Cold temperatures and low humidity are a tough combination for the many among us who wash our hands countless times throughout the day. Adding flu season and a COVID pandemic to the mix has made hand eczema common in children and teens who are doing their part to prevent the spread of germs. This blog post reviews many methods you can use to keep your hands healthy and germ free during the winter months. Most of these tips come from a publication on hand hygiene recommendations created by the American Contact Dermatitis Society (https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(20)32256-8/pdf).
A common question parents ask is if certain foods might be making their infant’s or child’s eczema worse. This is an important, yet tricky, question as a nutritious, well-balanced diet is especially important for the health of a child’s skin, body, and mind. That being said, there are safe ways to improve your child’s eczema by adjusting their diet. This blog reviews how I think about the relationship between food and eczema (atopic dermatitis), and I hope you find these tips helpful in exploring triggers while ensuring that you do not restrict your baby’s or child’s diet without a clear benefit to their eczema.
Most newborns and infants will have a diaper rash some time in their life. Although the word “diaper” is included in the name, it is usually the conditions associated with wearing diapers—and not the diaper itself—that cause the majority of diaper rashes. These conditions include (1) prolonged exposure to alkaline urine, which disrupts the skin barrier and encourages overgrowth of microbes; (2) friction; and (3) irritation from poop. Most mild diaper rashes can be cleared with more frequent diaper changes, gentle cleansing, and using a thick diaper cream multiple times a day. However, sometimes diaper rashes can be extra difficult to control and this blog contains my favorite tips for preventing and clearing up diaper rashes (diaper dermatitis).
This is a short post to show that, in addition to recommending books, I also write books!
Over the last three years, I have worked as an associate editor with a team of 7 other pediatric dermatology experts across the nation to create the first textbook on the use of lasers and skin surgeries in infants and children. I am pleased to say, we are finally done! read more…
I am super excited this month because the newest version of “Reaching Teens” by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg (a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist in Philadelphia) is being released and this is my favorite book on how to connect with teens. More than any other age group, skills in passing the “trustworthy test” with teens are equally important to any medical skills or degrees a doctor may have. You won’t get respect just because you are an adult with a medical degree…and you can’t force a teen to take pills or use a cream! I have used this textbook to guide the design of our dermatology office, and regularly read it and watch its videos to improve my adolescent communication skills. If anyone wants to know how I will interact with adolescents, this is my starting place. read more…
All of us at Burkhart Pediatric & Adolescent Dermatology wholeheartedly agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics statement on racial injustice and the need to critically examine the role of racial bias and institutional racism in our community (https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/06/01/racism060120). We stand with our pediatric colleagues for justice and for the equitable treatment of black and brown people. read more…
Today, we have created a blog celebrating Mother’s Day…using a poem! This is one of my all-time favorite poems, by Billy Collins, that brings a tear to my eye whenever I read it. In a touching and humorous poem, Collins identifies something many children have thought at some point: that we can “repay” our mothers in some way for all that they do for us. Of course, the “worn truth” is that this is impossible. I love how all the selfless, loving acts of motherhood are answered with, “yes, I know, here’s a lanyard.” It’s often said that parenting is a thankless job, and the naivete of children when it comes to gratitude does not help! I hope you enjoy and think about selfless love as you read this poem. read more…
This is a classic poem by Rumi that applies to our experiences of the COVID-19 epidemic. The poem uses analogy to compare the attitude of people who insist that “I am right, and you are wrong,” with people feeling different parts of a whole elephant. Each person believes they know it all, but in reality, only senses a part of the truth. Ask yourself, “What is the elephant to me?” No matter what each of us sees the elephant as, the poem speaks to a greater whole that expands beyond each of our own perspectives, a greater whole that we often ignore because we are so fixated with our own experiences and very difficult problems. We hope reading this poem helps all of us to humbly reflect, think flexibly, and ponder other points of view during these difficult times. read more…
Since this month is National Poetry Month, we thought it would be fun to share an inspirational poem. This is a classic poem by Emily Dickinson describing hope, and we believe it speaks to many of us during these crazy times. Dickinson describes hope as “a thing with feathers,” which we can assume to be a bird that is always “perched” in our souls surviving hardships (storms) and confusion (strangest Seas) to provide us comfort. Even more, the tiniest bit of perseverance, less than a “crumb,” is all that is needed to carry on. This is an empowering poem that reminds us that even in the toughest times, and no matter what we are going through, we can find hope within ourselves. We hope you find encouragement while reading this poem! read more…
To help protect patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19, we have expanded our hours for online visits with Dr. Burkhart. Our online visits allow children and teenagers to be evaluated and get their needed prescriptions without leaving their home. No special equipment, downloads, logins, or training are required for our online visits. You only need a cellphone or computer with access to FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangouts. The team at Burkhart Pediatric & Adolescent Dermatology is excited to offer our patients and families this important service. Call our office to schedule an online appointment at (919) 476-1118 and we will take it from there.
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