Are your Kids Skin-Ready for school?

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It’s that special time of year. You and your kids start trading pool floats for pencils, summer camp for the classroom, and picnics for packed lunches. At our dermatology practice, we also tend to see more skin conditions flare for kids and teenagers during this time. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your family’s skin healthy and ready for this school year.

  • Check your family’s skin products. If you or your children have sensitive skin or a history of eczema, this is particularly important. We always recommend looking for the word “hypoallergenic” on all soaps, lotions and detergents. This term means the product is free of irritating dyes, fragrances or substances that may cause an allergic reaction. However, when these steps aren’t enough, eczema symptoms such as dryness, itching and burning of the skin can be frustrating and distracting for a child when they are in school. Sometimes a stronger medication, such as a topical steroid, is needed. Allergy tests also can be performed to help discover triggers of symptoms.
  • Is it a new rash or sudden appearance of itching? It may not be eczema. Contact dermatitis, fungal infections and even psoriasis can present with itching, flaking skin. Some rashes and lesions, such as molluscum and warts, are viral in nature, and thus are contagious to other kids. Remember also that oceans, lakes and rivers have their own set of diseases. Make sure you and your family change out of wet swimwear and try not to share or reuse towels. If over-the-counter treatment still hasn’t helped clear your child’s rash, schedule an appointment to prevent worsening of symptoms and, if the rash is contagious, spread of the condition.
  • Tame the acne. Most of us remember high school and the self-confidence growing pains. Add acne to that mix, and you just might have an emotional teenager on your hands this year. Many parents and kids tend to be influenced by highly advertised brands when trying to treat acne. Yet there is no “one size-fits-all” remedy, and when over-the-counter treatments aren’t effective, moderate to severe acne may require prescription treatment, such as a retinoid cream or antibiotic. A dermatology provider also can prescribe an acne treatment that helps treat and prevent scarring. Additionally, check any makeup products and make sure they include the term “noncomedogenic”, which means it doesn’t clog pores. Finally, remember that a healthy diet also may help treat and prevent mild acne breakouts.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen! Summer might be coming to an end, but remember that we are in Florida, also known as the Sunshine State. Continue your summer habits for a few more months and keep your children covered in sunscreen. If they have recess outside in areas without shade, send them to school with a hat or a cap they love and a bottle of sunscreen. Look for sunscreen labels that read “broad spectrum” and aim for an SPF of 30 or higher.

So while the kids enjoy the last few days of summer freedom, keep their skin in mind. An ounce of prevention, and sunscreen, go a long way. Over-the-counter tips, tricks and old wives’ remedies can treat many skin conditions. However, know that there’s professional advice right around the corner at your nearest Associates in Dermatology location (There are 14 throughout Central Florida). That’s what we are here for: keeping your family’s skin healthy for all the seasons to come.

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