Summer time is a fun time for family, particularly for outdoor activities. However, the hot and humid conditions can trigger various types of skin rash and preventing them can go a long way towards family fun throughout the season.
The most common summer skin problem is sunburn, due to damage of the skin caused by ultraviolet rays. While ultraviolet rays are necessary for the skin’s synthesis of vitamin D, too much exposure increases risk of skin cancer. Children should not be under the sun for more than a few hours, and always with sunscreen protection. If the child gets sunburnt, the skin will turn pink, red and look burnt the following day. Usually sunburn need not warrant a visit to the doctor, unless it is an infant with signs of blister. For sunscreen lotion, choose physical blockers that are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based, and for children with sensitive skin, choose sunscreen that is fragrance-free and without the major irritants. Also re-apply sunscreen regularly.
Another common summer skin rash is heat rash, also known as miliaria or prickly rash. This affects children due to their underdeveloped sweat glands, which are more vulnerable to blockage, resulting in heat rash. To prevent heat rash, avoid excessive sweating for infants, and wear loose clothing. Heat rash looks like dots or tiny pimples, usually on the parts of body covered by clothing. Like sunburn, heat rash usually does not warrant a doctor’s consultation.
During hot and humid conditions, there is also increased insect growth that leads to more insect bites, especially mosquito bites. Insect bites can trigger a rash, due to reaction with the saliva from the insect. Insect bites typically appear as red bumps and can be prevented through insect repellent or wearing long sleeves (if it’s not too hot). For children with sensitive skin, the insect repellent can be sprayed on the clothing to reduce contact with skin. Most insect bites can be treated at home and care to be taken to reduce scratching that can lead to secondary infection.
So especially during this hot summer, do take the appropriate precautions for your child, and enjoy the time outdoors!
Mei is passionate about helping families with eczema children because her baby girl has severe eczema. She runs a blog for parents with eczema children at EczemaBlues.com. She has interviewed dermatologists, nutritionists and parenting experts (and even a celebrity hairstylist!) on her blog, making it a comprehensive resource for practical and holistic care for the child. Mei is also the illustrator of a children book A to Z Animals are not Scratching!, a book she created for children with eczema.
Mei is also active in helping her local community through an eczema support group which is the first of its kind in Singapore. She has also initiated the first eczema assistance fund in Singapore. This fund subsidizes treatment for low income eczema patients. You can chat with her on twitter, at @MarcieMom