Tag Archives: skin

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


Dr. M


7 Reasons Your Children Should Not Get Tattoos (Pedcast)

The following pedcast was originally posted August 18, 2013. Listen to pediatrician and dermatologist Sue Primmer M.D. discuss some interesting facets of tattooing in the U.S.. Continue reading

Tattoos and Children- Dr. Sue Primmer (Pedcast)


Welcome to another edition of DocSmo.com, the blog dedicated to children and parents. I’m Dr. Paul Smolen, you know, Doc Smo and I am grateful and honored to have as my guest today Dr. Susan Primmer, board certified dermatologist and pediatrician and a great friend. She has loads of experience and always brings some great insights on whatever subject we are discussing. Today we are going to talk about tattoos and children from a dermatologists perspective.  Welcome Dr. Primmer.

1.  Question -Why do teens and young adults get tattoos from our experience?

Increase uniqueness

Draw attention

Highlight body parts

Increase sex appeal

 2.  Question- Laws in North Carolina and New Jersey with regards to parental consent.

NC-Illegal under 18 years consent or not.

NJ- Parental consent under 18 years

California- Illegal to “offer” or perform to tattoos under 18 years of age.

3.  Question -What are the different types of tattooing and what goes on in the skin.

Injected into dermis

Different inks

Not really removing- making particles smaller. Changes the way your eye sees it.

4. Question- Are complications common?What kind of problems do you see?

Actually not many problems.

Remorse the big problem

Infected ink outbreak last year with mycoplasma species

Blood borne diseases

Allergic reactions- Henna


5. Question- Some anecdotes would be good.  I can talk about a child who had an allergic reaction to henna and the “scar” tatoos I used to see kids give themselves in elementary school.

Patty to Party story…. Chinese symbol

6. Top reasons not to get a tatoo and how parents can talk to their kids about this subject.

Melanoma detection

Many cannot be removed

After removal skin texture never the same

Expensive-removable ink $$

Relationships sometimes don’t work out

Body parts age/ Tattoos age smudge

Feelings change

Standing out may not be what one wants


Thanks Dr. Sue Primmer once again for sharing her expertise.  More great talks by Dr. Primmer, check out www.docsmo.com. Or find her on iTunes.


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:



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.


Indoor Tanning (Article)

One of the most popular trends among teens and young adults at the moment is indoor tanning, which unfortunately poses many hidden risks. Many teens, especially girls under the age of 18, feel that the golden glow of tanned skin enhances their appearance. As teenagers are particularly inclined to put great importance on their own body image, tanning has become increasingly targeted towards this age group. Now, up to 40% of adolescent girls use indoor tanning salons, especially as they have become increasingly accessible and affordable. The popularity is in part also because indoor tanning is much faster than sunning outside, due to UV exposure 10 to 15 times higher than normal, and the results are longer lasting. Unfortunately, few teens are aware of the damaging and permanent side effects of tanning.

A recent study published in a journal sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics points out the correlation between indoor tanning and the development of skin cancer in young people. Melanoma, a highly deadly form of skin cancer, has increased dramatically in the last twenty years, and non-melanoma forms of skin cancers are also increasing significantly, in part due to the growing prevalence of indoor tanning and intense outdoor tanning. Tanning leads to skin cancer through the damaging permanent effects of highly concentrated UV rays on the DNA of skin cells. While skin cancer is the most life-threatening side effect of tanning beds, extensive sunburn, skin aging, and eye damage can also be caused by indoor tanning…and those are just the negative effects we know about.

Finally, new research indicates that tanning addictions are becoming more widespread and are legitimate mental health issues.  Yet, in spite of all of these risks, teens continue to tan. So, as parents, how are we to curb indoor tanning usage? The government has begun to look at instituting laws to ban underage tanning, but ultimately, parents are responsible for their teens.  Before your teen tans, make sure they fully understand all the risks associated with tanning, and encourage them to “be comfortable in the skin they’re in.” No sun-kissed golden glow is worth the risk of developing a life threatening skin cancer. Parents have enormous influence over their children’s choices, and talking through the health risks with your children early on and frequently can have a great effect on their decision to tan. Parents have powers that they often don’t realize that they have…Use them!  Also, studies show that young girls who tan often have mothers or caregivers who also tan. Setting a positive example by limiting your own tanning will perhaps lessen the pressure on your teens to follow this unhealthy trend. Ultimately, simply engaging in a family conversation about tanning will spread awareness about the risks and help teens understand the consequences of their decision. More often than not, when you treat a teen like an adult, they will act like an adult.  Try it and see.

I would encourage all interested readers to take a look at this article. :  http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2404.full.pdf+html. Click and read.

Comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com. Maybe even share this article with some teens you know.  Until next time.

Smo Notes: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2404.abstract

Article written by Keri Register and Dr. Paul Smolen

Grandma, Cod Liver Oil, and the 2011 News Regarding Vitamin D (Pedcast)

Recently, a lot of attention has been paid by the medical community to the role of Vitamin D to maintaining good health.  Dr. Smolen discusses this important topic and gives some recommendations to make sure your infants, children, and teens are both bone healthy and well supplied with Vitamin D.

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