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The Be Well Podcast - Pediatric Dermatology

Listen in or read the partial transcript below as Michael Barton, MD,  Dermatology provider at Skagit Regional Health discusses pediatric dermatology, when to take your child for treatment, what to expect during the visit and more. Mike Barton, MD

Maggie McKay (Host): Going to the dermatologist for the first time, there are a lot of questions to ask. But what if your child needs to see a dermatologist? My guest is Dr. Michael Barton, pediatric dermatologist at Skagit Regional Health. And today, we'll learn about pediatric dermatology, when to take your child for treatment, what to expect during the visit and more.

This is Be Well, the podcast from Skagit Regional Health. I'm Maggie McKay. Many adults have visited a dermatologist, but what if your child needs to see one? What are they most commonly treated for? And are there things to know to prevent acne, for example? Dr. Barton, thank you so much for being here. Let's get right to it. What age of patients do you see in your practice?

Dr. Michael Barton: Yeah, most board-certified pediatric dermatologists have completed four years of foundational training in seeing both adults and kids and then tack on an extra year of fellowship just seeing kids. So in academic institutions, generally a pediatric dermatologist will only see, you know, newborns up until 18 years of life before they transition to more of an adult dermatologist. In community settings like Skagit Regional Health, there tends to be a lot of overlap. And so, I'll see kids all the way into adults. First day of life to the last day of life, if necessary.

Maggie McKay (Host): What conditions do pediatric dermatologists most frequently treat?

Dr. Michael Barton: I'd say some of the more common inflammatory conditions that I see would be things like atopic dermatitis or eczema, which can affect upwards of 20% of kids. Acne is obviously very common in teenagers and sometimes before and after. And then, less common things like psoriasis or alopecia areata. Certainly, a lot of infections, viral-triggered things like warts or molluscum. Tinea capitis, which is a fungal infection on the scalp, tends to be more common in children and than a wide array of different bacterial infections. And then the final thing, we tend to see a lot of our either birthmarks or sometimes just mole checks to make sure things are looking healthy, which fortunately, barring an underlying genetic predisposition, skin cancer in kids tends to be much, much less common.

Maggie McKay (Host): That's a good thing. When should a child visit a dermatologist?

Dr. Michael Barton: I'd say most of the kids I end up seeing, or we end up seeing are under two categories. One is when, you know, skin findings just aren't quite adding up. They're not clear. Is it psoriasis? Is it eczema? Are there overlapping features? So when there's diagnostic uncertainty and there just needs to be a little bit of specialist input to kind of try to tease those things out, we can be helpful in that regard.

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