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skin deep

By Dr. Amy Kim / The American Academy of Dermatology

Don’t Burn!

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Know the facts. Even one blistering sunburn in childhood can double a person’s risk of getting melanoma later in life. Risk of melanoma has risen from one in 2000 in 1900 to one in 60 in 2013. There are medically sound studies that confirm that regular sunscreen use decreases risk of getting melanoma. Babies less than six months of age have more sensitive skin and less pigment to tolerate sunscreens and the sun. Special care should be given to protect infants from the sun. An ounce of prevention. By taking just a few important steps you can lessen your child’s chance of getting a sunburn and melanoma later in life. Be sure to do the following: 1) Avoid peak hours. Try to avoid taking your baby during peak sun times (from 10 am to 4 pm). 2) Apply baby sunscreen. Slather babies six months and older with a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and reapply every 1 1/2 hours. No sunscreen is truly waterproof so be sure to reapply after any wetness from swimming or sweating. Cover up. Dress your little one in appropriate UV protective clothing and a floppy hat when you’re planning to be

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Athens-Oconee Parent

outdoors for an extended period of time. UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a measurement that quantifies how much clothing shields the sun. This depends on fabric traits such as color, weight, content and construction. UPF signifies both UVA and UVB protection. Clothing should have a UPF of 50 or higher to be effective in sun protection. Be able to spot a sunburn. The onset of sunburn is usually not immediate. It is often a delayed reaction to the sun’s harmful rays that begins to appear 6-8 hours after exposure and can remain on the skin for 1-2 days. Sunburn usually begins with redness but significant burns can involve swelling and may or may not involve blisters. Soothe your little one. If your baby begins to show signs of redness after sun exposure, apply a low dose hydrocortisone cream to the affected areas two times a day for up to two days. A cool compress can also provide additional relief and an over-thecounter baby ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory) can be used to slow down the sunburn reaction. Check with your pediatrician before administering ibuprofen, hydrocortisone or any

other medicine. If you notice significant swelling with or without blisters, consult with your pediatrician or dermatologist. ■ Dr. Amy Kim is a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon who practices in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also the first dermatologist mom to release a line of infant skincare products, Baby Pibu. www.babypibu.com

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Bugs Bite!

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lthough summer weather means more time outdoors, it also means more bugs – like bees, ticks and mosquitoes.The best way to deal with pesky bites and stings, say dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology, is to prevent them in the first place.This can also help you avoid an insect-related disease, which can put a damper on anyone’s spring. “Although most bug bites are harmless, some can spread dangerous diseases like Lyme disease,” said board-certified dermatol-

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