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Sun & Acne Medications

by The Kid's Doctor Staff


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Many teens spend the summer trying to achieve that perfect tan. But often, the sun isn’t very kind to our children’s skin, especially children who are on acne medication.

The Kid’s Doctor, pediatrician Dr. Sue Hubbard cautions that tanning, acne and wanting beautiful skin normally don’t work. “Often teens think mistakenly, ‘when I get my face sun burnt, my acne looks better.’ It does look better for a little while because your whole face is red instead of just your acne.”

Dr. Hubbard parents need to remember that 80% of lifetime sun exposure happens before the age of 18. She says it’s very important to reiterate the fact that everyone, no matter what the age, need to wear sunscreen when outdoors, even if for just a few minutes. This is especially important for teens who are on acne medications.” “Acne treatments make you more sensitive to UV light and that makes you more sunburn prone.”

Dr. Hubbard says that retinoids like Retin-A, Tretinoin, Differin and Tazorac, which are commonly used for acne treatment, greatly increase your sun sensitivity. She advises that teens who are lifeguards or do work outdoors go off of their retinoids during the summer to reduce the risk of sun damage. Dr. Hubbard also says that systemic antibiotics, which are also used for acne treatment, make you sun sensitive.

Parents should encourage their children to wear a non-oily sunscreen daily and to wear a hat when outside. Dr. Hubbard advises re-applying sunscreen every 1 to 2 hours

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