Winter is finally behind us, and everyone’s shed their heavy bulky coats and boots. A few optimistic souls are already previewing summer by wearing their shorts and halter neck tops as soon as the sun shows its face. Warmer weather is time to bare skin. But it’s important to take a few precautions in terms of skin care. Avoiding sunburn, poison ivy rashes, allergies, and acne can help you have a healthy, fun, and safe summer.
Skin care basics for warmer weather
The cold weather is gone and the trees are finally putting out their leaves. Time for a fresh start. It also time to review your skin care routines. Sure the sun and warm breezes feel great on bare skin, but don’t forget about sunburn, poison ivy, acne and allergic reactions. Fortunately, all it takes is some simple precautions and you’ll be all set to enjoy the great outdoors.
- Watch out for sunburn!
You’ve heard this before, but it’s worth repeating: exposure to sun can cause skin cancer. As many as 20%, or one out of every five Americans, will be diagnosed with skin cancer before they reach the age of 70 years. You can avoid being part of this statistic by using skin products with an SPF value of at least 30. Wearing a hat and sunglasses also offer protection. In very hot weather, it’s a good idea to stay in the shade as far as possible, and stay hydrated.
- Is that poison ivy?
The woods are full of bluebells and birdsong, and they’re calling to you. But there are also some less pleasant things about the great outdoors. Take a little time to learn how to identify poison ivy and its cousin, poison sumac. Poison ivy is a low growing herb or shrub or climbing vine with trifoliate leaves. It can be found in wooded areas, parks, backyards, roadsides, and river banks. In season, flowers are green or yellow and berries are green-yellow.
Contact with the leaves produces a rash which manifests 12 to 72 hours later. The rash is painful and itchy but not contagious. It will disappear on its own after a few days. Calamine lotion may be applied for relief. If the rash persists, it should be seen by a dermatologist.
- How to avoid acne
Acne prone skin needs special care in the warmer weather. That’s because the potential for breakouts increases when sweat combines with bacteria and oils from your skin. Sweat should be washed off the skin or blotted off with a towel. Sweaty clothes, towels, headbands, and hats should all be washed before using again. Using non-comedogenic skin care products can help to avoid clogging pores. Acne scars can be unsightly, but dermatologists have a number of ways of treating these.
- What is folliculitis?
Follicles are the tiny openings in the skin from which hair grows. When these get infected, try red bumps appear. These can look like pimples, but are often itchy and tender. You can avoid the risk of folliculitis by changing out of tight and sweaty workout clothes as soon as you finish. It also helps to wear light and loose fitting clothes in Hot and humid weather.
- Prickly heat and rashes
Prickly heat is a painful rash caused by blocked sweat glands. The sweat builds up and causes a rash and lumpy itchy bumps. The best way to avoid it is by keeping your skin cool, clean and dry in hot weather.
A quick review of summer skin care routines is all you need to enjoy the warm weather safely.