Monday, October 27, 2014

Teaching Children Healthy Skin Care Habits

A lifetime of healthy skin practices can begin early by encouraging your children to make smart skin care decisions. Many of these habits can be developed at a young age, which will help prevent problems such as acne or skin cancer later in life. While most skin issues will not occur until a child is between 10 and 13, establishing a routine—like brushing your teeth twice a day—can begin much sooner. The best time to start is between ages 5 and 8, when children begin to take responsibility for their own hygiene.

Here are some key practices to encourage with your child:

·         Daily facial cleansing: This important step can be added into a child’s morning or bedtime routine. It is important to use warm water and a gentle cleanser, especially with young children, as a more powerful cleanser can irritate eyes and sensitive skin. Look for products that are marked as gentle, non-abrasive and do not contain alcohol.

·         Hydrating products: Children’s skin can dry out just like adults, especially in winter months. Hydrating body washes can help keep skin moisturized in the bath or shower, and a light moisturizer applied after washing can help keep skin soft. These tools can be especially helpful for pre-teens that experience dry or itchy skin. Look for products that contain shea butter, which is known for its natural moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

·         Sunscreen usage: Teaching your child to use sunscreen is essential for a lifetime of healthy skin, especially as melanoma cases have increased by 2.9 percent in people under the age of 20, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. While many children understand that sunscreen is necessary at the beach or the pool, parents should also remind children to keep sunscreen handy for all outdoor activities, whether it is a short walk with the dog or a trip to the zoo. Sunscreen should always be SPF 30 or higher, provide broad-spectrum protection and be used throughout the year.

·         Early signs of acne: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne, and nearly 85 percent of all people will have acne at some point in their lives. Because this is such a common skin issue, make sure to discuss acne with children as they approach their teenage years so they are prepared to spot it in the beginning stages. For mild or moderate acne, over-the-counter treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will be the best for young teens in order to maintain healthy skin. If those milder treatments are not effective, it is important to seek professional care and help your child find a solution that works best for their skin.

·         Set a good example: Modeling good skin care habits and taking care of your own skin will help children learn how to care for their skin independently. If children see healthy skin habits in action, they will be much more likely to emulate those routines as they grow older. 

Skin health is an important part of your child’s physical development. If you are concerned about any potential issues, it is always best to seek professional advice. At Greenville Dermatology, we treat patients of all ages and can help your child find the right treatment that will work best for his or her needs. Call Greenville Dermatology at 864-242-5872 to schedule an appointment today.

Monday, October 6, 2014 Are Antibiotics Necessary To Treat Acne?

The following is a preview of an article Dr. Miller wrote for Click here to read the full article.

Teenagers have gone to dermatologists for years to help them get rid of their pimples and blackheads. For decades, dermatologists have relied upon oral and topical antibiotics to treat their patients' acne. When initially used for acne in the 1960's, antibiotics worked extremely well. However, over time, the acne bacterium has become resistant to many antibiotics and the use of antibiotics in acne as a necessary treatment is now being questioned.

Why Use Antibiotics In Treating Acne?
The theory behind using antibiotics in acne stems from research that shows that in most cases of acne, there is an overgrowth of a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes). Since there is an overgrowth of P.acnes, it stands to reason that an antibiotic may help. The antibiotic reduces or eliminates P. acnes, therefore improving the acne.

What Is The Problem With Antibiotic Use in Acne?
Reducing the bacterium that causes acne by using antibiotics may seem to be a good idea, however, there are several problems. First, once the antibiotics are stopped, P. acnes can start to grow again requiring ongoing antibiotic use. Eventually, P. acnes becomes resistant to the antibiotic being used and therefore, another antibiotic is necessary. Furthermore, it has been shown that P. Acnes can transmit its resistance to other more harmful bacteria. Secondly, the antibiotics used do not target only P. acnes. Other bacteria in our bodies, many of them beneficial, are eliminated as well and this can lead to other problems, particularly in the intestines. Lastly, P. acnes can be found and cultured from people who don't even have acne just as easily as it can be found on people who suffer from acne. Therefore, reducing or eliminating P. acnes may not be as important as it was once thought.

For more on this topic, including the alternative methods for treating acne, read Dr. Miller’s full article on

When trying to decide if you’d like to use antibiotics as a treatment for acne or try an alternative approach, be sure to consult your dermatologist first. At Greenville Dermatology, our skin care experts can help you determine what treatment is best for your skin. To schedule an appointment, call (864) 242-5872 today.