Many of us are ready for summer and all it has to offer. Are you counting down the days until you can go to the beach? Has your community pool opened up yet? Maybe you are looking forward to hiking through your favorite park? Unfortunately, the summer is prime time for skin problems. While some skin irritations can’t be avoided, many can be prevented. We’ve listed the top 5 most common summer skin problems and tips on how to prevent them.
The summer heat can cause us to work up a sweat. When sweat mixes with the bacteria and oils on your skin, your pores can become clogged. Depending on your skin type, you may experience an increase in acne breakouts this summer.
Wash your face throughout the day, especially after exercising or spending time outdoors in the sun. Remember that acne takes time to clear and there are no quick fixes, so once your acne clears it is important to maintain your skin routine to prevent future breakouts.
Despite the summer heat and humidity, you may find your skin still feeling dry and irritated. Your skin becomes dry when it loses too much oil or water, both of which can be caused by a combination of humid air, hot days in the sun, air-conditioners, and chlorinated water.
If you’re in the pool, be sure to shower and shampoo afterward using fresh clean water. Use a mild cleanser or one specific for chlorinated pools to help replenish moisture to your skin and hair.
Use warm water instead of hot as it can dry out your skin. Remember to apply moisturizer after the shower to help trap in extra water on your skin. Carry a moisturizer with you so you can apply it after washing your hands or when your skin begins to feel dry.
The summer heat can do a number on our skin. When your sweat glands become blocked, the sweat can’t escape your body. It will build up under your skin and can cause a rash of tiny itchy bumps. This skin condition is sometimes called prickly heat because your skin feels prickly when these sweat bumps burst.
Wear light and loose-fitting clothing when outdoors in the heat. Take breaks often and stay hydrated. Exercise during the coolest times of the day or in the shade. Wipe away sweat and keep your skin cool using fans, air conditioning, or water.
If you are going to explore the great outdoors, be mindful of your surroundings. Many people are allergic to poison ivy and poison oak because of the urushiol oil found in the plant. When this oil comes in contact with the skin, a red, itchy, blistering rash may develop.
Pay attention to signs and familiarize yourself with what these plants look like and how to avoid them. Cover all exposed areas to avoid accidental contact.
If you encounter a poisonous plant, wash the area right away with soap and water to remove the oils. Relieve irritation with cold compresses, topical creams, or an antihistamine.
Getting a sunburn can put a damper on your summer plans and in some cases lead to severe pain and blistering. Within a few hours of excessive sun exposure, a sunburn may form and take weeks to fade.
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day to protect your skin while you are outside. Reapply as necessary, and consider buying a water-resistant formula if you plan to be around water.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes while you are out and about in the summer sun.
While these summer skin problems can dampen your fun, they are usually not serious. Most will go away in a few days to a few weeks with treatment. If a rash or other skin problem lingers or worsens over time, you should contact your dermatologist.
For more information on how you protect yourself from these summer skin conditions, contact Dermatology and Skin Health today.