Albinism FACTS:

Albinism is a simple lack of coloring in the
Albinism is genetic—passed from the birth
People who have albinism are sensitive to
light. Children might squint a lot to protect
their eyes.
Children with albinism have normal intelligence.
Children with albinism can expect to live
long and healthy lives.
Children with albinism
vary in skin and hair color. Hair
color ranges from white
to a reddish-brown.
Children with albinism are
often sensitive to light.
Wearing hats and sunglasses
helps them to see.
Albinism cannot be “cured” with medicine
or surgery.
Most children with albinism have vision
issues. Some children’s eyes will move
back and forth rapidly or will not track
Wearing hats and sunglasses, even when
indoors, can help make a child more
comfortable and less sensitive to light.
Wearing sunscreen is important anytime
a child goes outside in order to prevent
I can do
Families love their children
with albinism. They are healthy,
happy children.
Burns are injuries caused by cooking, hot grease or oil, electrical
wires, hot water, chemicals, frostbite or fire.
Any child with a burn that blisters or covers a large area should be
seen by a doctor.
The damage from a burn can vary greatly depending on how hot the
burn source and how long the skin was exposed.
A first degree burn (single thickness burn) normally heals
within five to seven days. This type of burn is red in color and
will turn white when pressure is added to it. This burn can
cause some skin discoloration and usually heals without scarring.
A second degree burn (partial thickness burn) is more serious
than a first degree burn. The second layer under the skin, or
dermis, is damaged and may leave scarring. Blisters may form
and should not be “popped.” A deeper second degree burn
(deep partial thickness burn) may appear dry and have an
ivory or pearly white color to it.
⇒ A third degree burn (full thickness
burn) affects all the skin layers—
epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous.
This serious burn may appear dry and
dark brown. The skin is destroyed.
Hair follicles and sweat glands may
also be lost. Once destroyed these
cannot come back.
Burns can be 1st,
2nd or 3rd degree.
Children with serious
burns need immediate
medical treatment.
For first degree burns, run cool (not cold) water on
the surface area for five minutes. Next gently pat
dry. Apply an antibiotic ointment to area to help healing. If the burn covers a large area consult a doctor.
For second degree burns, pour cool water over the
area. If there are blisters or the skin is pearly white,
consult a doctor for medical attention. Apply an antibacterial ointment to the areas affected by the burns
and cover with a light bandage. Keep dry. Change the
bandage daily and reapply the medication each time.
Skin grafting may be needed for these types of burns.
Always seek a doctor’s attention.
For third degree burns, seek a doctor’s attention
immediately. The child may need hospitalization and
fluid replacement. The risk of infection is high. Skin
grafting, bandages and pressure garments are needed
during the course of treatment.
Families are waiting
to adopt children
with burns.
Children with burns
need sunscreen when
they play outside.
After a burn heals, it is very important to
protect the burned areas from the sun.
Sunscreen needs to be applied each time
the child goes outside. If burns occur on
the face and scalp, a hat will be needed
whenever the child is outdoors.
Congenital Blue Nevus
A congenital blue nevus is a blue birthmark
present at birth. It may be light to dark
blue in appearance and is usually flat to
slightly raised.
There is no way to prevent birthmarks.
If pain, swelling, bleeding or itching of the
blue nevus occurs, contact a doctor
If the child has many blue nevi that have a
rubber-like appearance and are raised over
his or her body, they should be checked by
a doctor for a rare disorder that may cause
bleeding in the intestines. The child should
be watched for developing pallor, anemia
and blood in the stool. If these symptoms
appear, see a doctor immediately.
Blue nevi are dark marks
on the skin present
at birth.
These marks are not
painful and normally
require little treatment.
Congenital Blue Nevus
Usually no treatment is needed. The
marks usually remain unchanged
throughout life, but sometimes nevi
will fade as the person ages.
Consult with a doctor if there is any
change in the color, size or texture of
the blue nevus. In rare circumstances nevi may become cancerous
and need to be removed.
If a child’s blue nevus
changes color, shape or
texture, see a doctor.
Children with blue nevi
are easily adopted.
Congenital Nevus Birthmark
Congenital nevi are common birthmarks.
The size of the nevus may vary from a
small one-inch mark to a giant birthmark
covering half of the body or more
Nevi vary greatly in size, shape, texture
and hairiness. The color can vary from
light brown to nearly black. Some have
fine downy hair; many have long, thick,
darker, coarser or curlier hair.
A child may have one giant nevus and
many small nevi or only small scattered
There is no known cause and therefore no
way to prevent these birthmarks.
There is no known
cause of congenital nevi.
Children with nevi are
normal little children
needing love.
Congenital Nevus Birthmark
There is risk of skin cancer developing in the
mole. The risk is higher during the time
when the body is maturing.
It is important to look closely at congenital
moles on a regular basis. Photographs of the
nevus at regular intervals can help the caregiver note changes.
Early signs of skin cancer include the
development of irregular borders, changes
in color and a change in the surface of the
mole. When changes are noted, it is important to consult with a doctor.
Treatment of nevi depends on size, location,
estimated risk for skin cancer and expected
benefit in appearance.
Nevi are often
removed with surgery.
Giant Congenital Nevi:
Children with nevi are
normal children
in every other way.
Babies with giant congenital
moles have an increased risk
of developing skin cancers.
Many of these skin cancers will
occur during the first ten years
of life.
It is important for a child to
be evaluated by a doctor if a
giant congenital nevi is
Ectodermal Dysplasia
Ectodermal dysplasia are various types of
genetic disorders that affect the outer layer of
tissue (ectoderm) in a developing baby.
The ectoderm is a tissue which eventually forms
many parts of a developing baby’s body. The
skin, sweat glands, mucus glands, hair, teeth,
nails, lens of the eye, parts of the inner ear,
fingers, toes and nerves may be abnormal.
Ectodermal dysplasia syndromes affect both
males and females of all races and ethnic groups.
Physical symptoms can range from mild to
severe and can affect two or more of the following: eyes, teeth, hair, sweat glands, mucus
glands and skin.
Very few types of ectodermal dysplasia involve
learning difficulties.
All ectodermal dysplasia disorders are genetic.
This is something that could not have been
prevented or controlled.
In some case ectodermal dysplasia is apparent
at birth. In other cases it may be discovered
Ectodermal dysplasia affects
children from all over
the world.
Ectodermal dysplasia is a
condition inherited from
the birth parents.
Ectodermal Dysplasia
There is no cure for ectodermal dysplasia, but many
treatments are available for the different problems
affecting the child.
Affected children may have thick or abnormally shaped
fingernails and toenails. They may also be discolored,
ridged or brittle. The cuticles may be prone to infections. Keeping the hands and toes clean may reduce the
risk of infection.
The skin may be lightly pigmented. Skin can be prone
to rashes and infections. The skin may become thick
over the palms and soles of feet. Cleanliness is important to prevent cracking, bleeding and infection.
Some children may not be able to sweat due to a lack of
sweat glands. Without normal sweat gland function the
body cannot regulate temperature properly and can
overheat. Care must be taken to prevent overheating,
especially in hot weather, as heat exhaustion or stroke
may occur easily in these children. Providing a cool
environment is important, as is giving a child plenty of
Abnormal development of the teeth usually results
in missing teeth or teeth that are peg-shaped or
pointed. The tooth enamel may also defective.
It is important to have a dentist evaluate a child
with these defects as early as possible.
Offer lots of fluids to a
child with this condition
when they are playing.
My family loves me just
the way I am.
Some types of ectodermal dysplasia
may affect parts of the eye, resulting in
dryness of the eye, cataracts and vision
defects. It is important to receive eye
examinations and care for the eyes.
Sometimes moisturizing eye drops help
prevent dryness.
Abnormalities in the development
of the ear may cause hearing problems.
Consult with a doctor if this is suspected.
Children with abnormal mucus glands
may have dry nasal and mouth passages. Be aware that they may be more
prone to respiratory infections.
Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the
skin. The skin may become red, dry, itchy and
scaly. It may bleed or weep clear fluid and may
form a crusty or leathery covering on the skin.
Eczema is not contagious.
Some children have a light rash or other
symptoms at all times.
Eczema can occur in all ages but is usually seen
by 12 months of age. The symptoms may
improve over time with care—often by six years
of age.
This skin condition is quite uncomfortable, often
making it difficult for children to sleep, sit still
and pay attention to directions.
A child with eczema is at risk for skin infections
due to the cracks or openings in the skin. If a
child develops red swollen areas that are hot to
the touch, see a doctor for possible antibiotics.
Infants and young children may have a rash on
the face, elbows or knees. In older children and
adults, the rash is often found on the hands,
neck, inner elbows, backs of the knees and
Without treatment this skin
condition can be very
Children with eczema
have dry, red
patchy skin.
The following may worsen this condition:
⇒ Some foods (often dairy, wheat, citrus, eggs,
nuts, seafood, chemical food additives and
⇒ Stress, including changes of routine, changes in
caregivers, older children being embarrassed by
the look of their skin, school pressure.
⇒ Exposure to tobacco smoke, chemicals, dust
mites, mold, plant pollens, animals.
⇒ Exposure to types of clothing, soaps, shampoos,
washing powders.
⇒ Hot and humid weather or cold and dry weather
Applying moisturizer with no added fragrance
daily (or more often) is very important.
Bathe in warm (not hot) water. Pat the skin
dry; do not rub dry. Immediately apply a
fragrance-free moisturizer all over the body.
Applying moisturizer
daily is very important.
Try to discover those
things that make
a child’s skin react.
Keep children’s fingernails clipped very
short to avoid scratching.
The child should wear all cotton clothing.
Avoid tight fitting clothing.
Change bed linens regularly and avoid
feather pillows.
Examine the child’s diet to determine if
reaction to a certain food may be a cause.
Learn and avoid those things that trigger
eczema for that child.
Consult a physician for advice on herbal
baths, bandaging and treating skin infections. More serious cases may require
medication advice from a physician.
Strawberry hemangiomas are bright
red, raised areas that develop soon after
birth and enlarge slowly during the first
several months of life. Most of them completely disappear by seven years of age, but
some leave a brownish, wrinkled area.
Cavernous hemangiomas are raised red to
purplish areas and are made up of enlarged
blood vessels that are present at birth.
They sometimes become sore and bleed.
They usually require treatment and rarely
disappear completely without treatment.
Many babies are born
with red hemangiomas.
Most disappear by age 7,
but occasionally surgery
is required.
The first step for treatment is often simple
observation. Doctors may watch the mark
over several months to determine if it is
growing rapidly or staying the same.
Most strawberry hemangiomas do not
need treatment unless they interfere with
normal eating, breathing or seeing.
Surgery is not usually required. A hemangioma like the one pictured to the right
normally does not need to be surgically
removed and will shrink with time.
There are several treatment options for
cavernous hemangiomas. Steroid
injections may help to slow the growth.
Laser treatments are also used to slow the
growth and treat redness. Surgery can be
done to totally remove the hemangioma.
See a specialist to determine which treatment plan is best for the child.
Many hemangiomas
gradually reduce in size
as the child gets older.
We love our baby!
Ichthyosis is a rare genetic skin disease and
is not contagious. There is no cure for this
Ichthyosis causes the skin to build up and
scale off.
The skin can be extremely dry and have
patches of dark scales. Other symptoms
include itchy skin, difficulty sweating,
thinning hair and protruded eyelids.
This condition can be present at birth or the
symptoms can develop during the first four
years of life. Some people develop a milder
version only in the winter.
Because of the tightness of the skin, it may
be painful to move parts of the body.
Splitting and cracking of the skin can lead to
skin infections.
Skin may build up over the eyes or ears,
leading to impaired eyesight and hearing.
Ichthyosis is worse in cold, dry weather.
Ichthyosis is
not contagious.
Extremely dry skin could
be a sign of this condition.
The best way to treat ichthyosis is to
moisturize the skin. Moisturizers that
contain lactic acid, salicylic acid and urea
are most helpful.
Do not take hot baths or showers; they will
dry out the skin. Use warm water.
Use mild, non-drying soaps.
Antibiotics or antibiotic ointment may be
needed if skin infection develops.
Some people with ichthyosis have a
problem sweating. Watch for overheating,
flushed skin and lethargy. Have the child
wear lightweight clothes and spray cool
water on them to moisten the skin and cool
Using a moisturizing
lotion is very
Give warm (not hot)
baths to prevent
overdrying the skin.
Port Wine Birthmark
Port wine stains are light pink to red birthmarks.
Clusters of blood vessels in the skin cause the
Port wine stains are formed during pregnancy.
They are not genetic or contagious and are very
The color may darken over time and get a rough
surface appearance.
Most children with port wine birthmarks are
normal in all other aspects.
Children with port wine
birthmarks lead happy and
healthy lives with
their families.
Port wine stains are pink
marks on the skin and
can appear on the
face, body or limbs.
Port Wine Birthmark
Treatment is not necessary in most cases.
The color and roughness of the mark can be
lightened by laser treatments from a dermatologist
Children with port wine stains including the eyelid
should be seen by a doctor.
Children with large port wine stains on their arms
or legs should be seen by a doctor.
Children with port wine
birthmarks are part of
many happy families.
Port wine stains can be
treated by a
dermatologist to lighten
the color.