coronavirus.
Children may not show standard symptoms, such as respiratory impairment, or a fever, yet can still suffer skin conditions. This is uncommon but chilblain like eruptions, rashes, lesions, or more serious inflammatory conditions have been seen.
Even where adults near them have been infected, children may not be tested, or have been known to test negative when skin conditions suggest otherwise. Accurate diagnosis to differentiate possible causes is important.
This shouldn’t bring too much concern, children generally have milder coronavirus symptoms and critical care cases are rare. Finding the normal, or unusual cause of problems and treating them still matters, as do other pandemic concerns.
Recent research surveyed 70,000 university students and showed how much stress they are under, with 40% reporting at least one mental health issue. Anxiety amongst school age children can also be significant.
Increased isolation plays a part, as does the general environment. Flare ups of skin conditions are possible and can be further influenced by practical changes, such as wearing masks, using hand sanitiser, or frequent hand washing.
Young people with existing conditions, or lacking support they would normally receive are at risk, although pandemic related change can affect anyone.
Skin issues can come from too much time spent on games consoles, or computers, in a sense a symptom. Above all, our skin can reflect the way we feel and current circumstances are bringing an impact worthy of good care.
Whilst we needed to make procedural changes, support at our clinic is largely undiminished. Appointments will be with an experienced consultant dermatologist and a full range of diagnostic equipment is available.
A scientific yet natural approach works well for young patients. Confidence in their care is important and helps to ensure the early intervention which is so vital for a range of children’s skin conditions, even during the pandemic.
If we can offer any advice on paediatric dermatology, or arrange for a consultation, please contact our team at any time.