Almost everyone looks forward to summer — the sun and overall brightness can cheer any disposition. And yet, the warm, luxurious days of being outdoors and basking in the sunshine can come with a serious price: the dreaded summer skin conditions or what specialists call “summer dermatoses.” What skin conditions should we look out for this season and how do we avoid or treat them before Fall arrives?
Here are 5 that you should be aware of:
Yeast infections are caused by the organism Candida Albicans which thrives in places that are humid. The condition looks like scaly patches on the chest, back, and neck. The yeast is present on the skin year-round, but they can be activated by the humidity of the summer months. The more one sweats, the bigger the chance of yeast overgrowth.
A way to prevent this is by taking baths on days that are especially humid. Avoid sweating by taking frequent showers and using soap with zinc. Simply keeping sweat at bay can deter the growth of yeast. If the yeast keeps recurring, consult a dermatologist so he may prescribe a more intense treatment.
When going on a picnic with your family or taking a trip outdoors, you should always be cautious of poisonous plants such as poison ivy and poison oak. These plants can cause a rash or a contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with something that triggers an allergic reaction. It can present itself as an extremely itchy red rash, and in severe cases can lead to swelling, blisters, or hives.
In order to avoid getting this type of rash, you have to be aware of the plants that surround you, especially when camping or hiking. Be familiar with what these poisonous plants look like. Going through areas with tall grasses should be avoided, as well as walking through unfamiliar places where there is an overgrowth of plants. If you acquire contact dermatitis, you may use over-the-counter hydrocortisone. Should the rash become severe, ask your doctor to prescribe you with medication that has corticosteroid.
Summertime is when a lot of bugs suddenly appear — and bug bites can be very annoying. However, some bug bites can lead to serious illnesses such as the West Nile virus or Lyme disease. Constantly scratching on an itchy bug bite can also lead to bleeding, which can cause infection. Some people are more prone to getting bug bites than others because of the different lipid composition on the skin’s surface. Some people get bitten by bugs more because their skin has lipid mixtures that are more appealing to bugs. However, everyone is at risk of getting a bug bite because insects are drawn to where carbon dioxide is produced.
To prevent bug bites, you can use bug repellents with DEET or citronella, which is also known as oil of lemon eucalyptus. Bug bites that persist for more than a week and are very itchy or unusually painful should be brought to the attention of a doctor right away. If you live in a wooded area or spend a lot of time outdoors, consider investing in clothing with Insect Shield repellent technology.
If you are fond of wearing spandex or workout clothes, then you have a high risk of developing folliculitis. This is a bacterial infection that thrives in moist, warm, and dark conditions. Like yeast, the bacteria that cause folliculitis are fond of sweat, and folliculitis grows in compressed areas such as the upper thighs. Hot tubs that are not properly chlorinated can also be a hotbed for folliculitis. The condition presents itself as red bumps and can be found on thighs, shoulders, and the back area.
Similar to yeast infection, preventing folliculitis means taking frequent showers and rinsing off sweat. Avoid wearing tight clothing or if exercising, do not use spandex while it is humid. Folliculitis can be treated and prevented by using an antibacterial cleanser. If the growth has become severe, contact your doctor so he or she may prescribe an oral antibacterial medication.
While sunburn may seem a relatively harmless or common skin condition, it could lead to serious complications such as skin cancer. It is especially easier to be burned if you have less melatonin. Before going out, make sure to apply sunscreen that offers ample coverage, such as those that have both UVA and UVB protection, and an SPF of at least 30. If possible, do not go out on the hours where the sun’s rays are at their strongest, specifically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Protect your skin by wearing clothes with UPF 50+ protection. You can also arm yourself with items such as a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and sunglasses.
Keep in mind these 5 skin conditions every summer. Steering clear of them will not only prevent skin-related complications, it will also ensure that you spend the summer months happy and free of any pain.