At Ruth Treiber Dermatology, Dr. Ruth Treiber caters to many young children. Children’s dermatology is often very different from treating adults, as they generally have far different needs and suffer from far different conditions. Sadly, in recent times Dr. Ruth Treiber has seen a rise in melanomas, especially in children.
A trip to the beach, or walk in the park, is all it usually takes for someone to develop a very harsh sunburn. Generally, as much as they may hurt, after some aloe, we never give them a second thought. However, in children, a bad sunburn can be extremely dangerous, in the present, as well as later in life. Just one blistering sunburn during adolescence can more than double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later on in life. Dr. Ruth Treiber states that because a young child’s skin, no matter their skin tone, has far less melanin (than their adult counterparts). The less melanin an individual has, the more vulnerable they are to the sun and its harmful rays. This is why Dr. Ruth Treiber recommends babies 6 months or younger be kept out of the sun completely. Another issue is that sunscreen, especially stronger sunscreen, is far too harsh for an infant’s delicate skin.
Despite these issues many parents who aren’t educated in the harmfulness of the sun, allow their young children to play outside on hot, sunny days; this causes a great deal of damage to the child and can lead to them developing melanoma in the future. And melanoma is by far the deadliest form of skin cancer.
While Dr. Ruth Treiber and her staff at Ruth Treiber Dermatology believe melanoma is rare in children, recent studies have shown incidents have been on the rise for a very long time. From 1973 until today, incidents of adolescent melanoma are rising 2-3% per year! Even more worrisome is that melanoma, is actually 10 times more common in the children between the ages of 10 & 20, than it is from birth to 10 years old. Dr. Ruth Treiber recommends a few common tips to protect your child from over exposure to the sun:
• Apply Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen (SPF 30 – 50) 15 minutes before your child is heading outdoors, regardless if it looks sunny or not (if your child is old enough)! Try to make sure they reapply it every 2 to 4 hours as well.
• Covering Up – have your children wear lightweight clothing that covers as much of their body’s as possible if you will be exposed to the sun. This is especially necessary for children under 10!
• Hats & Sunglasses can help children protect themselves from the sun.
• Find Shade – The sun is at its peak between 10am and 4pm. Try not to have your child spend much time outdoors during that time. Wait until the sun begins to go down before spending too much time outdoors.