Our Blog

Posts for category: Skin Care

By Amherst Pediatrics
August 15, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Sun Safety  

Sun SafetyToo many parents wrongly assume that the sun is only dangerous when it’s shining brightly. The fact is, the sun’s rays are dangerous no matter what time of the year, and too much exposure during childhood can lead to serious problems later in life.

Parents should pay special care to protect their kids when playing outdoors. Here are a few simple tips to prevent overexposure to the sun:

  • Protect infants
    Keep babies younger than six months out of direct sunlight, protected by the shade of a tree or an umbrella.
  • Seek shade
    When possible, find a shaded area or take a break indoors to avoid sun exposure for extended periods of time. 
  • Limit outdoor play
    UV rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so it’s best to avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun during midday.
  • Cover up
    Protective clothing that cover the arms and legs and wide brim hats can keep kids protected from sun damage.
  • Always apply sunscreen
    Choose a sunscreen made for kids with a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. Apply to all areas of the body and reapply every few hours.

Sunburn is an obvious sign of sun damage, but a child doesn’t have to get a burn to experience the negative consequences of too much exposure to the sun. The effects of chronic sun exposure can also contribute to wrinkles, freckles, toughening of the skin and even cancer later in adulthood. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles a person's chances of developing skin cancer later in life. 

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By setting good examples and teaching kids the importance of sun safety now, parents can significantly lower their child’s risk of developing skin cancer and other signs of sun damage as an adult.  

Always talk to you pediatrician if you have questions or concerns about sun safety and prevention.

By contactus@amherstpeds.com
April 16, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: sun   skin   sunburn  

Headaches and Children

As we welcome this unseasonably warm weather into the Pioneer Valley, our kids will be spending more and more time outside. While that's a good thing, it's important to remember to protect their skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers several recommendations for safe sun-related care.

 

Prevention of sunburn:

  • Keep infants younger than 6 months shielded from direct sunlight. An umbrella or stroller canopy are great forms of shade to protect your infant.

  • Cool, lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs help protect your child’s skin from direct sunlight.

  • Avoid exposure in the mid-afternoon, when sunlight rays are at their peak.

  • Sunglasses are important to protect the eyes from damaging UV rays. Your child’s sunglasses should fit well and have at least 99% UV protection.

Use sunscreen:

  • For infants younger than 6 months, only use sunscreen on small areas of the body when shade is unavailable. Protecting your infant from sunlight is prefered over the use of sunscreen.

  • For children and infants older than 6 months, apply sunscreen to cover all areas of the body that will be exposed to the sun at least 30 minutes before going outside.

  • Select a sunscreen with an SPF of 15-50. The AAP suggests avoiding sunscreens with Oxybenzone as an ingredient

  • Reapply sunscreen after the skin gets wet (swimming, sweating) and at least every 2 hours. There is no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen.

If sunburn happens, keep your child well-hydrated. Burns to the skin cause the body to lose fluid. Do not allow your child’s skin to be re-exposed to direct sunlight until the sunburn has completely healed. Over-the-counter pain medicines may help alleviate your child’s discomfort.

Give us a call if:

  • Your baby’s (less than 1 year old) skin is sunburned

  • Your child’s skin is blistered or if they have pain/fever with their sunburn.

You can find more information here on the Healthy Children website.
 

By Amherst Pediatrics
January 03, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Teenage Acne  

Acne is by far the most common skin complaint among teenagers, affecting nearly all of those between the ages of 12 and 17 at least occasionally, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In most cases, hormones released during puberty are responsible for the appearance of blemishes during the teen years. These hormones stimulate the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands, producing oily skin that is more prone to breakouts. Because teens are extremely conscious of their image and appearance, an acne outbreak can be emotionally devastating. 

While hormonal changes during puberty cause many types of acne to be unavoidable, with a diligent skincare regimen, many teens can help control breakouts from becoming severe, minimize the appearance of blemishes and prevent scarring. The good news is that acne goes away almost completely for most people by the time they are out of their teens.

  • Keep skin clean. Teens produce more oil, so it’s important to wash the face every day with warm water and a mild cleanser to remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Always remove makeup before going to bed to avoid clogging pores.
  • Avoid over washing. Harsh scrubbing can lead to dry, irritated skin which can actually increase inflammation and trigger glands to produce more oil.
  • Don’t pick. Squeezing and picking at acne can make breakouts worse. Picking at blemishes can also lead to greater inflammation and infection, increasing the risk for scarring.
  • Keep hands off. Avoid touching the face throughout the day as the oils on hands can drive bacteria into the pores.
  • Use oil-free products. Avoid oil-based makeup. Instead look for products that are noncomedogenic or non-acnegenic. 
  • Shower after sports or physical activities. Sweat and oil can settle on the skin’s surface trapping dirt and bacteria in the pores.
  • Visit your pediatrician or dermatologist. Most cases of mild acne can be controlled and improved with a good skincare routine at home. If your skin problems persist, visit your pediatrician for professional treatment.

Being a teenager is tough enough without having to worry about breakouts. The good news is that effective treatments are available for acne — and the earlier treatment is started, the lower a teen’s risk of lasting physical and emotional damage. Take your teen to a dermatologist or pediatrician who can provide feedback on the cause, type and severity of acne. Your pediatrician can make recommendations for medications and regimens based on your teen's unique skin type.



Office Hours
Monday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Tuesday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Wednesday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Thursday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Friday:8:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Saturday:12:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Sunday:12:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Contact Us

Our Address
31 Hall Dr.
Amherst, MA 01002
Tel: (413) 253-3773
Fax: (413) 256-0215
Email: mail@amherstpeds.com

Routine Visits
We see patients in our office for routine visits Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm.

Urgent Visits
Urgent visits are scheduled throughout our normal weekday business hours.

We also have special urgent-care-only hours as follows:

  • Monday through Thursday 5:00pm to 6:45pm
  • Saturdays & Sundays from 12:00pm to 3:45pm

For urgent visits, we ask that you please call ahead.

* Please note: It is our policy that we do not approve referral requests for visits to outside urgent care centers during times that our office is open.

Holidays
We are open for urgent visits only on most Holidays. Our office is closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.