helping child wash hands

Parents focus on keeping their kids healthy, brushing their teeth, and teaching them good hygiene. But what about taking care of their skin? Children’s skin is an important part of their overall health and grooming. Their skin can be sensitive, but a visit to Fort Collins dermatology services and extra care can keep even the most sensitive skin in good shape. Here are six tips for taking care of your children’s skin.

Keep skin clean.

Encourage kids to wash their hands and teach them the proper handwashing technique of using warm water, scrubbing with soap, rinsing, and drying thoroughly. Children should wash their hands multiple times throughout the day, especially after using the bathroom and before eating. Children’s skin also needs to be washed with regular baths or showers, depending on their age. Older children should wash their face with a mild cleaner twice a day to fight against oil and acne.

Practice sun protection.

Sun exposure is just as dangerous for kids as it is for adults. Apply sunscreen when they’ll be outside and reapply it every few hours, even if it’s cloudy outside. Be sure to use a kid-friendly waterproof or sweat-proof sunscreen if your child will be in the water or running around. Look for a sunscreen with SPF of at least 30. Babies younger than six months shouldn’t wear sunscreen but instead should be shaded and protected from the sun. Encourage children to stay out of direct sun during the middle of the day, when the sun’s rays are the strongest and more harmful.

Moisturize regularly.

Apply lotion daily on your child’s arms, legs, and face. Avoid putting lotion on younger children’s hands because it could end up in their mouths. For best results, apply lotion right after your child gets out of the bath to lock in moisture. If you notice your child’s skin is extremely dry or scaly, apply lotion more frequently or talk to your dermatologist about a stronger type of lotion for dry or sensitive skin.

Use child-friendly skincare and household products.

Children’s skin tends to be more sensitive, so look for soaps and lotions that are designed for children and that don’t have any dyes or perfumes that could irritate their skin. Other household products can also irritate a kid’s skin. Check your soap, laundry detergent, and cleaning products to make sure they are free of irritating chemicals or dye. If you notice your child’s skin seems to be irritated or dryer than usual, your household cleaners could be the culprit.

Don’t forget about the lips.

Many parents take great care of their children’s skin but forget another important part of the face: the lips. Lips can easily get cracked or sunburnt. Apply lip balm on your child’s lips regularly. Look for a product that contains SPF to avoid the sensitive lip area from getting hurt in the sun. If you notice your child has frequent cold sores around their lips, consult a doctor for further treatment options.

Check for rashes or changes to the skin.

Skin can change quickly, so always keep an eye on your child’s skin and be aware of any rashes, moles, or changes to the coloring. Consult a doctor if your child has extremely dry or itchy skin or if he or she gets frequent rashes. These symptoms can be a sign of eczema, which is best treated by a dermatologist.

It’s never too early to teach your kids about skin protection and start them on good habits to have a lifetime of healthy, beautiful skin. Taking time to clean and protect your children’s skin can help them as their bodies grow and change.