July 5, 2022 ۰ 5 min read

Summer Skin Care:
Preventing Common Summer
Skin Care Problems

Considerations for summer fun

We all love the summer, being outdoors, enjoying the extra hours of daylight and the warmth. However, summer can mean other things to those with sensitive skin. And frequent sun exposure can cause changes in skin texture, pigmentation (see melasma below), and maturation (think wrinkles) [1]. The skin can become thickened, wrinkled, and yellowed. Here are some common skin issues that are more prevalent in the summer months and how to avoid them [2].

Acne

Acne is typically caused by the combination of oil and bacteria that can accumulate in our pores. In the summer this can become worse when those things mix with sweat. Dermatologists recommend to blot sweat off the skin with a clean towel or cloth (blot, don’t wipe as wiping can damage sensitive skin). Also, make sure to wash sweaty clothes, hats, headbands, towels, and cloths before using them again.

As for skin care products for acne-prone skin, look for products that say “non-comodogenic” (meaning formulated to not clog pores). They may also say “oil free” or “won’t clog pores.” You could find products without oil by filtering them in the scIQ app.

Dry Skin

As weird as this sounds, you can have dry skin in the summer. This can occur because the sun dries out your skin, because pool water that is treated with chlorine can dry the skin, and because air conditioned air is very drying. To prevent your skin from becoming dried out:

  • Wash off the chlorine immediately after getting out of a pool (or hot tub if you go in a hot tub at all) using clean water and a mild body wash (a swimmers body wash or moisturizing body wash would be good)
  • Apply sunscreen before even going out doors to prevent any skin damage that might cause loss of skin moisture
  • Avoid soaps and body washes that say “antibacterial” because they can be more drying
  • Apply a moisturizer immediately after a shower or bath and reapply every couple hours or when your skin feels dry
  • Avoid bathing in hot water, use warm water
  • Avoid air-conditioned rooms

Folliculitis

Folliculitis is a fancy word for those red acne-like bumps that appear after shaving especially in areas like the bikini line. They can appear basically anywhere hairs grows. Folliculitis occurs when the hair follicles get infected. In the summer folliculitis can be more prevalent especially when one works out and after wearing tight-fitting clothes when there might be sweating and rubbing. It also commonly develops after being in a hot tub or whirlpool where the acid and chlorine levels may not be properly controlled. It is common in areas where the hair has been shaved because the hair follicles can become damaged and it’s easy for germs to get inside them.

To prevent folliculitis:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes
  • Change out of tight-fitting workout clothes immediately after a workout
  • Stay out of hot tubs if you’re unsure if the acid and chlorine levels are properly controlled

Melasma

The summer sun can make brown to gray-brown patches of skin more visible. See our previous post “Let’s Talk Skin” to find ways to deal with these areas of hyperpigmentation.

Heat Rash

Heat rash or prickly heat can develop because sweat can’t escape through blocked sweat glands. It causes a rash and itchy bumps. To prevent this:

  • Avoid situations of heavy sweating, like exercise outdoors during the coolest parts of the day or in an air-conditioned room
  • Wear light-weight, loose fitting clothes
  • Keep skin cool using fans, cool showers, or air-conditioning

Sunburn

https://www.pexels.com/search/sunburn/As much as we all love having summer fun, being outside in the sun makes you more likely to develop sunburned skin. For those highly prone to getting sunburns, seek shade, where a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, long sleeves, and pants when outdoors in the sun, and apply sunscreen every 2 hours that is at least SPF 30 and water resistant.

If you are so unlucky as to get a sunburn try these things to avoid the pain and heal faster:

  • Try cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. Then, gently pat dry and apply moisturizer to avoid dry skin
  • Use a moisturizer with aloe or soy to soothe the skin
  • Drink extra water because sunburns can actually dehydrate your body by drawing water away and out the skin
  • Allow any blisters to heal because popping blisters can cause an infection
  • Wear clothing that is loose-fitting and with tightly-woven fabric to protect your skin from the sun

Hopefully these tips can prevent for you any summer skin problems, and I wish you all the fun the summer can bring!

References

  1. Lincoln EA. “Sun-induced skin changes.” Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, 2000; 27(2):435-45.
  2. Twelve summer skin problems you can prevent. American Academy of Dermatologists, 2022.

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