Summer is the season for warmer temperatures and spending more time outdoors. You may anticipate having fun with your family and friends, but summer activities may also cause skin problems. Fortunately, you can prevent unwanted acne breakouts, dryness, infections, and rashes with a few simple tips.
Acne breakouts: The combination of sweat, sebum, and bacteria is a recipe for clogged pores and summertime acne. To prevent breakouts, apply oil-free sunscreen that won’t clog your pores. Then, blot sweat from your skin during strenuous activity and remove sweaty clothes as soon as possible.
- Dry, irritated skin: Spending time at the pool and in cool, air-conditioned interiors can make your skin dry out. To avoid this, shower in lukewarm water and wash with mild cleaners. It also helps to apply fragrance-free lotion after showering and throughout the day to restore your skin’s natural protective barrier.
- Folliculitis: The hairs on your body grow out of follicles, which can become infected and inflamed under certain conditions. Folliculitis causes a pimple-like rash that may be itchy and tender. Keep this problem at bay by wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothes in hot, humid settings and changing out of tight workout clothing immediately after exercising.
- Infection from a pedicure: You want your toenails to look their best during sandal season, but no one wants a pedicure infection. To reduce your risk, choose a salon that follows strict cleanliness and disinfection guidelines. Consider bringing your own tools if you get pedicures often. Then, wait until after your salon visit to shave your lower legs so there are no fresh nicks for germs to infect.
- Poison ivy: Certain poisonous plants—including poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac—excrete oil that causes an intensely itchy rash on contact. The best preventative measure is to learn what these plants look like so you can avoid exposure.
- Heat rash or prickly heat: Blocked sweat glands can cause tiny bumps to appear around your neck, armpits, groin, or elbow creases. The rash may feel itchy or “prickly.” To lessen your risk, wear loose-fitting cotton clothes, avoid exercising in hot and humid weather, and cool your skin with fans and air conditioning.
- Eczema: Hot temperatures and high humidity can increase the risk of eczema flare-ups. If you have this chronic skin condition, moisturize often, avoid excessive heat, rinse sweaty skin with clean water, and change into fresh clothes as often as needed.
- Athlete’s foot: This infection can develop any time of year, but summer increases the risk by creating a warm, damp environment inside your shoes. To avoid athlete’s foot, change out of damp socks as soon as possible and never wear wet shoes. If you have a history of fungal foot infections, consider treating your shoes and toes with antifungal powder.
Let Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology take care of your skin this summer! To speak with one of our board-certified dermatologists in Salt Lake City or South Jordan, please contact us today at 801-682-4715.