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Sun for Problem Skin and Children’s Skin

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To learn more about sun protection for children and people with skin problems, explore responses from dermatologists and allergists to questions submitted by internet users during chat sessions organised by Bioderma.

No, definitely not. Your four-month-old child should not be exposed to the sun. Children shouldn’t be exposed to the sun until the age of eighteen months at least. However, your four-year-old child should have mandatory photoprotection, starting with clothes (hat and t-shirt) and then also with external photoprotectors, preferably those with mineral screens.

There are various types of heat rash.

1- When the child sweats profusely, in a hot environment, you can see small red pimples on the back, especially in newborns. There is no specific treatment because the pimples quickly disappear on their own. Simply uncover the child and cool the air as much as possible.

2- After sun exposure (whether it is hot out or not), some children may have patches on the exposed areas. It may be a light eruption (sun allergy). This type of patch may last several days. It is an uncommon condition in children that requires a medical opinion.

You can expose yourself to the sun if you protect yourself very well: avoid the sun mid-day and use external photoprotectors with a high protection factor (SPF 50 +). Some laboratories have specific products for skin with couperosis that generally contain decongestants in addition to sun protection. Remember that couperosis is aggravated by excessive sun exposure!

The sun is a false friend of acne: intense exposure in summer will cause a relapse of acne some time later (several weeks). This is due to the fact that sun exposure thickens the skin; acne does not disappear but is buried under the skin. It will suddenly resurface a few weeks later. This is why you should be careful; remember to always protect yourself against the sun by using a specific sun cream for oily skin. Don’t worry: even with a high SPF product, you will manage to get a tan.

Children have thinner skin and so it’s more fragile than that of adults. However, children keep their same phototype, i.e. their tendency to get sunburns or tan, throughout their lifetime. A child who tends to tan easily will tan easily all his life, and vice versa.

To protect him from the sun, the most important step is to avoid exposing him during mid-day hours, between 12 pm and 4 pm. Next, you will want to protect him with clothes, opting for cotton fabric (eczema is facilitated by contact with wool and synthetics). If you need to use external photoprotectors, you should choose products made only with mineral screens. These are least likely to aggravate eczema.

Preferably, because acne patients have oily skin and if you use sun products that are too rich you risk aggravating your acne. Practically all brands have specific product ranges for acne-prone skin that are generally fluid preparations.

Up to eighteen months old, you are strongly recommended to keep your baby out of the sun. However when exposure cannot be avoided, you should use a product with SPF 50+ that will provide sufficient protection against UVA rays. Up to the age of 3, you should use mineral-based sun creams (not ones with chemical filters).