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Children's Health

Todder Itchy Flaky Scalp

10/01/2010

Question:

My one year old had developed a dry fine flakey scapl and can scratch until it bleeds. This has appeaerd very recently with teething for his eye teeth. There is also circular blotches on his bottom. Can you advise

Answer:

A dry, flaky scalp in a toddler is unlikely to be related to the cutting of teeth. It may reflect eczema if it is quite itchy and if allergies and/or asthma run in your family. Eczema often makes an appearance as the weather becomes cooler and the air dryer after a hot, humid summer.

Other possibilities include ringworm of the scalp or head lice. Both are very itchy. The only way to tell is to take your child to see his doctor. Red blotches on the bottom may be bullous impetigo (a staphylococcal infection where blister-like lesions appear on a red base and then burst leaving a moist, round, dark pink to red lesion), ringworm infection or nummular eczema to name a few. As with a scaly scalp, seeing the docotr is the only way to know for sure what the problem is.
 
Because the treatment of these problems is quite different, the skin problems are uncomfortable for your son, and the potential for infection significant without good treatment, the best advice is to make an appointment with your child's doctor. I hope all is well soon.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University