Medicines used to treat skin disorders may not work in children with severe skin infections

Many children have a friend or neighbor, family member or co-worker with a life-threatening skin infection, whether it be eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, young adults living with these conditions are at risk for severe lung disease, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

But with treatments, such as popular over-the-counter antihistamines like Tylenol, anti-inflammatories and immunosuppressants, children are able to protect themselves against serious illness, but their skin is not protected from the body’s immune system.

A single dose of the Pfizer vaccine Omicron (Ondansetron Plexane Powder) is currently being tested as a way to combat Oticulis, the life-threatening type of skin infection called neutropenia.

Because of the small size of the trial, however, doctors still don’t have any reliable information for treating skin infections in infants and children.

In order to properly administer the vaccine, doctors must control for factors such as: the time that it takes the system to work, the amount of bacteria that are in the child’s urine, how the child’s fluids are being handled and the specific antibiotics that a child was already given. These factors will affect how a child’s immune system will fight off the disease.

The Omicron study was a small animal study (75 subjects were studied) that was not declared “definitive” by the research team.

A previous study of the vaccine in children provided an increase in recovery and wound closure. This portion of the study showed that two years later, parents could see better quality of life for children with skin infections.

These findings may lead to longer-lasting reactions from the Olymont virus if their own children do get the vaccine and develop a life-threatening infection like Oticulis.

However, there is a third kind of skin infection that continues to be a problem: eczema and psoriasis. To find treatments for children who have eczema or psoriasis, doctors are using medications, corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid. Unfortunately, Omicron was not the best choice in controlling these conditions for children.

Dr. Dena Allen is an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital and author of Living Healthy On A Budget. She is also on the clinical faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and teaches medical internists and physicians-in-training at Columbia University Medical Center. Learn more at

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