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Spending time outdoors? These are the most common summer skin problems to watch out for this season.
Summer is the season when the skin is most exposed to the elements. Not only do we cover up less because of the heat, but we also go swimming, hiking, camping, and other activities that involve the great outdoors. Here are some of the most common summer skin hazards you should watch out for and how to deal with them.
Since an overabundance of sebum in the skin causes acne, zits are very popular during the summer months. Humidity and hot weather stimulate the oil glands, making the skin slick and prone to breakouts. Along with sweat, bacteria, and dirt, this can clog the pores and lead to the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.
Minimize the risk of breakouts by blotting sweat and oil from your skin — wiping sweat off can cause breakouts. Avoid applying makeup or powder over sweaty skin. If you do wear makeup, apply it to clean skin and use products that are labeled non-comedogenic or oil-free.
Another typical summer skin problem is folliculitis, the inflammation of the hair follicle. You can get folliculitis anywhere you have hair. Most people mistake it for a pimple breakout, which means it doesn't get the proper treatment and takes longer to heal. Folliculitis is not caused by oil but by repeated friction against wet skin.
Avoid folliculitis by changing sweaty or wet clothes immediately. Wear appropriate clothing for exercise — loose if it needs to be loose, fitted if it needs to be fitted (as with bike shorts). Choose breezy, and fabrics when it’s too hot. Finally, stay away from . They can harbor bacteria, too much acid, and chlorine.
When you’re having fun outdoors, it’s easy to forget to reapply your sunscreen. Even if you wear a generous amount of the recommended SPF 30, you’ll still need to reapply every two hours or immediately after sweating or swimming. SPF protects the skin from UVB rays, which cause skin burning, and UVA rays that can lead to premature skin aging. But sunscreen can slide off with sweat, oil, and water and when it does, there’s not much protection left.
You can use water-resistant sunscreen and wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved coverups, and lip balm with SPF for added protection.
Dry, irritated skin is — it can be a summer skin problem, too. The usual suspects include prolonged sun exposure, which can cause moisture to evaporate from the skin’s surface, spending too much time in the pool, and using air-conditioning, which can make the air dry.
Prevent by avoiding hot water and long baths. Use a mild soap like Lifebuoy Antibacterial Soap Mild Care, which won’t strip your skin of natural moisture while protecting it from germs and bacteria. Finally, make it a point to moisturize your skin even if it’s hot.
In tropical climates such as the Philippines, insect bites are a threat all year long. However, they’re more prolific in the summer months. Some insects that may come out of hiding include mosquitoes, cockroaches, fleas, bedbugs, and ants.
While you can’t control how insects behave, you can take precautions. Use insect repellant sprays, citronella oil, or incense. You can also maintain an insect-free house by vacuuming nooks and crannies regularly and making sure food containers are sealed and stored properly.
Prickly heat, also known as heat rash or in Filipino, bungang araw, is caused by blocked sweat glands. When sweat cannot leave the skin because sweat glands are overwhelmed, you can develop small, itchy bumps. The condition is called prickly heat because a prickly sensation usually accompanies the release of sweat.
Prevent prickly heat by managing your sweat. Wear lightweight clothing made of cotton. Go outdoors on the coolest parts of the day (avoid the afternoons when the sun is at its peak). When you feel overheated, take a quick shower. You can apply Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on the affected area after cleansing to relieve symptoms, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
The threat of summer skin problems may be looming, but don’t let that cramp your summer plans. Stay protected by following the simple tips above and using the right products to cleanse and treat the skin.