Summer fun may be over, but that doesn’t mean the sun is gone! You might not be hitting the beach, but just being exposed to the sun during your afternoon run or while walking your dog can do damage to your skin. And since you’ve only got one skin, let’s protect it! We surveyed skin experts, everyone from doctors to cosmetic gurus, to gather a list of 5 major skin problems, as well as treatments and prevention tips.
Yes, you can still get a sunburn in the cooler months! So, listen to your mother and lather up that sunscreen all year round! All of our experts stressed sun protection — and not just to prevent a burn. Shannon Morrow, Physician Assistant at Dermatology Associates in 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: Use a 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 products are very pure, do not contain parabens and are with zinc oxide. They’re also very light and do not block the pores.”
To fix: Susan Anderson, a consultant to numerous skincare product lines, suggests applying hydrocortisone cream as soon as possible to soothe sunburned skin.
Dr. Jaliman suggests treating a sunburn by taking an anti-inflammatory 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.
Contact dermatitis is caused by common 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 to use an over-the-counter product like Ivy Block as a preventive measure. If you notice a blistering rash, see your dermatologist.
Intertrigo is a rash that occurs in skin folds when the weather is hot, causing you to sweat more.
To prevent and treat: Using a daily powder can reduce moisture and a basic anti-fungal cream can sometimes cure the rash.
3. Razor Burn
We’re all too familiar with those unattractive 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 no matter what time of year it is.
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, turning on the heat (or air conditioning if you live where the sun always shines!) 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.