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the toenails. Its name is well-deserved because it commonly occurs in athletes whose feet tend to be damp and sweaty. Symptoms include itching, burning, red- ness and stinging in the area that may flake, peel, blister or crack. Athlete’s foot is highly contagious.


Jock itch got its name because it’s com-


monly seen in those who perspire a lot while playing sports. But don’t be fooled! The fungus that causes tinea cruris (jock itch) can thrive on the skin of any child who spends time in hot and humid weather, wears tight clothing such as bathing suits, shares towels and doesn’t completely dry off the skin. Symptoms include redness, chafing, itching or burning in the groin, upper thigh or anal area. Proper and frequent hygiene tech-


niques, wearing waterproof sandals or flip- flops in public bathrooms, locker rooms and showers, in addition to drying well, will help prevent fungal infections. Tinea cruris or tinea pedis can usually be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal creams and sprays. If these treatments are ineffec- tive in your child’s case, your provider can prescribe other treatment. Warts are skin infections caused by vi-


ruses in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. Commonly seen in children, warts can affect any area of the body, but tend to invade fingers, hands and feet. Plantar warts are found on the bottom of the foot and can cause much discomfort. They develop after direct contact with a surface a person with a plantar wart touches, such as a bathmat or shower floor. Wearing waterproof sandals or flip-flops will help prevent it. Consult your provider for treat- ment options if a plantar wart develops. Sports acne, which is caused by sports activity, can affect both boys and girls of


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all ages. The most common form, acne mechanica, occurs when straps, pads or tight clothing trap sweat against the skin. This sweat provides a perfect environ- ment for bacteria to grow, leading to irrita- tion, clogged pores and pimples. Having your child shower immediately following sporting activity — as well as wearing the loosest clothing permitted — will help prevent this condition. In addition, remov- ing gear when the sport permits relieves tension on the skin. Summer is a great time of year to kick back and enjoy your children. By following this summer-skin playbook, you will keep your child’s skin protected and itch-free.


Francine Bono-Neri, MA, RN, PNP, has been a PNP since 1997. She is currently a PhD student at Molloy College where she also works as an adjunct, teaching undergradu- ate nursing students for The Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing.


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