Tips For Summer Time Skin Care

Tips For Summertime Skin Care

By Sandra Ketcham


Photo Credit girl in bikini sunburning image by Maksym Gorpenyuk from Fotolia.comHot summer weather is hard on the skin, but it is possible to minimize the negative effects of the sun's UV rays, heat and humidity with proper skin care. Some skin conditions are common during the summer months, including sunburn, acne, prickly heat, dry skin and ingrown hairs. Prevention and prompt treatment of these conditions is an essential part of summertime skin care.


Face and Body

Acne Face and body acne are more common during the summer due to increased perspiration. Washing the skin twice-daily using warm water and a gentle soap helps prevent breakouts, and applying an over-the-counter acne treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can dry excess oil and open up clogged pores. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using cosmetics and skin care products labeled as noncomedogenic, which means they will not clog pores, and removing makeup before going to bed at night. Severe cases of acne require medical evaluation and treatment to prevent scarring and other complications.



Sunburn and Peeling Skin

Prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin by wearing sunscreen continuously. The Mayo Clinic recommends applying sunscreen at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors, wearing tightly woven fabrics, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, and staying inside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. whenever possible.

Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, and a cool shower immediately after prolonged sun exposure will relieve sunburn pain and help prevent peeling. Applying a moisturizing cream or aloe vera lotion and drinking plenty of water are also essential for speeding recovery from sunburn. Severe sunburns may require treatment with topical steroids.


Ingrown Hairs

Warmer weather means shorts, bathing suits and ingrown hairs from frequent shaving. Using a shaving cream or gel before shaving, shaving in the direction of hair growth and changing razor blades frequently will reduce the incidence of ingrown hairs. Rubbing the skin with a rough washcloth or loofah sponge can dislodge ingrown hairs before they become infected, and application of an antibiotic ointment to affected areas will reduce the likelihood of skin infection.


Dry Skin

Sun exposure dries out the skin, and swimming in chlorinated or salty water makes dry skin worse. Rinsing with fresh water immediately after leaving the pool or ocean will remove salt and chemicals. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology also recommends avoiding long, hot showers and baths, as hot water pulls moisture from the skin and increases dryness, and applying a moisturizer after bathing and again before bed. Exfoliating every few days will remove dead skin cells and keep the skin soft and smooth.


Sweating and Prickly Heat

Hot summer weather leads to an increase in sweating, body odor and prickly heat. The Mayo Clinic recommends using aluminum-based antiperspirants and wearing light-colored, natural fabrics to encourage air circulation and keep the skin cooler and dryer. Change clothes immediately if they become wet with sweat to prevent skin irritation and body odor. Treat prickly heat, which is an itchy skin rash triggered by trapped sweat, with talcum powder and corticosteroids. Recurrent or severe cases of prickly heat may require complete avoidance of situations that increase sweating, according to Merck.

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