We ran a campaign for World Children's Day!
On World Children's Day, Prof. Regina Fölster-Holst, an expert in dermatology from Kiel, presented some fascinating facts about children's skin.
She showed us how children's skin is structured, what atopic dermatitis is and what other infectious skin diseases can occur in children.
In early childhood, the human skin is much thinner, the skin cells are smaller and there is still no interlocking of the epidermis and the connective tissue skin.
The ratio of body surface area to body weight is also three times greater in babies and small children than in adults. This size ratio determines the systemic absorption of substances through the skin. This means that substances are absorbed better and more directly through the skin of babies and therefore have a stronger effect than on adult skin.
For example, salicylic acid, alcohol and urea should not be applied to the skin before the age of two years.
Our healthy skin has a skin barrier as its uppermost layer, which forms a boundary between the environment and the body. This skin barrier consists of many skin cells that form a tightly interlocked protective layer. This layer is connected and kept supple by the body's own lipids. The barrier is therefore tight but flexible.
In children with atopic dermatitis, this uppermost barrier layer is impaired, it cannot keratinize as much and/or the lipid layer between the skin cells is reduced.
This allows allergens to enter the body via the defective skin layer and the body fights off the intruders through inflammatory mechanisms. However, as the skin is always open to allergens, this mechanism ends in inflammation of the skin, which triggers severe itching. The subsequent scratching tears open the skin and creates even more gateways for allergens to enter. This constant cycle causes the skin to change, becoming brittle, cracked and thickened.
What can help? It is important to regularly apply an oily cream to the dry skin structure. Avoiding trigger factors in care products, such as soaps, fragrances and additives is important. Parent training courses (e.g. from the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Neurodermitis Schulung e. V.) are important as is the appropriate medication.
However, every case of atopic dermatitis is individual and also requires individualized therapy.
Children's skin can also be affected by infectious diseases.
For example, infectious diseases such as measles can cause complications including meningitis. For this reasing the obligatory vaccination required by the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) makes sense.
However, parasites can also cause skin diseases that look similar to atopic dermatitis, which is the case with scabies, for example.
In everything we do, our skin is a very important organ.
Take care of your children's skin and give it what it needs.
And the dermatologist knows what to do in the event of illness.
Prof. Fölster-Holst has initiated a stage play with chamber orchestra music and choir called "Aufgekratzt - das Häute-Journal Kindermusical". Here, children between the ages of 8 and 12 can show off their talents on stage with acting, singing and instruments and learn about skin diseases and allergies in a playful way.
This musical can be used in music lessons in elementary school, the schools receive free of charge Scores, script, audio files and help with practicing the musical, if required.
Prof. Fölster-Holst has also developed the "DERMATOPIA Expedition Skin" learning and play course for elementary school, in which children learn about the topic of skin health in a playful way. With the play materials, pupils aged 8 - 12 learn interesting facts about skin care, allergies, tick bites and much more that "touches" the skin in everyday life.
Interested primary schools can register via our e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org we will be happy to help you make contact.
Many thanks to Prof. Fölster-Holst for the exciting and informative lecture and a big thank you to all participants.
We look forward to the next lecture here at the SkinHealthCampus.
Don't miss it - for the sake of your skin ❤️