Specialist Dermatologist and Venerologist Dr. Hala AlJaber from Medcare Hospital talks to us about protecting and preventing kids’ skin problems.
What are the most typical skin problems that kids encounter?
There are many skin problems that occur in children, but the most frequent problems are impetigo, viral infections (warts, molloscum, contagiosum, chicken pox), fungal infections, insect bites, miliaria, lice, sunburn, contact and atopic dermatitis, pityriasis alba and acne with teenagers.
Are kids more likely to experience skin problems living in a warmer climate like Dubai?
Kids who live in a hot and humid climate are more likely to experience the mentioned skin problems, especially bacterial, viral and fungal infection because bacteria, viruses and fungus thrive in warm and humid climates. Also, miliaria (heat rash) and sunburn are common in this country.
What are the most stubborn skin problems to treat in kids?
Most of the skin problems are easy to treat, although some problems like herpes simplex, warts and acne will usually recur. Generally, the most stubborn skin problem are atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, vitiligo and bullous disease, all these problems have a recurrent nature.
How important is it for parents to protect their kids when they go outside – and what preventive measures should they follow?
It is very important to protect the kids from the sun because excessive exposure leads to sunburn, and can increase the risk of skin cancer later in life. For prevention, plan indoor activities during midday, or when outside, seek shade under a tree or an umbrella. Make sure kids have protective clothing including hats, long sleeved shirts, long pants and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen with at least SPF20 UVA and UVB protection. Do not forget to protect ears, nose, and lips and make sure to reapply every three hours.
Can you recommend a diet that will help kids who have skin problems, or are there any foods that parents should try to avoid?
Some specific diseases require specific diets; in general, we advise a balanced diet (protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals), most importantly vegetables and fruits because they are rich in antioxidants.
Is there a specific cream or product that every parent should be aware of that is useful when it comes to treating sensitive skin?
It is better not to use any cream without the advice of a Dermatologist unless for moisturising only.
What are the most important things parents should be aware of to protect kids’ skin?
For healthy skin, we need to maintain good hygiene and use suitable soaps for cleaning. Avoid excessive sun exposure and irritants. More importantly, early treatment for every skin problem could help prevent the spread of the disease.