Tag Archives: skin care

Best Bathing Practices for Kids (Pedcast)

 Longtime listeners know that I love the advice Grandma had to give out, and grandma loved daily baths for her kids. Scrubbing with wash clothes, soap, and hot water was her recipe for skin health. But today we are going to look at her advice through the lens of modern children’s skin. Very interesting.


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Do’s and Don’ts of insect repellants (Article)

What’s that old expression, “Let’s not let the treatment be worse than the disease?”  This is exactly what the Academy of pediatrics is trying to avoid with their newly published guidelines (1) about insect repellant use in children. Children often spend a lot of time outdoors and are very vulnerable to insect bites.  Many proactive parents are lathering their children with insect repellents to guard against nasty bug bites.  Unfortunately these repellents, designed to guard against mosquitos can be toxic to young children, act as skin irritants, or trigger allergies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued a bulletin on safe use of these products.  In particular, repellents containing DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months old.  DEET-containing repellents, compared to other repellents, are very effective since mosquitos and other bugs hate the smell of DEET, muck akin to people hating the smell of rotten eggs. Yuck!  Unfortunately DEET can cause seizures in high quantities.  They also warn that one of the “natural insect repellents” containing eucalyptus oil can irritate a child’s skin and should not be used on children younger than 3 years old.  Furthermore, these experts advised against using products containing both sunscreen and repellent, wearing repellent under clothing, using spray repellents indoors, and applying repellent near food and drink items.

Insect repellents were designed solely to protect against bug bites, not harm the ones being protected.  Chemical repellents are by no means perfect but can be used safely.  Parents should also consider using a more  “old school” bug repellent, mosquito nets.  These low-tech devices are finding their way onto more and more baby carriages to protect infants from mosquito bites.  Of course in the event of a bite, some rubbing alcohol, topical hydrocortisone,  or calamine lotion and a little TLC will have the young ones chasing fireflies into the evening in no time.

For more information, check out Doc Smo’s  pedcast called, “Stopping bites before they happen”. https://www.docsmo.com/doc-smo-stopping-bug-bites-before-they-happen/.

I welcome your comments at www.docsmo.com. Until next time.

 

 

Smo Notes:

http://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/34/6/16.2.full

 

Written collaboratively by Norman Spencer and Paul Smolen M.D.

 

 

 

Seborrheic Dermatitis with Dr. Primmer (Pedcast)


Welcome to another edition of docsmo.com, the pediatric blog dedicated to parents and children.  We are fortunate to have joining us today, Dr. Sue Primmer, an expert dermatologist and pediatrician and long time friend. She has graciously agreed to help us understand a common skin condition in babies called seborrheic eczema or seborrheic dermatitis.  Dr. Primmer is likely to mention many products that can be used on the skin.  Let me assure my listeners that neither she nor I have any association with these products.  hey are mentioned because Dr. Primmer feels that they work well.  I will list these in the Smo Notes at the end of the transcript.

1. What is seborrheic dermatitis?  What is going on in skin?  Why does it affect babies?

2. Why the scalp?

3. What is the natural history of this skin condition?

4. How is it treated and what are the goals of treatment?

5. What helps?  What products do you like to use.

6. Do you have any advice for parents with young children who have seborrheic dermatitis or eczema?

Thank you for helping myself and the many families listening who benefit from your experience and knowledge.  We will do it again soon. Doc Smo, until next time.

 

From the desk of Doc Smo: Swimmer’s Ear Prevention 101 (Article)

If you have ever had it, you know Swimmer’s Ear hurts like crazy. However, most people have no idea what Swimmer’s Ear is and what causes it. Well, lets fix that right now. To understand the cause, we need to start by gaining an understanding of the architecture of the ear and how it is different than other places in the body. The ear canal is a dark tunnel lined with skin that is often very damp, especially in warmer weather. Water frequently gets in but gets trapped by the shape of the ear canal. Well, what happens to water anywhere it sits around without movement, especially when it’s at body temperature? You know it, yuk grows in it! This is especially true in your ear canal when you are in and out of water all day. Once the water enables fungus and bacteria to grow in the ear canal, it is easy to see how these microbes can infect the surrounding skin. Swelling occurs to the point that the ear canal can literally be shut, making things much worse. Oh man, that can hurt!
All of this leads to a tender ear, aching down the side of the neck, and a very miserable child. The children most prone to having bouts of Swimmer’s Ear are: those with eczema (lots of cracks in their skin), those who frequently use Q-tips, those who are in and out of water frequently (especially lake or ocean water), and those who go to bed with wet hair (yes, your mother was right on that one).

Once an outer ear infection gets started, it can be very difficult to control; prevention is the only game in town. Here is a simple way to prevent Swimmer’s Ear in your child, especially as they go off to camp and swim in lakes and rivers. First, buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol and pour half of it out. Fill the bottle back up with either white vinegar or apple vinegar. If you can get a bottle with a dropper on it, great. At the end of EVERY summer day, when no more water is going to get into your child’s ear (usually bedtime), put a few drops of the alcohol/vinegar mixture in their ears and rub it around. Dry the excess with a towel. The combination of the alcohol and acidic vinegar make a very hostile place for germs, and they simply don’t grow. Without the bacteria and fungus in abundance, the cracks don’t get infected. Make sure their hair is dry, and put those little puppies to bed. If you are religious about this, most children won’t be suffering from Swimmer’s Ear this summer. Miss a day or two and all bets are off. If they go to camp, figure out how to make this happen there. It is worth the effort.