Who doesn’t love the summer?
Most people enjoy being outside as soon as the weather breaks, spending long days under the hot sun. But, take heed if you head out for hours at a time. There are consequences when it comes to the amount of time your skin is exposed.
Here are some common problems that many of us consistently experience each time summer rolls around.
1. Exposure During the Hottest Time of the Day
For beachgoers, swimmers, athletes, and everyone else enjoying the summer sun, beware of how long you are exposing yourself to its harmful UV rays.
Many of us don’t realize that the hottest time of the day is at 3 p.m. Heat begins building in the atmosphere at noon; onward from there, it only gets hotter. This time of day is especially dangerous for many reasons. You may find yourself becoming dehydrated, leaving your skin more susceptible to burns. The easiest solution? Seek shade.
2. Heat Rashes
Itching, irritation, red bumps and blisters are all indications of a heat rash. Heat rashes are a common ailment during the hot, humid days of summer. Beads of sweat that are trapped within the skin (without the means to evaporate) are the cause behind heat rashes. The resulting rash is telling you your sweat glands are blocked and need breathing room.
Fortunately, heat rashes generally go away on their own, and can be encouraged to do so with a few simple solutions. Cool water, whether it be a bath or shower, is one of the most helpful and easiest methods of treatment. Air dying the skin instead of toweling off will also reduce further inflammation, reducing the blockage of your sweat glands. If these methods don’t seem to be doing the trick, apply calamine lotion or a cold compress.
Heat rashes tend to disappear within a few days to a week. Just remember to continually rinse off, don light, breathable clothing, and stay out of intense heat.
3. Bacterial Infections
Although it feels nice to bask in the summer sun, there is a certain danger that accompanies the season’s humidity and high temperatures: bacterial infections. Two components that allow bacteria to grow are omnipresent during summertime. One, the humidity, with its moisture hanging in the air, and two, the heat, to encourage accelerated growth. Like any other bacterial infection, there are many ways to pick them up and become ill. Pools, supermarkets, water parks, restaurants -- all of these areas and environments can be potential breeding grounds for bacterial infections.
Avoiding the contraction of bacterial infections can be as simple as washing your hands. It is also recommended to avoid stale foods, as bacteria can also impact the things we consume, especially with its rapid growth cycle in the summer heat.
Most cannot get through summer without experiencing some kind of sunburn. From light to severe, sunburns seem to go hand in hand with this season. Sunburns are not only painful but damaging to the skin, because soon after the burn occurs, peeling takes place.
A lifetime of sunburns can allow the potential threat for cancer to arise. To prevent this and sunburns in general, grab a bottle of sunscreen, at least 30 SPF or higher. It’s essential to remember to reapply sunscreen as instructed on the product’s labeling. Protect your skin by spending periods of time in the shade, avoiding tanning oils, and wearing light, breathable clothing.
5. Tanning Beds
If avoiding intense heat and preventing sunburns is key to skin health and the prevention of irritation, rashes, and cancer, then tanning beds are the antithesis of all of that.
Ask your dermatologist -- they will inform you tanning beds are the one thing you should avoid, even if you are using them to promote a “base” layer for tanning. The direct exposure puts you front and center for UV radiation, and too much of this is a confirmed correlation to deadly skin cancers.
As soon as summer hits, it is tempting to spend every minute in its good weather, but just remember to be smart about it. The longer you expose yourself in the sun’s spectrum of ultra violet radiation, the greater your risk is to your skin’s health.
These simple solutions and steps go a long way to protect your skin. Use sunscreen often, and in the evenings, take cool showers to relieve your skin of any potential heat rashes or possible exposure to heat-prone bacteria. For questions about how to ensure your overall skin health in the summertime, talk to your local skin care doctor