Scratching the Surface on Eczema

 

For those that suffer with Eczema, or the parent of a child that suffers with it, it’s a constant struggle to keep it under control. There are several types of irritating skin conditions known more broadly as “Eczema”. Children may be impacted as early as 6 months old, and symptoms include dry, itchy and inflamed skin. While there is no cure for Eczema, it can be treated. Here are some tips for daily skincare and managing unpleasant flare-ups:

 

• Hydrate the skin 2 -3 times per day using a plain petroleum or glycerin-based cream. For busy hands and feet, light-weight cotton gloves or socks may be worn to hold the cream on the skin.

• Include a shower or bath, followed by moisturizer into your routine when possible. Follow the 3 minute rule after applying lotion to Eczema-prone skin: wait 3 minutes before dressing your child to give their skin a chance to absorb the moisturizer.

• Frequent washing of hands can strip the much-needed oils from the skin. Place a bottle of your favorite moisturizer next to the sink to help replace some of the oils that keep the skin from cracking and are so important for Eczema sufferers.

• Flare-ups are inevitable, and when they occur your child’s doctor may prescribe a steroid for relief. Typically, steroids are applied once or twice a day for up to a week to knock-out those flare-ups. When you see the skin getting red, dry, cracked or inflamed, contact your pediatric provider right away to get started on treatment.

• Understand what triggers your child’s Eczema. There are several types of Eczema, each with their own triggers and symptoms. These triggers may include sweat and/or drool on the skin, dry skin that goes untreated, heat or allergens. Know when your child is vulnerable to a flare-up and help them avoid exposure to triggers.

 

Eczema symptoms may change as your child grows. Make an appointment with your pediatric provider to determine what type of Eczema you’re dealing with, and how-to best manage your child’s condition at every stage of life.

It's easy to schedule an appointment with your pediatric provider – simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your pediatric provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for your family!

 

Make An Appointment

 

 

 

Additional resources from the National Eczema Association, for school-age children, available here.

 

 

 

Tips for Traveling with Kids this Summer

 

Fifteen minutes. According to the Center for Disease Control, that’s all it takes for the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to damage your skin. When you’re on beach or pool time, 15 minutes goes by quickly. It feels great to soak up those rays, but they are harming your skin and are putting you at risk for long-term skin damage and worse, skin cancer. Before you head out into the sun for the day, take some time and precautions to keep yourself and your family safe all summer long, and you’ll be golden for some fun in the sun!

 

Use Sunscreen

It’s one of the easiest ways to prevent skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB, an SPF of at least 30, and water resistant. When applying sunscreen, more is more. You want to be sure to get a thick layer of sunscreen on your skin in order for the SPF to do its job. For an average size person, remember the teaspoon rule, and adjust for all ages and body types:

  • 1 teaspoon to the face/neck/scalp
  • 1 teaspoon for each arm
  • 1 teaspoon to the chest and abdomen
  • 1 teaspoon to the back
  • 2 teaspoons for each leg
  • Sunblock lotions are the preferred choice, but if you are using a spray sunscreen, apply outside by holding the bottle close to the skin and spray on each area for approximately 6 seconds, or until the sunscreen is visible on the skin (typically, when it looks white). Then, rub it in. Don’t apply spray sunscreen directly to the face. Instead, spray generously into your hand and apply to your face as you would a lotion. Don’t forget to apply a lip balm with an SPF of 30, too!

    Sunscreen will wear off throughout the day. Be sure to reapply every two hours and following exposure to water or sweat.

    If you’re avoiding sunscreen because you don’t like how it feels on your skin or you had an allergic reaction, try another type or brand. There are a variety of choices by a variety of brands, so if you aren’t happy with one, try another until you find one that works with your skin. You may want to make an appointment with your primary care provider or dermatologist to discuss your individual needs. After all, the best sunscreen is the one you will wear!

     

    Avoid exposure between 10 am and 4 pm

    Have you heard of the shadow rule? If your shadow is shorten than you are in real life, the sun’s rays are strong. During this time, you should avoid exposure or follow precautions to protect yourself and your family. For our region in the Midwest, the sun is most intense from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., so you’ll want to be the most vigilante in protecting your skin during this time.

     

    Use Sunglasses

    Your eyes will absorb those harmful rays much like your skin does. Look for sunglasses that block and absorb UVA and UVB light. The lenses should fit close to the skin and be large enough to cover your eyes and the surrounding areas. The bigger the better! Polarized lenses will help eliminate glare, which is great for driving or days in the water or snow.

     

    Drink more water

    When you’re sweating, you are losing water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in hot weather to keep dehydration at bay. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Also, look for signs of heat exhaustion such as; feeling overheated, tired or weak. Nausea, headaches and dizziness are also indications that it’s time to get out of the sun, cool down and drink some water. Heat stroke is a more serious condition. If you or someone in your family stops sweating, has red and/or hot skin, a high temperature, confusion or is suddenly uncoordinated, seek medical attention right away.

     

    Go Long!: Wear Protective Clothing

    Long-sleeved shirts and long pants provide an extra layer of protection while spending time out in the sun. Look for clothing made with tightly woven fabrics. Those linen pants aren’t going to protect you from the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen underneath. When playing the water, look for bathing suits that feature a sun shirt, especially for little ones.

     

    Hats Off ON!: Wear a Broad Rimmed hat

    Wearing a hat with a full brim is a great way to protect the scalp, ears, face and neck from exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Tightly woven fabric is the key to a good hat, straw hats are cute, but don’t provide the protection you need. When purchasing sun hats for the family, be sure to pick the correct sizes for each person. Kids will pull off a hat that slips down over their eyes.

    Seek the shade & avoid direct sunlight

    Trees or shelters block the sun’s UV rays and provide ultimate protection. Seek out these spaces when spending time outdoors to help protect yourself and your family from painful sunburns and help reduce the risk of skin cancer. When you can’t find shade, make it! Invest in a beach umbrella or tent to shield your family from the sunlight.

     

    Be cautious of reflections

    Your exposure to the sun’s rays increases when the sun shines onto and reflects off of bright surfaces, like water, sand or house paint, for example. When spending time near a reflective surface, ensure everyone is sporting sunglasses and sunscreen or protective clothing are being used consistently.

     

    Tanning

    Don’t. Tan skin is damaged skin and the impact can last or even shorten a lifetime. Tanning should not be part of a beauty regiment at any point in a person’s life.

     

    Protection 365 Days

    Skin cancer prevention is not seasonal. Sure, we wear less clothing and spend more time outside in the sun’s rays during the summer months, but protection from those rays is just as important during the winter months. UV rays reflect off snow just as they do off of sand, water and concrete. Apply sunscreen to the face and any other exposed skin, wear sunglasses and lip balm every day. When it comes to sun safety, there’s a lot of information to soak in. Download this handy checklist and keep it in your beach bag to help ensure you and your family are covered for summer skin protection.

     

    Sun Safety Checklist

     

    For questions concerning dangers to your skin from the sun, consult with your dermatologist.

    It's easy to schedule an appointment with your dermatology provider – simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your dermatology provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for your family!

     

    Make An Appointment

     

     

    Is Tamiflu Right For You?

     

     

    KEEPING YOUR COLON HEALTH IN CHECK IS IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE

    Did you know that nearly 100,000 people are diagnosed with Colon Cancer and 40,000 with rectal cancer each year? In other words, one in 24 men and one in 22 women will develop colon or rectal cancer in their lifetimes.  March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, a time to evaluate the state of your colon health and learn how to monitor colorectal health going forward. Stay in touch with your colon!

    COLONOSCOPY 101

    Unlike other cancers screening tools, colonoscopy is unique in that it can both diagnose and help prevent colorectal cancer by removing polyps before they progress to cancer.

    WHO SHOULD GET A COLONOSCOPY?

    Common misconceptions are that you only need a colonoscopy if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. However, 80-90% new colorectal cancer cases have no family history - this means that the vast majority of new cases will be the first person in their family to be diagnosed.

    Others think that if they have no symptoms, they can’t possibly have colorectal cancer. But by the time patients develop symptoms of weight loss, abdominal pain or changes to their bowel habits, the cancer has often already progressed to a very late stage.

    This is why screening is so important. We want to find polyps and early cancer that are easily treated.

    WHEN SHOULD I GET MY FIRST COLONOSCOPY?

    Every adult should undergo their first screening by the age of 50. Some patients should start earlier, depending on other factors. It is best to talk to your doctor about when you should start screening.

    Some people delay or avoid screening because they are afraid of the test. A focus of Colon Cancer Awareness Month is to spread the word about colonoscopy - the test is not painful and is very safe.

    SCHEDULE YOUR COLONOSCOPY

    It’s easy to schedule your colonoscopy with IHA – simply visit our online appointment tool to request your colonoscopy appointment. Our team will verify that you’re eligible for colonoscopy screening with your primary care provider and will confirm your appointment.