How to avoid burns and bites during the summertime

Most would agree that summer is the best time of year to be in Wisconsin. Boating, camping, swimming and festivals are definitely a ritual this time of year. Unfortunately, all good comes with some bad and summer is no different. If not prevented adequately, sunburns and bug bites can quickly turn into a roadblock to your summer plans. Luckily, there are safe and easy ways to ensure these issues become nothing more than a minor speed bump during this season. Following these simple preventive measures may even …Click here to continue reading

Teenagers beware: The perils of tanning

TanningWith summer right around the corner, many of us want to get a tan so we look good in our summer dresses and shorts. The sad thing is many of us know how unhealthy tanning is, but we ignore the warnings because we like how a tan looks.

Have you ever seen a poster in a tanning salon that showed a pale, perky 16-year-old girl on one side and a weathered wrinkled 65-year-old woman on the other? Of course not, but that’s exactly how you’ll age if you tan. And let’s not forget another situation – scars from the …Click here to continue reading

New sunscreen labeling regulations designed to help consumers

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world.  Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is the most common cancer among people ages 25-29 and the second most common cancer among people ages 15-29.  The majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV radiation.  Most people are exposed to UV radiation through sunlight or tanning beds.

You can protect yourself from this radiation in several ways …Continue reading this post

’Tis the season to moisturize

Now that winter is here, more of my patients are complaining about eczema.

Children with eczema have dry, sensitive skin that’s prone to developing itchy rashes. This is because they have an abnormal skin barrier. The protein building blocks of the skin don’t form normally and the oil content of the skin is different. As a result, water easily evaporates from the skin, causing it to dry out. The skin also does not protect children as well from the outside world, so irritants and allergens in the environment around us are more likely to cause itching and swelling.

Since eczema isn’t curable, prevention is a key part of treatment. Children with eczema must use a thick moisturizer at least twice a day to replenish the skin barrier – the thicker, the better. Think of this as a layer of protective armor you’re putting on your child’s skin. Creams and ointments that are scooped from a jar are better than thin lotions that come from a pump bottle. Fragrance is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to irritating the skin or causing an allergy. All soaps, moisturizers and sometimes even laundry detergents should be gentle and fragrance-free. Do not confuse the term “unscented” with “fragrance-free.” Products that are labeled as “unscented” may actually contain extra chemicals to hide smells.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes your child will develop eczema rashes anyway. If your child has an itchy, pink rash, bring him or her to the pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist. A prescription topical steroid ointment may be needed to calm down the inflammation.

Most children improve with time, but some will continue to have eczema as adults. Almost all children will continue to have sensitive skin as adults and must be careful to protect their skin with moisturizers and avoid using harsh products.

~ Yvonne Chiu, MD, pediatric dermatologist, Dermatology Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Sunburn vs. sun poisoning: What’s the difference?

Kids spend a good part of their day playing outside in the summer. But before they go outside, it’s important to protect them from the harmful effects of overexposure to the sun.

Do you know the difference between sunburn and sun poisoning?

The symptoms of sunburn may include redness, swelling of the skin, pain, blisters and peeling skin days after the burn. If your child gets sunburn, give him or her a cool bath or place cool washcloths on the sunburned area. You also can give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Apply a moisturizer, like aloe or hydrocortisone cream to the sunburned skin. If the skin blisters, don’t break them open, because they can get infected. It’s also a good idea to keep your child out of the sun until the burn is healed. …Click here to continue reading