Causes of Skin Markings

An unexplained skin marking on a young child is often considered a red flag of child abuse, especially if the mark resembles a burn.  It's vital for those involved in the child protection field to understand that multiple conditions can result in non-abusive skin markings that may mimic the appearance of a burn:

  • Phytophotodermatitis
  • Impetigo (can cause marks that look like cigarette-burns)
  • Varicella
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa
  • Dermatitis Erpetiformis
  • Diaper Dermatitis
  • Chilblains
  • Drug Eruption
  • Mechanical Abrasion (i.e. from playing on treadmill)
  • Chemical Burns (including commercial vinegar)
  • Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome
  • Accidental Burns