Summertime brings with it increased risk of sunburn, but that’s not the only summer skin care concern! Here’s a look at a few of the most common summertime skin issues and how you can deal with them.
- Blemish breakouts. When you sweat, it mixes with the bacteria and sebum on your skin, which can clog pores and lead to more pimples than usual. This is mainly true for those who already have acne-prone skin, but it can be true of any skin type.If you’re noticing more breakouts during summer, you can blot sweat from your skin to keep pores from clogging, and wash sweaty clothes and linens often. Keep up on your normal skin care routine, and you’ll find your skin remaining clearer this summer.
- Prickly heat. Also known as heat rash, this uncomfortable skin condition happens when sweat glands become blocked. The sweat builds up under your skin, leading to tiny, very itchy bumps. When the built-up sweat finally bursts through, it causes a prickly sensation on the skin, hence the name.The best way to avoid prickly heat is to reduce the amount that you’re sweating. Wear light, breathable clothing made of cotton, and avoid being outside during the hottest parts of the day. If your skin starts to become overheated, cool off in water or in front of a fan until your sweating is reduced.
- Folliculitis. This condition can occur any time of year, but folliculitis is especially common during summer due to tight-fitting clothing and hot tub usage. Folliculitis is an infected hair follicle, and it can appear anywhere on the body. It looks like a regular pimple, but it feels itchier and more tender than your average zit.If you are prone to folliculitis, be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing. When you have to wear tight clothing, such as a bathing suit or workout gear, change as soon as you are done with the activities which require the clothing. If you plan to be in a hot tub, make sure you trust that the acid and chlorine levels are properly controlled, as there is heightened risk of folliculitis when people soak in unbalanced hot tub conditions.
- Poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac. These plants all create a similar, extremely itchy rash when exposed skin comes into contact with the plant itself. A substance called urushiol is found in each of these plants, and the results are unpleasant at best, unbearable at worst if you find that you are allergic to urushiol.The number one way to deal with these rashes is to not get them in the first place! Learn which plants are native to your area and how to recognize them. If you avoid the plants altogether, your skin will never suffer the discomfort of urushiol!
- Melasma. Also known as hyperpigmentation, melasma appears as unevenly pigmented areas of your skin. They are usually brown to gray-brown, and differ from a classic tan, freckles, or naturally dark complexion. If you’ve already experienced melasma, you are more likely to see it again in the future, so pay attention to your skin and how it responds to sun exposure.If you’re attempting to manage melasma, sunscreen is key. While everyone should be using their SPF in the sun, those who get melasma easily should use sunscreen every day they’ll be spending time outdoors, since even a small amount of sun exposure can trigger a flare-up. Choosing a makeup with SPF is one of the easiest ways to keep the face protected, but all exposed skin should be protected as well. Beyond sunblock, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, protective clothing, and sunglasses will all help.
Finally, those with melasma may also see flare-ups after waxing! Inflammation may worsen melasma, so avoid doing anything to your skin that triggers an inflammatory response, including skin waxing.
When you know the steps you can take to keep skin healthy and beautiful during summer, it becomes easier to avoid these experiences altogether!