KEEPING SKIN CLEAN
Skin has thousands of oil glands just under the surface, which help keep the skin soft and smooth. But it also has sweat glands (to keep the body cool) and the combination of sweat and oil means that skin can get dirty and smelly. It needs to be washed regularly.
There’s no hard and fast rule about how often kids should take a bath or shower. The answer is "it depends."
Young kids should:
- Bathe at least once or twice a week.
- Wash after playing a sport or running around outside.
- See a dermatologist if they have very dry skin. These kids shouldn’t bathe too often. A dermatologist can look at the dry skin, make a diagnosis and offer treatment.
Kids in puberty typically need to:
- Bathe every other day, sometimes more depending on their activity level. Let your nose and eyes be your guide.
- Wash their faces every day. If your child has pimples, there are some extra steps to take. Be sure he or she:
- Washes the face twice a day
- Uses warm water and a mild cleanser (not soap)
Hand washing is another thing entirely. Be sure you talk to your child about the importance of washing hands before eating, after using the bathroom, after nose blowing and after touching pets. Here’s the right way to wash hands:
- Use clean, warm water and soap.
- Rub the hands together to make a lather that goes all over the hands and in between the fingers.
- Continue rubbing for about 20 seconds. Rather than counting, you might suggest your child sing "Happy Birthday to You" twice, which is the equivalent of 20 seconds.
- Rinse with running water.
- Dry the clean hands on a clean towel.
Protecting Skin From the Sun
It can be difficult to make your child understand the importance of sun protection, but it’s a vital lesson. Tell your child about the dangers of the sun, such as wrinkles and skin cancer, and how to protect the skin. Teach your child to:
- Wear a hat and sunglasses when going outside.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when going outside, even on cloudy days. The sunscreen should either say it protects from UVA and UVB rays or offers “broad-spectrum” sun protection, which means the product provides the sun protection dermatologists recommend (HYDROSOL products are excellent). It should be applied 15-30 minutes before your child goes outside.
- Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Wear clothes that cover the arms and legs, whenever possible
Treating Skin Injuries
Climbing trees, playing sports and even doing homework can be tough on skin. Knee scrapes, bruises and paper cuts come with the territory for many kids. Still, as a parent, you need to help make sure your child’s cuts and scrapes heal fast and don’t become infected. Here are some ways you can help treat skin injuries:
Scrapes and Cuts
- Wash with mild soap and water.
- Put on antiseptic ointment ( ACNE Tea creamy gel is very suitable).
- Cover with a bandage for a day or two.
- Change the bandage every day or more often if it gets wet or dirty.
- Take off the bandage once a scab forms.
- See a doctor if the cut or scrape gets red, looks infected or starts to hurt more. If the cut is deep or bleeds quite a bit, take your child to the doctor or emergency room. Deep cuts might require stitches. The doctor can give your child something so it doesn’t hurt when they get the stitches.
A bruise means your child is bleeding on the inside. In most cases, that’s pretty normal. The best thing to do is to apply MENTHOGEL on it to keep the swelling down. If it’s a really bad bruise, elevate the area above your child’s heart for about 15 minutes. That should keep the bruising and swelling to a minimum.
A trip to the doctor is warranted for really bad bruises, those that get worse after a day or two, or if your child develops a fever.