During the monsoon season, the humidity can seem unbearable. But, did you know it can also cause a multitude of skin problems? Read on to get your dermatologist’s guide to treating your skin during the humid season!

Problem #1: Acne

Getting tons of zits this season? You are not alone. The summer heat and humidity makes skin much more likely to break out. Essentially, all that sweat clogs up your pores, giving you those unsightly whiteheads and blackheads!

How to treat it?

First of all, change your skin care products! Look for a face wash that contains Salicylic Acid but also balances your skin’s pH. And, wash your face no more than twice a day to avoid over drying your skin. Second, look for products that are non-comedogenic, meaning that those lotions do not have any ingredients that clog your pores. Finally, go to your dermatologist who will prescribe you a medication to treat your acne, so that you have clear skin this summer!

Problem #2: Heat Rash

In the monsoons, many will get red bumps that rapidly erupt on your chest and back. This is basic heat rash or miliaria. Essentially, the sweat glands become obstructed leading to this red rash.

How to treat it?

Most importantly, make sure you keep your body dry. Wear fabrics such as cotton that help wick away moisture so that your skin does not get greasy or sweaty. And, make sure you immediately bathe and change your clothes after you exercise. To treat it, usually a gentle pH-balanced antiseptic body wash will do the trick. Usually it will contain benzoyl peroxide or triclosan, and it should be used once daily. In case your heat rash does not resolve, your dermatologist will prescribe  gentle medicine to get rid of your skin issues.

Problem #3: Fungal Skin Infections

During the hot and humid weather, fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete’s foot affect many men, women and children. Ringworm is extremely common, particularly during these summer months. It usually starts as a small itchy circular rash that can occur anywhere on the body or the scalp. And, it will spread if not treated! You get this from sharing items, clothes or touching an infected person, or even from swimming in a pool or from infected soil.

Athlete’s foot is another problem in itself. This unfortunate condition is both smelly and uncomfortable. This infection causes a red, scaly, moist and itchy rash that starts between the toes and grows to cover the entire sole of the foot. Since this fungus flourishes in sweaty conditions, the summer monsoon is an ideal time for it to grow. It is contagious and is often transmitted by walking barefoot in gyms or outside in the soil.

How to treat it?

Luckily, these conditions are easily treated. The first step is prevention. Make sure to keep your body and feet dry. Shower twice a day, wear cotton clothes that wick away excess moisture, and consider using powder to soak up excess sweat. Also, wear chappals and sandals whenever walking around in common gym areas or at home. And, remove sweaty socks immediately, and wear open sandals as much as possible to air out your feet. The last step is treatment. These infections must be treated by topical or oral antifungals. So, go to your dermatologist to get your prescription so you can be ringworm-free and free of athlete’s foot in less than 8 weeks.

Dr Bhavesh Shah