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Providing Care That’s More Than Skin Deep

Pediatric dermatology offered through affiliation with Advanced Dermatology Associates

Pediatric dermatology

The medical adage “children are not little adults” holds true in dermatology. That’s one reason Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital is affiliating with Shane Swink, DO, and Advanced Dermatology Associates. Dr. Swink returns to the area after his pediatric dermatology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Prior to his fellowship, Dr. Swink completed his internship and a three-year residency at Lehigh Valley Health Network. At CHOP, he obtained additional experience treating common conditions such as pediatric eczema, psoriasis and acne. He also gained significant exposure to the diagnosis and management of complex systemic diseases that can present with birthmarks, hemangiomas or other skin manifestations.

Expert care close to home

With operating room privileges at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, Dr. Swink has the environment and tools he needs to identify and treat these conditions. “Pediatric dermatologists receive additional training in the complex systemic management of disease in children, which includes knowing when to have children worked up with imaging or other testing,” he says. “We’re also trained in pediatric dosing of systemic injectables, as well as laser surgery for birthmarks and other issues. Parents shouldn’t have to take their kids to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia for this type of care.”

In terms of referrals, Dr. Swink says, “I’d much rather see a child for a nonissue than see a child who should have been brought in sooner. If it gets to a point where a dermatologic condition is not responding in the way a pediatrician expects, or the strengths and risks of an indicated topical or medication starts feeling like something that’s outside their wheelhouse, I’m here to provide support. And my triage team always knows how to reach me.”

Compassionate and family-centered care

In addition to his knowledge around genetic skin disorders and systemic disease management, Dr. Swink prides himself on being able to communicate with children about procedures that can be scary or uncomfortable, such as skin sampling and biopsy, as well as calm their worried parents.

“For example, in children, eczema tends to be more common and severe. Often, parents aren’t sleeping because their child is up,” Dr. Swink says. “It’s about family-centered care in these cases. Another component of this care is discussion around bullying, teasing and how to handle visible skin disease in children.”

Dr. Swink has great empathy for this aspect of living with a skin disorder. Growing up outside of Pittsburgh, he suffered from severe eczema himself. “

A dermatologist changed my life as a child,” he says. “I’m hoping to do the same for children here in the Lehigh Valley.”

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