Have A Super Cool Summer- with these 10 Tips
All your summer fun will get washed out with an itchy rash or a sun burned skin. You can help keep your days super cool by learning how to prevent these summer skin problems.
- Dry, irritated skin:The outdoor air can be hot and humid, if you are in the North like me. This can make your skin dry & irritated. The biggest culprits are spending time in the sun, pool, and air-conditioning. Avoid these, please!
If your skin starts to feel dry and irritated despite the humidity, try these tips:
- Shower and shampoo immediately after getting out of the pool, using fresh, clean water and a mild cleanser.
- Use a mild cleanser to wash your skin. Soaps and body washes labeled “antibacterial” or “deodorant” can dry your skin.
- Bathe in warm & avoid hot water.
- Use a sunscreen generously at least twice a day, irrespective of being indoors or outdoors, using one that offers broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30+, and water resistance.
- Slather on a fragrance-free moisturizer after every shower and bath. Moisturizer works by trapping water in your skin, so you’ll need to apply it within 5 minutes of taking a shower or bath, on damp skin.
- Let a small pack of moisturizer accompany you at all times, so you can apply it after washing your hands and when your skin feels dry.
- Turn up the thermostat if the air conditioning makes your home too dry.
- Keep a bowl of water in your bedrooms at night to reduce the dryness.
- Acne breakouts:When sweat mixes with bacteria and oils on your skin, it can clog your pores. If you have acne-prone skin, this often means breakouts.
- Use a clean towel or cloth to blot out the sweat. Wiping sweat off can irritate your skin, which can lead to a breakout.
- Wash sweaty clothes, headbands, towels, and hats before wearing them again.
- Use non-comedogenic products on your face, neck, back, and chest. The label may also say “oil free”.
- Folliculitis:Every hair on your body grows out of an opening called a follicle. When follicles get infected, you develop folliculitis. Infected hair follicles look like pimples, but they tend to be itchy, red and tender.
To reduce your risk of getting folliculitis this summer:
- Immediately after a workout, change out of tight gym clothes like biking shorts and shower.
- Stay out of hot tubs and public pools if you’re unsure whether the acid and chlorine levels are properly controlled.
- Wear light-weight, loose-fitting clothes when it’s hot and humid.
- Melasma:Being out in the sun can make those brown to gray-brown Patches on your face more noticeable. There are things you can do to make it less noticeable even during the summer:
- Use your sunscreen religiously. You may even take oral sunscreens which can step up your sunscreen protection.
- Use skin lightening products recommended by your dermatologist.
- Learn the art of make-up & camouflage. It’s not rocket science!
- Infection from a manicure or pedicure: Your nails look awesome after the little pampering that goes with manicures or pedicures, but they can also expose you to germs that can cause an infection.
You don’t have to give up manicures and pedicures. Taking some precautions can help you avoid an infection.
- Prickly heat (or heat rash):When your sweat glands get blocked, the sweat does not get out but causes a rash and tiny, itchy bumps. When the bumps burst and release sweat, many people feel a prickly sensation on their skin. Anything you can do to stop sweating profusely will help reduce your risk. Tips that dermatologists offer to their patients to help them sweat less and thereby lessen their risk of getting prickly heat include:
- Wear light-weight, loose-fitting clothes made of cotton.
- Exercise outdoors during the coolest parts of the day or move your workout indoors where you can be in air-conditioning.
- Try to keep your skin cool by using fans, cool showers, and air-conditioning when possible.
- Fungal Infections: These dreaded infections can begin around this time. There are several types of fungal infections.
- Be on the look out for itchy ring-shaped rashes, especially in the folds or different coloured patches on your chest or shoulders.
- Avoid staying in damp clothes. Keep your skin dry.
- Check your blood sugar regularly & run to your Dermatologist if the dreaded rashes appear.
- Sun allergy:You can develop hives (an allergic skin reaction) when you’re in the sun if you:
- Take certain medications
- Have a sun sensitivity (usually runs in the family)
If you have an allergic reaction to the sun, you’ll see red, scaly, and extremely itchy bumps on some (or all) bare skin. Some people also get blisters.
To prevent an allergic skin reaction:
- Check your medication container to find out if it can cause an allergic reaction when you go out in the sun. Medications that can cause an allergic sun reaction include ketoprofen (found in some pain meds) and these antibiotics — tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline. If the medicine can cause a reaction, stay out of the sun.
- Protect your skin from the sun. You can do this by seeking shade, wearing sun-protective clothes, and applying sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, water resistance, and an SPF of 30 or more.
- Sunburn:Getting sunburn can spoil summer fun. Here’s what you can do to prevent sunburned skin:
- Seek shade.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, long sleeves, and pants when possible.
- Apply sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30+, and water resistance.
- Swimmer’s ear:When water gets trapped in your ear canal, you can develop an infection called swimmer’s ear. You can prevent this infection by keeping your ears dry. Here’s what dermatologists recommend:
- Wear ear plugs while swimming.
- Never clean your ears with cotton swabs because these can push earwax and dirt deeper into your ear canal and irritate your ear.