Ahhh, summer…. the time when the temperature starts to rise and hemlines and sleeve lengths seem to follow, leaving more of your skin in public view and bringing to light some issues that weren’t apparent during the months of sweaters and hibernation.
GalTime surveyed skin experts from cosmetic gurus to doctors, and compiled a list of 5 major summer skin problems, as well as methods to treat and prevent them from ruining a perfectly great beach day!
1. Sunburn & Melasma:
Listen to your mother and lather up that sunscreen! All of our experts stressed sun protection and not just to prevent sunburn. Shannon Morrow, Physician Assistant at Dermatology Associates of LaGrange, Illinois, says women in a high estrogen state (for example, those on birth control or pregnant) are more susceptible to melasma, a patchy brown pigment that appears when the face is exposed to sun.
To prevent: Tina Capiello, top esthetician from Miami Beach Plastic Surgery Center, advises using Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also includes either Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide. Dermatologist Debra Jaliman specifically recommends EltaMD sunscreens, “EltaMD are very pure, do not contain parabens and are with zinc oxide. Also, they are very light and do not block the pores.”
To fix: Susan Anderson, a consultant to skincare product lines including Inspired Skincare and Rodan & Fields, suggests applying hydrocortisone cream as soon as possible to soothe sunburned skin.
Dr. Jaliman suggests treating a sunburn by taking an anti-inflamatory medication by mouth and then using a compress of skim milk and water to eliminate redness. She also suggests an over the counter cortisone cream or aloe vera for extra relief.
2. Summer Rashes:
Contact dermatitis is caused by common summer plants like poison ivy and appears as an itchy hive-like rash. Morrow suggests wearing long clothing and gloves when working in susceptible areas and use of the over the counter product Ivy Block as a preventive measure. If you notice a blistering rash, see your dermatologist.
Interigo is a rash that occurs in skin folds when the weather is hot, causing you to sweat more. Using a daily powder can reduce moisture and a basic anti-fungal cream can sometimes cure the rash.
3. Razor Burn:
Those annoying and painful red bumps on shaved zones like the legs, armpits and bikini area.
To prevent: Morrow suggests changing your razor blade frequently to avoid using a dull blade that may increase the chance of rashes, and using a gentle shave gel.
To fix: Morrow recommends the product Tend Skin to reduce the appearance of bumps.
4. Acne and Bacne:
Ugh… back-ne and those annoying hairline pimples!
To prevent and treat: Anderson suggests wearing a non-comedogenic sunscreen (an oil, lotion, or skin cream that does not block pores. Also, pay extra attention to cleaning the hairline and back during typical washing, as these areas are extra susceptible to sweat in the summer.
Cappiello also recommends a skin regimen of a salicylic acid based cleanser for the morning and evening, and a benzoyl peroxide during the day to both cleanse and kill bacteria.
5. Dry Skin:
Dehydration, air conditioning and excessive sun exposure all lead to dry skin.
To prevent: Drink more non-caffeinated beverages and try a hydrating, anti-aging skincare regimen that includes a hydrating night renewal cream.
Chlorine in swimming pools also strips skin of its natural protective barrier. Cappiello suggests using a barrier creating lotion, which will help prevent the skin from absorbing too much chlorine.