Are Your Teens Skin-Ready for School?

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 for kids and teenagers during this time. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your family’s skin healthy and ready for the 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. 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 can also be performed to help discover triggers of symptoms.

Monitor your family’s skin. Does your child have 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, making them contagious to other kids.

Don’t forget the sunscreen. Summer may be coming to an end, but remember that we are in Florida, also known as the Sunshine State. Keep your children protected and send them to school with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

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 prescribe an acne treatment that helps treat and prevent scarring as well. Also, check makeup packaging to ensure the wording includes the term “noncomedogenic,” which means it won’t clog pores. Finally, remember that a healthy diet also may help treat and prevent mild acne breakouts.

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 so you can keep your family’s skin healthy for all the seasons to come.


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