Summer can be a lovely, fun, and relaxing season full of vacations, lounging, sipping cold cocktails, having casual gatherings with friends, catching up on your reading, and long, satisfying naps.
But, sadly enough, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to the summer season, and there are quite a few irritating skin issues that always seem to come around when the warm winds and long days usher in this particular season.
It’s no secret that summer is hot. Really, really hot. The heat itself is bad enough, what with all the unpleasantness and feelings of exhaustion it can bring about, but to make things even worse, the heat can also cause angry red rashes known commonly as “heat rashes.”
Heat rashes are generally caused by perspiration (aka sweat) that gets trapped in clogged pores. This may sound similar to a pimple—and it is—but instead of clogged pores gradually building up to inflamed pustules, a heat rash is generally a whole bunch of pores in a given area that have trapped sweat that never got to leave your skin.
Heat rashes generally go away in just a few days. Call a doctor if a heat rash sticks around for much longer than three days, but otherwise, apply a non-comedogenic itch-relief cream (zinc-based creams work wonders) and let it go away. As for prevention, since the root of the problem is sweat being trapped under your skin and being unable to leave your pores, you should do whatever you can to keep your pores clear and allow sweat to escape. Wear light, breathable fabrics, make sure your sunscreen and makeup aren’t oily or likely to clog your pores, and make sure you exfoliate and cleanse regularly (this means all over your body, not just on your face) to keep everything clean and clear.
There are a lot of sources of potential itchiness in the summer, and with all the different ways to get an itch, it’s likely you’ll find yourself at some point or another with a seriously annoying itch that seems to demand to be scratched (don’t do it!), and at times, you may not even know what is causing it.
The first thing is to figure out what’s causing your itch. In some cases, there will be an obvious bug bite or other such indication of where the irritation is coming from, but sometimes they can be much more mysterious and hard to pin down. Ask yourself if you’re allergic to anything that might be causing it, if you’ve been keeping hydrated (dehydration combined with summer heat can seriously dry out your skin and give you a wicked itch) or if there’s anything else that could have caused the strange itchy feeling. If you can’t figure it out, book an appointment with a general practitioner or dermatologist.
And don’t scratch! Seriously, that will just make things worse. Take over-the-counter painkillers and use zinc-based irritation relief creams to soothe the itch, but don’t scratch it, as much as you may want to.
Warm, moist conditions can increase the likelihood of a surprise yeast infection popping up, and summer is plenty warm and often rather humid depending on your area (even if it’s not, your nether regions are moist enough on their own that the added heat alone might do it in some cases). Yeast infections are seriously no fun, but there are definitely ways to deal with them.
Drink cranberry juice, the more pure and stronger the better. Drink a lot to make yourself pee , and you pee will take on disinfectant properties, cleaning and killing the infection-causing bacteria with every trip to the bathroom. You should also use an over-the-counter yeast infection medication (the cranberry juice works as a supplement to this, and helps reduce symptoms a bit, but it doesn’t work as a cure on its own). If this is the first time you’ve ever had a yeast infection, you’re unsure, or if the infection has stuck around for several days and the OTC and/or cranberry juice solutions aren’t working.