Summers are here and so are skin diseases on high. Know what skin ailments you could suffer from because of summer’s heat.
- Prickly Heat (Heat Rash): Prickly heat rash is also known as Miliaria. It is a skin condition which presents as raised red spots with itching, stinging pain and pricking sensation. It usually appears on the face, neck, back, chest or thighs a few days after exposure to hot temperatures. Babies and children are the most affected with prickly heat rash.
- Solar Urticaria/ Solar Hives: Solar Urticaria is a skin condition in which the skin swells within minutes of exposure to natural sunlight or an artificial light source emitting ultraviolet radiation. There is a sensation of stinging, itching and a rash develops within minutes after sun exposure. Upon cessation of sun exposure the rash quickly disappears within minutes to a few hours, rarely lasting more than 24hours. It can occur in both males and females at any time in life. Mean age of onset is 35years but can be found in infants; children and elderly persons also.
- Sun Burns: Sun burn is a term used for red, sometimes swollen and painful skin caused by over exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Excess of ultraviolet radiation could increase the risk of developing premature ageing of skin and wrinkling; skin cancers and cataracts. Severe sun burns may require special sunburn creams.
- Swimmer’s Ear: Swimmers ear is a painful infection of the outer ear resulting from inflammation, irritation and infection. It occurs because of water being trapped in the ear with subsequent spread of bacteria or fungal organisms. Because this condition is commonly found in swimmer’s it is called as swimmer’s ear. It often affects children and teenagers. There is a sensation that the ear is blocked or full, fever, drainage, decreased hearing, intense pain that may spread to the neck, face, side of the head, swollen lymphnodes around the ear or in the upper neck. Redness and swelling of the skin around the ear. If left untreated it could lead to hearing loss; recurring ear infections or bone and cartilage damage of the ear.
- Swimmer’s Itch: Swimmer’s itch is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to an infestation with certain parasites of birds and mammals called as Cercariae. Hence it is also called as ‘Cercariae Itch’. A swimmer’s first exposure to infested water may not result in any reaction. However; after repeated exposure, sensitivity to the Cercariae may develop symptoms of swimmer’s itch include an initial itchy or tingling sensation that usually settles quickly, leaving the infected individual with tiny red spots at the sites of penetration of larvae. After a few hours there could be intense itching and red spots enlarge and form pimple like eruptions and occasionally hives.
- Acne Breakouts: Most women tend to suffer from summer acne flare-ups on their face; upper back; breasts and even buttocks owing to sun exposure. Sunscreen which is often oily and comedogenic (tendency to aggravate acne) ends up clogging the skin pores which helps the acne bacteria to grow. Excessive sweating also tends to increase acne breakouts.
- Dry, Irritated Skin: Spending time in the sun, pool and air conditioning could leave you with a dry, irritated skin. Despite of humidity if your skin starts to feel dry and irritated then use a fragrance free moisturizer after every shower. Use a mild cleanser to wash your skin. Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 before going out in the sun. Hydrate yourself with adequate water intake and fruit intake.
- Folliculitis: When the hair follicle gets infected then it erupts into a pimple like eruptions and is known as Folliculitis. Folliculitis is generally itchy and tender. Tight workout clothes; hot tubs and pools with high chlorine content generally cause Folliculitis and is also known as ‘Hot Tub Folliculitis’. Avoidance of above factors can reduce the risk of developing Folliculitis.
Brown hyperpigmented patches on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin and upper lip is called as Melasma. Sun exposure increases the pigmentation and makes it more visible.
Freckles are small, flat light brown spots on sun-exposed skin. The spots are multiple and are particularly found in fair complexion person. They are found on upper body skin like the cheeks, nose, arms and upper shoulders. They may become darker and more apparent after sun exposure and lighten in the winter months. They may appear on people as young as 1 or 2 years of age.
- Athlete’s Foot: Athlete’s foot is the most common fungal skin infection and affects 70% of adults. It occurs most commonly in teenagers and adult males. Walking bare foot in public showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. Summer heat and humidity brings excess moisture and sweating to our bodies which help fungus to develop faster.
Summer Skin Care Tips:
Avoid all factors which could trigger any of the above factors.
Use a non-comedogenic or water based sunscreen which could help to avoid acne-breakouts.
Hydrate and moisturize the skin well to prevent dryness and irritation.
Use dry absorbent powders before you put on the socks to prevent excessive sweating on the feet causing athlete’s foot. Wash feet with mild anti-septic once you remove footwear and dab your feet dry.
After workouts remove the tight clothes immediately and have a shower to avoid infections causing Folliculitis.
Use a good sunscreen to avoid sunburns, Melasma or freckles.
Use Calamine lotion for prickly heat rash and solar hives as it is soothing to the skin and reduces burning and stinging.
Wear ear plugs when you are swimming to avoid water getting trapped into your ear causing swimmer’s ear.
Use an umbrella or scarf when you move out in the sun to protect yourself from solar allergies/ sun allergies.
Prefer lukewarm water baths rather than hot water baths as hot water baths dry the skin excessively causing irritation and redness.
Consume plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables which also help in protecting our skin.