Doctor’s mission to make kids feel comfortable in their own skin

2015-08-28 09:05
KZN’s first and only paediatric dermatologist Dr Antoinette Chateau.

KZN’s first and only paediatric dermatologist Dr Antoinette Chateau.

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AS KwaZulu-Natal’s first and only paediatric dermatologist, Dr Antoinette Chateau says she hopes to train more dermatologists to work with children in the province.

Chateau, head of dermatology in the Pietermaritzburg Complex, and senior consultant and lecturer at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine in Durban, said working as a paediatric dermatologist was both gratifying and a dream come true.

“I have always wanted to go into paediatrics, so to combine two things that I love was the ultimate dream come true,” she said.

Chateau said dermatology often gave clues to systemic diseases which affect organs and usually first manifest in the form of a rash.

“Each child I treat is special to me, and being able to give a child back their confidence and to eradicate their low self-esteem along with their skin disease is amazing,” she said.

The doctor said it was important that she be able to empower both the child and their parents as often, if a child was suffering from a skin condition, the entire family was affected.

She added that there was still a stigma surrounding those with certain skin conditions that impacted on the sufferers’ confidence and self-esteem. “I am based at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg and we have a programme in the pipeline to help empower parents and their children suffering from skin conditions.”

She said the hospital was hoping to create a support group where parents and children could reach out to each other and give support to one another. “It is in the pipeline and it is specifically going to help empower parents and their children. Once it has been set up, we can hopefully extend it to other hospitals,” she said.

UKZN said Chateau runs specialist paediatric dermatology outreach clinics at Grey’s and King Edward VIII hospitals. She visits King Edward VIII once a week

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  health  |  children

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