Dermatology - Patient Care and Treatment

Dermatology - Patient Care and Treatment

Pediatric dermatologists at Penn State Children’s Health diagnose and treat many skin problems, from acne to rare genetic conditions.

Please ask your primary care physician to call us


Find help for your child’s skin problems

Our pediatric dermatologists (skin doctors) can care for your child’s skin condition, even rare genetic skin problems.


Your child’s dermatology care team at Penn State Children’s Hospital works to:

  • Diagnose genetic disorders involving the skin
  • Evaluate and treat vascular lesions (large blood vessels) including hemangiomas (unusual growth in blood vessels) and vascular malformations (unusual clusters of blood cells)
  • Manage resistant cases of common skin conditions
  • Make vascular birthmarks less noticeable with laser therapy


Referrals typically come from your child’s primary care doctor. At the first visit, we’ll ask you about your child’s symptoms and skincare routine. Treatment varies by condition. Some of the more common conditions we treat include:

Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is one of the most common conditions we treat. It’s characterized by dry, itchy skin. There are two key steps to treating it.

  • Starting a sensitive skin care routine, using gentle cleansers and fragrance-free moisturizers to hydrate the skin.
  • Using a medicated lotion or cream to reduce inflammation.

Sometimes, we may use additional medicines, such as calcineurin inhibitors and antihistamines that suppress allergic reactions and ease skin irritation.


For children with acne, we usually suggest a combination therapy of topical retinoid along with benzoyl peroxide. Depending on how severe the acne is, we may use:

  • Oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane)
  • Hormonal therapy or oral contraceptives for girls

Vascular lesions (large blood vessels)

Birthmarks made of large blood vessels (infantile hemangiomas) usually don’t need treatment. For those that do, we may use the following medications:

  • Beta-blocker, such as timolol, applied to the skin
  • High-potency corticosteroid applied to the skin
  • Propranolol (for problematic hemangiomas) taken by the mouth

For children with port-wine stains, we offer pulsed-dye laser therapy, a treatment that uses bright light to target and destroy abnormal blood vessels in the skin.

Contact us

Scheduling: 717-531-6820
Fax: 717-531-4720

Academic Office: 717-531-8307
Fax: 717-531-6516