Tag Archives: skin care

Dr. M’s SPA Newsletter Volume 11 Issue 24

Did you ever suffer from a cold sore caused by the herpes virus? If so, this audio newsletter is for you. We go through all of the current data regarding cause and treatment.

Herpes Labialis is a common recurrent irritation for many children and parents alike. The Red Book, the bible of pediatric Infectious diseases, is the best resource for understanding Herpes viral infections. There are 8 primary herpes viruses that infect humans including: herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1), herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2), varicella-zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, Human herpesvirus-6, Human herpesvirus-7, and Kaposi’s sarcoma herpes virus……

Read More at https://www.salisburypediatrics.com/patient-education/dr-magryta-s-newsletter/955-volume-11-letter-24

Best,

Dr. M

 

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.

From the desk of Doc Smo: Sunscreen Essentials (Article)

As you send your children off to the wilds of summer camp, the pool, the lake, and other very sun-intense places, you should know some basic facts about young people and exposure to intense sunlight that includes ultraviolet rays. Young people are very susceptible to photo damage of their skin for number of reasons:
 
*Their skin is thinner than adults, and radiation presumably penetrates that much deeper

*They haven’t been out in the sun as much, and they therefore have less pigmentation to act as a natural sunscreen and to limit photo damage

*They are less aware of their surroundings and the danger intense sun exposure poses for them.

*They are therefore much less likely to protect themselves by getting out of the sunlight.

*Since sun damage may take more than 25 years to show itself, very young children are much more likely to live long enough for light-induced tumors actually to form.

*Finally, young children are more likely to expose more skin to the sun because they often lack inhibition to being naked or semi-naked.
 
If all that isn’t enough, consider the following data collected a number of years ago. People who had a severe BLISTERING sunburn in childhood have increased their chance of the deadliest type of skin cancer–melanoma skin cancer–tenfold! That’s right, they were TEN TIMES more likely to develop skin cancer than their peers who had not had severe skin damage as a child. The genetic injury to the skin cells that ultraviolet radiation causes is permanent and will be carried with your child for the rest of their days. I don’t think there is any doubt that a BLISTERING sunburn is really bad for you and your children.
 
Let’s review some things you need to consider at the beginning of the summer to make your next day in the sun as safe as possible:
 
*Use clothing with tight weaving or added sun protection to cover your children as much as possible. Hats, special swim clothes, and sunglasses with UV protection are great. Try to get clothes with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of at least 25 or better.

*Try never to talk about a “healthy tan,” and make sure you set a good example by protecting your skin as well.

*Avoid prolonged outdoor activities at peak sun times: 10am to 2pm.

*Try to stay in shade whenever possible.

*In children six months or older, use a good sunscreen on areas most prone to sun damage (THE TOPS): top of nose, top ears, top of feet, and top of shoulders. I recommend sunscreens with either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Blue Lizard and Vanicream are two of my favorites. Put them on frequently and liberally!

*Early summer seems to be the time of year for the worst burns. Be especially careful in May/June.
 
Have fun, but be smart about it.

Changing Diapers; Hazardous to Your Health? (Pedcast)

Introduction

Just imagine this Norman Rockwell scene– a baby’s room, a changing table, and powder everywhere with a giggling baby kicking and enjoying being liberally powdered. The baby has a nice dry bottom and is enjoying the nice aroma of the powder not to mention the wonderful feel of powder on their skin. What could be more American and traditional?  Grandma’s of yesteryear loved baby powders because they were super absorbent and feel great. Unfortunately, there is a dark side to powders that you should know about! There are things all parents need to know about baby powder, which we are going to discuss today. Before you start sprinkling powder around your baby and yourself, take a listen to this pedcast and learn why the use of baby powders are controversial and potentially harmful to you and your baby! Welcome to another edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics. I’m your host, Dr. Paul Smolen, a board certified pediatrician with a lot of experience and a whole lot to say.

What are powders?

Powders are created when solid substances have been crushed, ground, or pulverized into very small particles.  When these dry small particles are collected they are called powders. I guess it is possible to make a powder out of any solid substance and they can have many varied uses; from makeups to lubricants like graphite all the way to cocaine and gunpowder. Powders are amazing things! Today, we are going to limit our discussion to baby powders, the kind that are used on a baby’s bum. Chemically, baby powders are usually made of either talc, a mineral mined in many locations in the U.S. or from cornstarch. When it comes to powders the smaller the particles, the higher the quality of the powder. That’s why talc was so valued as a powder–talc can be pulverized into very small particles. It makes the best powder!  The small size of the particles creates a super-large surface area to absorb lots and lots of moisture. The ultra small particles also give this powder a silky smooth feel that both moms and babies really enjoy.  The powder keeps junior’s bum dry, silky smooth, reduces the friction of the diapers, and absorbs chemical irritants in their urine and poop.  What’s not to love?

If powders work well, what’s the problem?

You know by the title of this pedcast, that there must be a dark side to powders. Well, you are right. Here are some observations that make pediatricians and other health experts worry about people using powders, especially talcum powders around babies.

Workers in talc factories often have lung problems.

Some babies who have inhaled large amounts of powders have had lung problems.

Some naturally occurring Talc has asbestos fibers in it thus creating the long-term concern about lung cancer.

In fact, a jury in 2017 awarded a cancer victim  $100,000,000, finding liability against the Johnson and Johnson Company.

The irony with powders, especially those that contain talc, is that what makes them so useful also makes them more hazardous to use– their small particle size. These very small particles, microns in size, can drift down deep into your and your baby’s lungs and sit there for long periods of time. These particles can provoke allergic reactions, scarring of your baby’s lungs, or possibly even cancers.

 

How do I Keep My Baby’s Bum in Shape?

 

Our friends across the pond, the Brits, call diapers Nappies. So how do you keep your baby’s nappies happy? How can you keep the delicate skin on their bottom from breaking down if you can’t use powders? Here are a few tips that can help keep your baby’s bum in good shape:

 

-Frequent changing of diapers

-Careful cleaning and drying before new diapers put on.

-Avoid chemical wipes

-Remember, babies skin thinner that older people. Be very gentle when cleaning their skin and only use a soft wipe with lots of water.  A soft cotton diaper cut up into squares makes a good cleaning clothe.

-Barrier creams are very helpful keeping irritating poop or pee away from the skin. I love these.

-And of course, avoid using powders. They can be dangerous to your family’s health.

Outro

Well, that wraps up today’s pedcast. If you enjoy learning about child health with pedcasts, please take a minute to write a review on iTunes or subscribe to my blog at www.docsmo.com. You can also spread the DocSmo word by hitting the like and share buttons on my Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram accounts.

This is Dr. Paul Smolen, broadcasting from studio 1E in Charlotte, NC, hoping you are now more aware, of the dangers of powdery air

Until next time

 

 

 

SmoNotes:

 

  1. “How Can I Make Sure My Baby’s Bedroom Is Safe?” American Academy of Pediatrics : Healthy Children 10 June 2010: 1. Web. 2 Apr. 2011. <http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/pages/Make-Babys-Room-Safe.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR:%20No%20local%20token&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000 000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR:%20No%20local%20token>.

 

2. American Cancer Society. 04 Nov. 2010. 02 Apr. 2011 .

<http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-and-cancer>.

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