As the warm weather approaches and vacation plans take shape, it’s important to remember that your skin requires special care during the summer months. While we all yearn for that sun-kissed glow, prolonged exposure to the sun, along with other common summer skin problems, can lead to various skin issues. As a trusted dermatology practice, we understand the importance of maintaining healthy skin throughout the year. In this blog post, we’ll share expert advice on how to keep your skin safe from common summer skin problems, even while enjoying your vacation.
Sun Protection: Your Ultimate Shield
One of the most critical aspects of summer skincare is sun protection. Prolonged sun exposure without adequate protection can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. To keep your skin safe, follow these guidelines:
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or excessive sweating.
PRO TIP: Check the expiration dates on your sunscreen. They are usually hard to read on the crimped end of the tube. While you hate to waste it, last summer’s sunscreen isn’t the safest if you can’t verify that it hasn’t expired. New summer, new sunscreen!
Avoid direct sun exposure during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Seek shade under an umbrella, wear protective clothing, and use hats and sunglasses for additional sun protection.
Don’t Forget Your Lips and Eyes
Use a lip balm with SPF and wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays to protect your lips and eyes from sun damage.
Hydration: Drink Up for Healthy Skin
Dehydration is a common concern during the summer, and it can negatively impact your skin’s health and appearance. To keep your skin hydrated and healthy, drink plenty of water. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day. Staying hydrated helps maintain your skin’s elasticity and flushes out toxins, promoting a radiant complexion. It’s also important to use a daily moisturizer. Opt for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated without clogging pores. Don’t forget to reapply if you’ve been swimming or spending time in the sun.
Combating Excessive Sweating
The summer heat can lead to increased sweating, causing discomfort and potentially exacerbating certain skin conditions. To manage excessive sweating:
- Wear breathable fabrics: Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton or linen that allow your skin to breathe.
- Use antiperspirants: Apply an antiperspirant that contains aluminum chloride or aluminum chlorohydrate to reduce excessive sweating. Look for clinical strength options if necessary.
- Shower regularly: Cleanse your skin regularly to remove sweat and bacteria that can contribute to body odor and skin irritation.
Addressing Common Summer Skin Problems
During your vacation, you might encounter specific skin issues related to the summer environment. Here are some common problems and how to handle them:
Wear lightweight, breathable clothing and keep cool to prevent heat rash. If it occurs, avoid scratching the affected area and apply a cool compress or calamine lotion to alleviate discomfort.
Insect bites and stings
Use insect repellents and wear protective clothing to minimize exposure to bugs. If bitten or stung, apply an over the counter cortisone cream and take an oral antihistamine to reduce itching and swelling.
Rinse your skin thoroughly after swimming in chlorinated pools to remove chlorine residue. Apply a moisturizer to help soothe any dryness or irritation.
Beware of Limes! When lime juice contacts skin exposed to sun, a phototoxic reaction occurs called phytophotodermatitis that causes initial redness followed by hyperpigmentation that can last for several months. Enjoy your margarita but squeeze those limes inside and wash the juice off before hanging out poolside!
We do our best to protect, but sometimes sunburns happen. If so, avoid additional sun exposure on those areas ideally with sun protective clothing and stay in the shade. Apply a healing ointment like Aquaphor – we recommend keeping it in the fridge for extra soothing relief. If blistering occurs, remember that to let it heal, don’t peel!
Professional Skincare Treatment from a Dermatologist
Taking care of your skin during the summer is essential for maintaining its health and appearance. By following these tips, you can protect your skin from common summer skin problems and enjoy your vacation to the fullest. If you have persistent concerns or need professional advice, consult with one of our board-certified dermatologists who can provide personalized recommendations. Have a wonderful, safe, and skin-friendly summer!