Top 5 Summer Skin Problems

With the summer months here, your skin is much more exposed to the elements. You want to enjoy the outdoors, and with that it means less clothes and the opportunity for your skin to have some problems.  Whether an itch, rash or sunburn, here are some tips to prevent common ailments this summer and not keep you indoors!

  1. Dry, irritated skin: Who would think that when it is hot and humid your skin can become dry and irritated. The biggest causes tend to be what you most enjoy—staying cool air in conditioning and swimming in the pool.
    1. Shower and shampoo right after getting out of the pool. The pool chemicals leave a transparent residue that can irritate your skin and dry it out.
    2. Read the label!  Always use a mild body wash –washes labeled antibacterial or fragrant may dry out your skin.
    3. Turn down the degrees!  On your shower that is. Taking a warm bath or shower is better to keep moisture in your skin than hot water.
    4. As often as you put on sunscreen, consider putting on moisturizer as well when not in the sun. Applying moisturizer after washing your hands and skin will help keep it from becoming dry.
    5. Lastly, by turning up your thermostat a few degrees it will help combat making your home so dry.
  2. Folliculitis: You have probably heard of a follicle- the opening on which hair grows on your body. Well, when follicles get infected it leads to folliculitis.  Infected hair follicles look like pimples and are itchy and tender to the touch. 
    1. After working out change out of tight clothes and let your skin breath.
    2. Hot tubs- no way!  Due to acid and chlorines levels that are not controlled can lead to folliculitis.  There is an condition called “hot tub folliculitis!”
    3. Wear light weight breathable clothing like linen and cotton fabrics.  The more air circulation on your skin the better to help your follicles breathe.
  3. Poison ivy, oak and sumac rashes: When people are exposed to certain plants and shrubs, they can develop an intense itchy rash from the chemicals in the plants.  Reference your guide book and make sure you know how to identify these plants.
    1. Wash the affected area with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
    2. Wash all clothes and shoes (and pets) that may have come into contact with the plant.
    3. Apply calamine lotion three to four times a day to help calm the itch.
    4. Take a cold bath or an oatmeal bath as this can help soothe the skin.
    5. Trim your nails!  This prevents scraping the skin and spreading the infection to other parts of the body.
  4. Prickly heat: This is caused when sweat glands become blocked and cannot get out.  They must send the sweat somewhere, so it literally builds up under your skin and causes tiny bumps that can itch.  And when the bumps burst and get rid of the sweat it make people experience a prickly sensation- hence the name prickly heat! Outside of being able to not sweat- and I don’t know anyone who can do that try the following.
    1. Wear light weight clothes and fabrics like linens and cottons.
    2. Exercise during the cooler part of the days like first thing in the morning or at sunset.
    3. Keep your skin cool by using fans, air conditioning and even an end of day cool shower.
  5. Swimmer’s itch: As the name implies, this is a type of itchy rash that appears after swimming in lakes, oceans or streams.  There are parasites in the water that can burrow under your skin causing tiny red spots or welts on areas your swimsuit may not cover. 
    1. Keep an eye out for signs that may warn swimmers of infested water.

If you do come into contact, briskly rub your skin with a towel when you get out of the water.  The parasites are known to burrow as the water on your skin is evaporating. 

Author Platinum Dermatology — Published July 15, 2019

Posted In Skin Care Tips