Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can toddlers get whiteheads?"
My two-year-old has a big bump with a white head underneath his jaw. Could this actually be a whitehead pimple, just like an adult would get? If it's not a whitehead, I want to take him to a doctor, but I've never heard of toddlers having whiteheads.
There are several causes of skin conditions in toddlers that may resemble whiteheads. The physicians who are best qualified to help you evaluate this condition include your pediatrician or your family medicine doctor. "Whiteheads" are simple evidence that pus and other inflammatory material is building up under the skin. In their most common form, acne, this is material that builds up in a clogged pore. When the area of swelling is larger, then it is more like that the diagnosis is an abscess (infected area of skin), or furuncle (infected hair shaft). This is especially the case if there is surrounding redness, warmth, or pain. Rarely, a swollen lymph node or gland in the neck or under the jaw may swell or develop pus and give a similar appearance. Regardless, all of these possibilities are best treated after evaluation by a physician. Your physician may decide that treatment with antibiotics is require. At times, making a small cut into the swollen area to drain out any collected material to allow healing may also be required. As always, the diagnosis and evaluation of your child's condition will require a physical examination by a personal physician. A scheduled appointment with your pediatrician or family medicine doctor is recommended.
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