By Michael Steppie, MD
It’s that special time of year. Time for parents and their children to start trading pool floats for pencils, summer camps for classrooms, and picnics for packed lunches. Dermatologists also tend to see more skin conditions flare up during this time for kids and teenagers. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep you and your family’s skin healthy and ready for this school year:
- Check your family’s skin products. If anyone has sensitive skin or a history of eczema, this is even more important. Look for the word “hypoallergenic” on all soaps, lotions and detergents. This term means the product is free of irritating dyes, fragrances and substances that may cause an allergic reaction.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen! Summer may be coming to an end, but remember that we are in Florida, and there is a reason it’s called the sunshine state. Continue summer and keep your children protected with a “broad spectrum” sunscreen SPF of 30 or higher. If they have outdoor recess, send them to school with a hat and a bottle of sunscreen.
- Tame acne. Most of us remember high school and the growing pains of self-confidence. Add acne to the mix, and you might have an emotional teenager on your hands. When trying to treat acne, many parents and kids tend to be influenced by highly advertised brands, yet it is not a one-size-fits-all type of remedy. When over-the-counter treatments aren’t effective, moderate to severe acne may require prescription treatment, such as a retinoid cream or an antibiotic. A dermatology provider can also prescribe an acne treatment that helps treat and prevent scarring. Also, check makeup packaging and make sure the wording includes the term “noncomedogenic,” which means it won’t clog pores.
So, while kids enjoy the last few days of summer freedom, keep their skin in mind. An ounce of prevention — and sunscreen — goes a long way. Over-the-counter tips, tricks and old wives remedies can treat many skin conditions; however, know when to seek professional advice, and keep your family’s skin healthy for all the seasons to come.
Associates in Dermatology
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