6 Sunny Skincare Tips for Florida Moms

Brought to you by Park Avenue Dermatology

Park Ave Derm

“Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s alright.” – The Beatles

Spring is in the air, summer is around the corner, and skin will be sizzling! May just happens to be Skin Cancer awareness month–we wanted to share a post with questions straight from Jacksonville moms answered by Park Avenue Dermatology’s Dr. Sarah Ferrer-Bruker on sun protection for your “little darlings.”

What SPF is best for little ones? Is a higher number SPF that much more protective?

For little ones 6 months and older, I recommend at least an SPF 30. I prefer zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based sunscreens because they physically block, scatter, and reflect the UV radiation, are broad spectrum (meaning they block both UVA and UVB), and usually carry less of a risk of a contact allergy or irritant dermatitis. It is important to note that no matter what the skin tone or skin type of your little one, protection is needed.

A higher number SPF is not too much more protective past a certain SPF. SPFs of 15, 30, and 50 effectively protect the skin from UV absorption by 94%, 97%, and 98% respectively. With this in mind, SPF is extremely important, but just as important is how the sunscreen is applied. People often do not apply the sunscreen as generously or as often as they should. A higher SPF never hurts and may make up for this a bit. It is more important to combine other sun protection techniques (seeking shade, sun-protective clothing, etc.) with correct sunscreen application than buying the highest SPF sunscreen.

Spray sunscreen versus lotion? Which is recommended for best protection? How often should I apply on my child?

The spray is so easy! However, it is hard to follow the recommendation of applying about 1 ounce (the amount to fill a shot glass, or for our non-drinkers, about a teaspoon), which is the recommended dose of sunscreen needed to cover exposed areas. With spray, you have to mind the direction of the wind and be careful to not spray it in your little ones’ mouths, eyes, and noses. The FDA is currently investigating the effects of accidental inhalation of spray sunscreens. I prefer the creams for these reasons. Sunscreen should be generously applied 20 minutes before going outside so there is time for it to absorb, and then reapplied every 2 hours if sweating or water is involved. For babies under 6 months, avoidance of direct sun is best. Sun protection in the form of shade, wide-brimmed hats, and sun-protective clothing are the easiest rules to follow for our most tiny and vulnerable.

Do you recommend rash guards as added protection from the sun, or does sunscreen alone get the job done?

I absolutely recommend rash guards to everyone. They make stylish ones now for all ages! Usually, they are water-friendly, stretchy, long-sleeved tops made of woven polyester blends that provide instant SPF 30 or greater. Sunscreen is not enough. We have to do everything we can in combination: protective clothing, sunscreen, and avoidance of direct sun between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm.

A sunspot and a freckle look very similar to me, how I can tell the difference between them?

They are hard to tell apart because a freckle and a sunspot are very similar. Their timing is a bit different and so is how they look under the microscope. Generally, they both are flat with varying shades of brown and occur on sun-exposed skin. Usually, freckles occur in the young and are more prominent after sun exposure in particular skin types. Blondes and redheads with lighter eyes and of Celtic origin are especially susceptible. Those with this skin type usually burn easily and must take sun protection extra seriously as they are more at risk for developing melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Sunspots can occur at any age, in any skin type, and on any part of the body. They are acquired over time from sun exposure and represent changes in the skin’s pigmentation from UV radiation.

At what age should I start having my child checked by a dermatologist?

There is not a hard fast rule as to when to bring your children in to see the dermatologist. Many times we get referrals from pediatricians to check on birthmarks and moles at early ages. If your family history is positive for skin cancer, has atypical moles, and you notice your child has many freckles or moles, it is never too early to bring them in for an exam.

As moms, we often think about protecting our little ones and forget about ourselves until we start to notice sun damage to our skin. What are my options for treating sunspots that have resulted from over sun exposure?

Commitment to good sun protection is key. An SPF of at least 30 in your daily moisturizer to prevent further damage and maintaining your progress is a good start. Mineral based makeup often provides built in additional SPF as well. A topical retinoid and bleaching creams (hydroquinone based or non-hydroquinone based) prescribed by a dermatologist and applied at night are very helpful over time. Regular chemical peels, lasers, and intense pulse light (IPL photo facials) are effective for the right patient.

Park Avenue Dermatology was founded by Dr. George Schmieder to provide quality healthcare to Jacksonville area residents for the treatment of a broad range of skin conditions. Dr. Schmieder is a board certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon with an experienced staff of doctors, physician assistants, clinicians, and aestheticians who are dedicated to helping patients look and feel their best. Park Avenue has four locations to serve Jacksonville with offices located in Orange Park, Fleming Island and the UF Health North building on Max Leggett Pkwy.

Park Avenue Dermatology provides medical treatments for acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, skin cancer, and many other problematic skin conditions for patients of all ages and all skin types. In addition to Dermatologic medical services, Park Avenue Dermatology offers a full range of Aesthetic and cosmetic services including Botox® injections, dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, laser treatments and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy for photo rejuvenation.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all Americans take a proactive approach to the prevention and early detection of skin cancer. By encouraging our patients to perform regular self-examinations, we teach them how to spot changes in their skin condition for an early diagnosis of more serious skin problems. Equally important are our efforts to have today’s patients adopt a more sensible approach for protecting family members from over exposure to the sun by applying sunscreen to exposed areas, wearing protective clothing and avoiding peak burn times when working or playing outdoors. To learn more about Park Avenue Dermatology’s affordable options for treating many skin conditions, give us a call at (904) 541-0315.

Photo 2(2)

Back row (left to right): Sarah J. Ferrer-Bruker, DO *
Julie Harrington, PA-C * Jenifer Lee, PA-C
Front row (left to right): Michael Perry, PA-C * Karthik Krishnamurthy, DO *
George J. Schmieder, DO *
Mary E. Schmieder, DO * Arianne E. Chavez-Frazier, MD * Sean Robinson, PA-C


Visit our website at www.ParkAveDermatology.com

Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/parkavedermatology.com

ParkAve_Main Office








906 Park Ave. 

Orange Park, FL 32073

photo 3










UF Health North

15255 Max Leggett Pkwy., Suite 5100

Jacksonville, FL 32218


1543 Kingsley Ave., Bldg. 16

Orange Park, FL 32073


1681 Eagle Harbor Pkwy. E., Suite C

Fleming Island, FL 32003

Brandi recently took a break from her career as a mapmaker (GIS Analyst) to stay at home with her toddler son after moving to Jacksonville, Florida. She is knee-deep in diaper bags and baby gear as the founder of her website Little Brim Baby and as a contributor for BuyModernBaby and Child Mode. Passionate about breastfeeding, babywearing, and children’s books, she also enjoys spending time with her son browsing the local stores for unique baby and toddler items, enjoying area waterways with her family, and trying to adjust her native Illinois body to the humid Florida climate. Brandi is a baby gear enthusiast and loves sharing her favorite products, reviews, tips, and fellow moms’ advice with her readers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here