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Principles of Pediatric Dermatology 


Skin diseases in infancy and childhood often-present patterns, which may diverge from the same diseases in adults. In young age there is usually an increased vulnerability to certain infections, allergic and physico-chemical changes. A few cutaneous diseases are peculiar in children. Some of the anatomic and physiologic reasons for these differences may be apparent, but others are entirely unknown.
The less sebum of the skin surface of children, immature collagen, less firm cohesion of the dermo-epidermal junction, less developed vascular, neural and skin appendages - all have an important role in the susceptibility and diversity of certain skin diseases in the young age groups. There are many curious types of dermatitis, which even the most experienced consultants consider these as "rashes ".
Eczema, the largest group of skin diseases in infants and young children offers many uncertainties in their classification and prognosis. Physicians can expect more than 30 per cent of their consultations to be different skin diseases.
Unlike other branches of medicine, where the complaint is usually the disease and there is no disease without discomfort, skin diseases can exist without complaint and sometimes there is complaint without obvious clinical manifestations.
The frequency and diversity sometimes form a source of confusion to practitioners and all concerned with primary medical care. Diagnosis and management of skin diseases requires knowledge of physiology, structure and chemistry of normal as well as the pathologic skin.
Management of skin diseases is not merely topical steroids and anti-histamines, but in fact, it is an art.
Topical preparations in infants and young children such as medicated creams or cosmetics from over the counter may cause a harmful effect. Severe toxicity leading to death was recorded from certain preparations such as talcum powder, hexachlorophene, boric acid, topical antihistamines, insect repellents and many others.
The idea of publishing such book is to give a brief knowledge on how to deal better with the most common skin diseases faced during practice. Some rare genetic dermatoses and other common diseases having a chronic course in childhood and extending to adulthood were also briefly included.
 It is not meant by any means that these chapters will provide enough information to diagnose and treat all skin diseases, but the advice and judgment of an experienced dermatologist in some cases is indispensable.
I hope that this modest effort can provide a concise help to physicians and practitioners to deal better with the main problems of dermatological diagnosis  and management.

                                                                                         Mahmoud Hijazy-MD

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