Answers to Your Child’s Skin, Hair & Nail Questions
As the old saying goes, “kids say the darnedest things”. They also ask some pretty tough questions. Here are some of the common questions your child may ask and the technical answers behind them!
What is this (birth) mark, and will it go away?
Birthmarks are a mystery. No one knows why they develop, why some are larger than others and why only certain people have them. Some birthmarks will fade or disappear as you age, while otherwise will maintain their original form. It’s best to remind your child that birthmarks are what make you unique! While you may have the same hair color or eye color as your best friend, no one will ever have the same mark as you!
Why do I get bruises?
A bruise forms after a hard enough bump comes in contact with the soft tissues of your skin. When these tissues are injured, the blood vessels under the skin break and leak red blood cells. When the blood cells collect under your skin, a bruise will form. A bruise will turn nearly all colors of the rainbow before it fades away; this process is known as metabolizing, a chemical break down of the blood cells in your skin. It’s best to remind your child that some people bruise more easily than others, and most will fade away within two weeks.
Why do we have hair?
Humans are mammals, just like cats and dogs. Mammals need hair to regulate body temperature. While humans may not look as hairy as our four-legged friends, we are actually covered in around five million hair follicles. When it’s cold outside, tiny muscles around the hair follicle cause the hairs to stand up, trapping more heat near the body to keep us warm.
Why does my face turn red?
Blushing or feeling flushed is an involuntary action by your nervous system. When you are embarrassed or highly exerting your body (i.e. exercise), your body releases adrenaline. Adrenaline causes your blood vessels to widen. When the vessels widen, it allows more blood to flow to your skin creating a reddening effect.
What makes people have different skin colors?
Under your outer layer of skin are pigment cells known as melanin. How much melanin you have determines whether your skin is light or dark. People with lighter skin have small amounts of melanin where darker skin tones have more. How much melanin you have, for the most part, is determined by your genetics.
Why doesn’t it hurt when you cut your fingernails?
Just like your hair, fingernails have no sensory nerves. If you hit your finger with a hammer, it hurts because the force is transmitted to the underlying finger which has blood and nerves.
Help, I have gum stuck in my hair!
Have no fear! Head on into your kitchen and grab the jar of creamy peanut butter. Cover the gum completely in peanut butter using your fingers or an old toothbrush. The oils of the peanut butter will help the gum crumble. It may take a few minutes, but continue to work the peanut butter into the gum until you are able to pull it out.
If you or your child are struggling with hair, skin or nail issues and don’t know where to turn, the experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.