Mothers & Children

Childrens' Skin

With adolescence comes an increase in both independence and responsibility. Where their parents were once fully accountable, teens now begin to make many of their own choices regarding lifestyle and health care. Along with a greater sense of self-awareness comes the desire by many young adults to alter their appearance or express themselves through various forms of physical alteration and adornment; many such practices affect the skin. Guidance from trusted adults can help teenagers make the best decisions concerning their skin care and general well-being. Smoking, alcohol and skin It is during their late teens that many people are exposed to alcohol and tobacco for the first time. While both cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption impact widely on the body,…
As a parent, you want to ensure that your child is given prompt, good-quality health care; this includes looking after their skin. At times, talking to a paediatrician or dermatologist can be confusing, or even awkward. There are some things you can do to improve these conversations and make certain you are getting the most of their expertise. This article describes some tips to help you and your child get the best care from your dermatologist. Before the appointment Some people find it useful to prepare prior to the appointment. It may help to write out a list covering the following details and take it to the appointment with you. The reason for your appointment and any symptoms the patient…
When it comes to nutrition, our skin often reflects what’s going on inside our body. Feeding children a balanced diet, high in essential vitamins and minerals, can have beneficial effects on the health of their skin. The following is a list of skin-friendly foods and the nutrients that they contain. FOOD NUTRIENT Berries (blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries), plums, apples, green tea, artichokes, spinach, beans/legumes (black red and pinto), prunes, raisins, pecans. These foods are all rich sources of antioxidants. Reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are molecules produced by the body in response to things like sun exposure and pollutants. When present in large amounts they can cause damage to both the structure and genetic information of skin cells. Antioxidants…
The single most common skin disease in teenagers, acne (acne vulgaris) occurs when the skin pores become clogged with excess sebum (oil), dirt and dead skin cells. Bacterial infection can then lead to further inflammation of the skin and the eruption of red, inflamed pimples. The skin condition is also commonly characterised by whiteheads and blackheads. As many as 95% of males and 85% of females suffer from some form of acne during adolescence. Although the physical effects of acne are usually only cosmetic, the condition can have a highly detrimental effect on a young person’s psychological well-being. Causes The surface of the skin contains pores, each of which opens into a canal called a follicle. Each follicle contains a…
Acne - by far the most common skin condition affecting teenagers, read more about acne and how to treat it here. Athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis) - an infection of the feet with a dermatophyte fungus; these thrive in warm, moist environments. The fungal infection, which is usually mild, occurs most commonly in young men. Symptoms of athlete’s foot are spongy, irritated or peeling skin. Sometimes the skin splits (fissure), has a pungent odour or becomes further infected with bacteria. Wearing tight footwear, not changing socks regularly, sharing towels or being barefoot in communal facilities, such as bathrooms or swimming pools, can all enhance the spread and growth of fungi. Particularly susceptible are those who have poor circulation, sweat a lot…
As the teenage body begins to mature in preparation for adulthood, the skin must also adjust to a number of factors, including hormones, which significantly changes its structure and function. Generally, teenage or adolescent skin is tougher and more resilient than that of children, but is still elastic and able to regenerate quickly. Adolescents encounter some distinct dermatologic problems, including acne, and thus their skin requires specific care. Treating skin conditions in teens can, at times, be difficult due to additional issues occurring during this critical period of development. Setting a good example for skin care and sun protection at this age is vital to instilling healthy practices in the future, as puberty is a time when many values are…
Caring for skin for children aged 5-12 years Many of the skin problems seen in toddlers are also seen throughout childhood. Click here to read about conditions which affect toddlers. Chicken pox - caused by infection of the highly contagious varicella zoster virus.The virus spreads through the air or via physical contact and the incubation period is between 10 and 21 days. The physical symptoms begin with itchy spots, usually on the chest and back; the rash then spreads all over the body in the following three to four days. The spots develop into blisters which can break easily and form scabs. Other symptoms of chicken pox can include; fever, lethargy, headache, cough and rhinorrhea (runny nose). Most often, children…
Caring for skin for children aged 5-12 years As with other parts of the human body, the skin is an organ which develops and changes throughout our lifetime. Skin carries out many essential tasks, protecting us from the environment; regulating body temperature; sensing touch and pain and producing vitamin D. The development of skin is a gradual process, beginning in utero and continuing through childhood to maturity. Skin structure A child’s skin structure is very similar to their parents’, and develops over time. The epidermis (the outer layer of skin) in children has largely the same structure as adult skin, however, the stratum corneum (the top layer of the epidermis) is not as robust. The collagen fibres (protein which gives…
Caring for skin from 18 months - 4 years Many of the skin problems seen as babies or during childhood are also seen in toddlers. Click on the links to read about conditions which affect children or newborn babies. Chickenpox - caused by infection of the highly contagious varicella zoster virus. The virus spreads through the air or via physical contact and the incubation period is between 10 and 21 days. The physical symptoms begin with itchy spots, usually on the chest and back; the rash then spreads all over the body in the following three to four days. The spots develop into blisters which can break easily and form scabs. Other symptoms of chicken pox can include; fever, lethargy,…
Caring for skin from 18 months - 4 years The skin of toddlers is more resilient than newborn skin, but still a long way from structural and functional maturity. While generally more fragile than adult skin, toddlers’ skin is also able to rapidly grow and heal, but requires a different level of care. Toddler skin structure New skin cells are formed at the bottom of the epidermis (the top layer of skin) and travel up to the surface where they are shedded, or ‘sloughed off’; continually renewing the skin. In toddlers and babies this process happens quickly, providing a high turnover rate of skin cells. As a result, the skin cells of little children are smaller and more tightly packed…
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