Children, how to prepare the skin for the first sun: advice from chief physician Bagnoni

Dr. Giovanni Bagnoni, Director of Dermatology in Livorno

Reflected radiation, the effect of water and sand should not be underestimated

The beautiful days are coming and the sun is getting warmer. It is already time to prepare the skin. The sun is good, but in moderate amounts. Especially in summer, when the ultraviolet rays are stronger and children and teenagers spend many hours outdoors, under the sun’s rays. Not all people react in the same way to exposure: there are those who immediately get a golden complexion and those who, despite the protections, get sunburn, burning and dermatitis.

Dr. Giovanni Bagnoni, head of dermatology at Livorno and Massa Carrara Hospital, explains that children have skin that is more sensitive to the sun than adults. And precisely for this reason, it is much easier for them to get burned or to deal with sun rash. The guard must always remain high. Let’s see how.

Dr. Bagnoni, how can we protect the skin of children and young people?

“Children and teenagers must always be protected with sunscreens with a high protection index. In the first months of life, the little ones must not be exposed to direct sunlight because they still have imperfect defense systems, and when they go out they must wear natural fiber clothes and hats. Tanning is a self-produced sunscreen, but if the amount of exposure is prolonged, excessive and unprotected, sunburn occurs.Which, we remind you, absolutely must be avoided: sunburn in childhood is actually correlated with the development of skin tumors in adulthood.It is a good idea to avoid being in the sun during the central hours of the day, between 11 and 16. Better to expose yourself gradually, protect the skin with the protections that, thanks to the sunscreens, reduce the amount of ultraviolet rays that reach the skin. children, the protective filter must be very high (+50) to create an effective barrier.Nutrition is also important.It is important to maintain a good state of hydration and a good supply of we tamines and mineral salts. Offer young children water regularly, and to ensure a good supply of vitamins and minerals, good seasonal fruits or vegetables to munch on such as fennel, carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes, which are excellent choices to have on hand. The advice is to bring fresh fruit cut into cubes or raw ready-to-eat vegetables. Also excellent thermos with fruit and vegetable juice or centrifuged fruit and vegetables to prefer over industrial alternatives, often rich in sugar “.

Does it make a difference where the kids are?

“Yep. In the summer, children and teenagers love to spend many hours in the water or on the shore. Here, the reflected radiation, the effect of water and sand (but also applies to ice and snow), which has the ability to reflect radiation as a mirror, not underestimated and thus multiply the effect of sun rays.The same applies to the place: in the mountains the protection must be greater, because the sun’s rays are perpendicular to the earth and therefore stronger “.

Can even the first sun be dangerous for the little ones?

“Yes, without adequate protection, children encounter primarily sunburn: the skin is red, swollen, hot, dry and itchy, there is a burning sensation and pain at the slightest contact, and often even bubbles appear, which, if rubbed and cracked , can cause skin infections ”.

Does sun exposure increase the risk of dermatitis?

“Yes, they are called phytophotodermatitis and are little known but fairly common pathologies, due to skin contact with phototoxic plant species (which cause a side effect that occurs in connection with exposure to a (light-sensitive) substance and solar radiation, red). Just to give some examples: latex, lymph, juice and resin, which are activated after exposure to the sun’s rays and cause damage to the skin, such as erythema up to proper burns.They are more typical of women and children in the exposed areas such as face, neck, arms “Hands and legs, often with special shapes that can be attributed to contact with the plant. It is therefore important to know that apparently trivial plants, such as figs, celery, parsley, can cause these dermatitis. Therefore, it is important to pay attention.” .

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