Summer is a great time to plan an outing or a trip. But at the same time, it brings a lot of skin problems along with it. 

Summer is peak time for all kinds of creepy-crawly sensations, pricking and burning, discomfort and pain,  often accompanied by the appearance of mysterious lumps, bumps, cracking, crusting, swelling, and oozing.

In spite of your best efforts, you may land up with skin problems that arise due to the warm weather and spending your days outdoors.

These are common problems that you can face in summer and some simple solutions to tackle them:

1. Prickly heat or heat rash or Miliaria Rubra        

Due to excess heat, the over-worked sweat glands get blocked. Since the sweat cannot get out, it builds up under your skin, causing a rash and tiny, itchy bumps. 

When the bumps burst and release sweat, many people feel a  prickly sensation on their skin.

Home Remedies for prickly heat :

a. Cool compresses work best: Soak a tea bag in water and apply chilled.

b. Make a thick paste of chickpea (gram) flour in rosewater. Apply the paste on to the affected area, leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water. 

c. Fuller's earth or Multani Mitti can also be used instead of gram flour.

d. Apply cool yogurt directly on the rashes. Keep it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse it off with regular water.

e. Dilute 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons water. Apply to the affected area with cotton. Wash it after 10 minutes. 

f. Add a few of drops lavender oil in a bucket of lukewarm water. You can bathe with this water to ease the heat rashes. 

How to prevent prickly heat:

  • Wear light-weight, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
  • Exercise outdoors during the coolest parts of the day.
  • Try to keep your skin cool by cool showers.
  • Keep skin as dry as possible, remove all traces of perspiration, especially from the folds of the skin
  • Avoid  heavy creams or ointments that might block sweat ducts
  • Avoid harsh soaps during the hot season.
  • Wear loose clothing while sleeping and ensure your bedroom is well-ventilated.

2. Folliculitis

Every hair on your body grows out of an opening called a follicle. 

When follicles get infected, you develop folliculitis. Infected hair follicles look like pimples, but they tend to be itchy and tender. 

Folliculitis can occur anywhere on the body where there is hair, but it is most common on the face, scalp, armpits, back, chest, neck, thighs, and buttocks. The infection could affect just one hair follicle or multiple follicles.

Home Remedies for folliculitis:

  • Boil lots of fresh neem leaves in two litres of water. When the water cools bathe the affected areas with this water twice a day. 
  • Mix one part of either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in two parts of normal water. Apply to the affected area with a clean cloth.

How to reduce the risk of folliculitis this summer :

  • Change into fresh clothes, especially after sweaty outdoor activities, gym.
  • High levels of chlorine in pool water can irritate the skin and cause folliculitis.
  • Wear light-weight and loose-fitting clothes that don’t irritate skin
  • If you wax or shave, ensure the salon’s cleanliness. Use your own towels and follow up with soothing gels.
  • Avoid shaving over bumps on your skin; If you have to shave then change your razor blade every time, or use an electric razor.
  • Step up your water intake.

3. Acne breakouts 

When sweat mixes with bacteria and oils on your skin, it can clog your pores. If you have acne-prone skin,  this often means breakouts. 

In case of impending breakouts following remedy can be of great help : 

Mix a tablespoon of fullers earth with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to create a smooth paste. Apply this to the affected area. Clean off with a warm, damp cloth after 15 to 20 minutes. The mask draws out impurities, exfoliates and absorbs oils, making the skin soft, smooth and clean. 

How to reduce the acne breakouts this summer:

  • Wiping sweat off can irritate your skin, which can lead to a breakout. Gently pat dry your skin with  a soft cotton towel or handkerchief 
  • Avoid rough towels or rubbing the skin. 
  • Wash sweaty clothes,  headbands, towels, and caps before wearing them again.
  • Use non-comedogenic products on your face, neck, back, and chest. 
  • Avoid  oil-based moisturizers and makeup
  • Use a glycolic face wash to keep the skin clean.

4. Razor  burn    

Summer many times means more shaving for both men and women, making razor more common. 

A razor burn is a temporary skin irritation caused by not shaving correctly; either shaving too closely,  too harshly or using a dull razor.

Razor burn can cause bumps, which are exacerbated when you’re at a beach or in a water park.

Closely shaven hair has a sharp edge that can penetrate back into your skin, leading to inflammation and swelling. 

Home remedies for razor bumps

Mix 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda to make a paste. Apply to affected area with a cotton ball, let it dry for 5 minutes; rinse with cool water. 

Apply medicated aloe vera gel after shaving or waxing.

How to prevent razor burns

The key to a comfortable shave (and no razor burn) is to condition your skin before shaving to soften the hair and the hair follicle.

  • Cleanse thoroughly before shaving and hot shower to open the pores to promote relaxation and less resistance.
  • Use a sharp, good quality razor.
  • Try not to repeatedly shave the same area. 
  • Use an electric razor 
  • Rinse well with cold water to close the pores
  • Use a good quality cream to create a thick layer between you and the razor; moisturize after shaving. 
  • Avoid products containing alcohol, which can clog the pores.
  • Avoid the urge to scratch anywhere down there. Your fingernails contain bacteria, which can lead to infections.

5. Back Acne

Back acne plagues many men and women throughout the year, but it’s especially noticeable during the summer months when your back is exposed and your shoulders are bare. 

Back acne can be exacerbated by working out or sweating more in the summer. Other reasons, like panthenol in your hair conditioner, can also be a culprit for causing back breakouts. 

Prevention and remedy of back acne:

  • Add ocean salt (not the table salt) to your bathing water. Apply cloth dipped in the water on affected areas for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off with plain water. 
  • You can use a powerful antibacterial cleanser that  contains salicylic acid to deep clean the skin, remove oils, and reduce  acne-causing bacteria
  • If you do get back breakouts, after rinsing out your hair conditioner in the shower, clip your hair up, before washing your back. 

6. Oily sticky skin

The summer heat and UV rays can make oily-skinned people even shinier. Drying out your skin with harsh cleansers and alcohol-based toners only give the immediate clean, oil-free sensation, but they are so dehydrating that your skin will pump out more oil to compensate for water loss. The result will be oilier skin. Yikes !

  • To avoid over-drying, avoid cleansers with the ingredient sodium lauryl sulphate, which is too drying for all skin types. 
  • Avoid ingredients like mineral oil,  petroleum, and petrolatum because they can suffocate your skin and clog your pores. 

7. Uneven skin tone 

UV  sun exposure and heat are major culprits in hyperpigmentation, and most people are exposed to both of them more during the summer than other times of the year. 

For anyone prone to pigmentation, expect more flare-ups in the summer months because the sun triggers production of melanin cells. 

Even with sunscreen to protect your skin, we now know that heat from being outdoors triggers inflammation, which causes an increase in melanin activity as well.

It may seem obvious, but the sun is one of the biggest causes of pigmentation, both short and long-term. Wearing a minimum of SPF 30  will greatly minimize the chance of seeing age spots and sun spots over time. 

Once you’ve got your SPF game locked down, exfoliate regularly,  use a natural skin lightener with vitamin C  and incorporate a product with retinol into your skin routine.

8. Dry, irritated skin

As a contrast, when outdoor air is hot and humid, you can still have dry irritated skin. 

The biggest culprits are spending time in the sun, pool, water parks, and air-conditioning.

How to prevent skin from drying out in summer:

  • Shower and shampoo immediately  after getting out of the pool, using fresh, clean water and a mild cleanser 
  • Apply broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen before going  outdoors
  • Use a mild cleanser to wash your skin. 
  • Soaps and body wash labelled “antibacterial” or “deodorant” can dry your skin.
  • Bathe with lukewarm rather than hot water.
  • Slather on a fragrance-free moisturizer after every shower and bath. Moisturizer works by trapping water in your skin, so you’ll need to apply it within 5 minutes of taking a shower or bath.

9. Body odour 

There is an increase in body odour during summer due to excessive sweating. 

Our body harbours bacteria in body folds. Due to the moisture in sweat, these bacteria produce hydrogen sulphide, which gives rise to body odour. 

Our armpits have apocrine glands,  which produce apocrine secretions. 

Bacteria decompose this secretion to produce fatty acids, which also has a distinctive offensive odour. 

Tips to decrease body odour:

  • Have regular baths. 
  • Use a plain talcum powder or anti-fungal powder for body folds after a bath. 
  • Cold water soaks during the day are advisable.
  • Wear clean undergarments and socks daily. 
  • Use perfumed deodorants, if you are not allergic to them.

10. Sun Allergy

You can develop hives or even itchy skin rashes when you’re  in the sun. 

Sun allergy can be triggered by intake of medications like doxycycline, ketoprofen.

If you have an allergic reaction to the sun, you’ll see red, scaly, and extremely itchy bumps on some  (or all) bare skin. 

Some people also get blisters. 

To prevent an allergic skin  reaction:    

Check your medication container. If the medicine can cause a reaction, stay out of the sun.   

Protect your skin from the sun. You can do this by seeking shade, wearing sun-protective clothes, and apply sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, water resistance,  and an SPF of 30 or more.

11. Sun Burns

UVA and UVB rays from the sun can damage your skin and leave it inflamed, dry, and even blistered.   

Always, always apply  SPF before heading outside.

Home remedy to prevent Sunburn:

  • If you do find yourself burned, immediately drink cold ice water to keep your body temperature down and internally hydrate. 
  • Apply cool, not cold, milk with a clean cloth to your sunburnt skin. The milk will create a protein film that helps ease sunburn discomfort.
  • Like milk, yoghurt applied to sunburned skin also can be soothing.
  • Cucumbers have natural antioxidant and analgesic properties. Chill cucumbers, then mash in a blender to create a paste and apply to affected sunburnt areas including the face. Cucumber also can be soothing for peeling skin following a sunburn.
  • Avoid soap or perfumes in the bath water as these can be drying on already dry and sunburned skin.

12. Heat  boils    

Summer heat predisposes people with painful heat boils known as furuncles. 

It is a myth that eating mangoes causes heat boils: these boils are chiefly caused by bacteria that breed on moist, sweaty skin. 

If boils occur, visit your dermatologist and take oral antibiotics or use an antibiotic cream. 

Drink buttermilk, coconut water and fresh fruit juices like that of sugarcane, orange, lemon and watermelon. Eat lots of green vegetables and cucumber salads to combat the summer heat. Avoid spicy and oily fried food,  and limit your intake of tea and coffee as much as possible.

13. Fungal  Infections   

During the summer season, fungal infections are really prevalent. The fungus grows in the top layer the skin especially in a dark, moist, and warm environment like on the feet or the groin. The athlete's foot and jock itch leave a patchy rash that itches like the devil. The fungus flourishes in the sweltering heat spread quickly and could worsen if not treated properly. 

Rules of prevention:

  • Get out of any sweaty clothes as soon as you can.
  • Wear clothing that  "breathes well," such as cotton. 
  • Wear socks with sneakers, or change sneakers often. 
  • Wear absorbent powder in those sweat-prone areas as a preventive measure.
  • If the infection has developed, see a Dermatologist.
  • Treating yourself with those over-the-counter creams and sprays may cause more harm and increase the resistance of these organisms. 

14. Viral infections  

Chickenpox and measles occur more commonly in summer. 

Anyone with high fever or rash must immediately get it checked by a Dermatologist. 

Reactivation of cold sores is a common problem associated with rising temperatures. 

15. Insect  bites and stings 

During the summer months, insects like spiders, mosquitoes, ants and bees all come out of their hiding places. 

Hence, getting an insect bite or sting during summer is pretty common. If the insect bite seems to be severe, consult your dermatologist

Home Remedy for insect bites

  • Using a  thick layer of sandalwood paste or fuller’s earth soaked in rose water on the affected area of the skin can help in reducing the skin allergies caused due to the insect bites. 
  • To calm your skin, use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or a cold-compress to soothe your skin. 
  • To reduce itching, mix baking soda with water to create a  paste, and apply to the bitten areas.

Hope you have a healthy summer!

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