Many common skin diseases of children are easily diagnosed by dermatologists and have straightforward treatments. Nevertheless, sometimes these conditions are frustratingly difficult for both patients and physicians to control. Poor adherence to treatment may be the underlying cause of poor outcomes in many situations. Studies of pediatric patients' use of medication show poor use across a broad array of medical illnesses. Studies of adherence in children with acne and atopic dermatitis show similar findings. The reasons for poor adherence likely vary across the pediatric age range, with fears of side effects being pre-eminent in the care of infants and interpersonal interactions playing a greater role in adolescents. By recognizing the major hurdles to adherence across the different ages, dermatologists may be better able to tailor interventions to improve the outcomes of children with skin disease.
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