Summer is a season full of fun, sunshine, spending time outdoors, and hopefully a vacation, but it’s also one that could end up causing your skin some problems. From all the summer activities many partake in to simply spending time outside, it all could take a toll on your skin resulting in a variety of issues ranging from pain and irritation to acne and dryness. With that said, let’s discuss some of the summer skin issues you might encounter and how you can work to prevent them.
If you’ve never heard of phytophotodermatitis but you often eat or drink outdoors, you’re going to want to keep reading. It’s a reaction that could happen as a result of certain fruits and plants coming in contact with your skin which is then exposed to UV rays. However, as you can gather from its nickname—lime disease—it’s most associated with those who have the juice of limes (or other citrus fruits) on their skin which is then exposed to the sun. The best way to avoid it is to make sure you wash immediately after using citrus fruits or coming in contact with any plants (including wild parsley and celery).
This may seem like an obvious skin issue, but sunburn doesn’t have to happen. It’s actually relatively easy to prevent; all it takes is a few adjustments to your routine. For example, you should apply sunscreen at least half an hour before you leave your home, then again every couple of hours throughout the day and after you sweat or go swimming. You should also wear accessories such as sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, wear sun protective clothing, and opt to stay out of the sun when the rays are at their strongest between 10am and 4pm.
When skin rubs against skin or clothes, it could cause painful chafing, and it tends to happen in the thigh area and often during the summer (thanks to sweating) although it can happen in other parts of the body and during the rest of the year for a variety of reasons. There are a few ways to help prevent skin chafing such as by using an anti-chafing stick, wearing moisture-wicking clothing, and giving yourself time to heal instead of continuously irritating the area and making the condition worse.
Poison Ivy, Poison Sumac, and Poison Oak
You can thank the urushiol in the poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak for the horrible blistering, uncomfortable, itchy rash that could occur when your skin comes in contact with it. It’s pretty much all over the plants, so once it comes in contact with the skin, the rash could develop, but you can also develop problems if you try to burn the plants. There are a few ways to best handle these plants, the most important of which is to know what you’re looking for. It’s also important to make sure not to allow the plants to come in contact with your skin or clothes, and if it does or you think it might have, wash right away. If it’s in your yard, it may be best to have a professional remove it rather than doing it yourself.
If you have any type of summer skin issue, rather than self-diagnose and self-treat, it’s best to let your dermatologist take care of it especially before it turns serious. It could help the problem get treated and healed sooner than later.