6 Common Skin Problems in the Summer

Eileen Bailey | Jun 5th 2017 Jun 5th 2017

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Summer fun can lead to skin problems

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There’s nothing better than enjoying the outdoors during the summertime. But the summer heat also brings the risk of dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Read about some common summer skin problems and how you can prevent and treat them.

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Heat rash

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Heat rash appears as small, itchy bumps on the skin. Usually it appears in skin folds, but it can also occur on places where clothing rubs against your skin. Heat rash is caused by sweat that is trapped in your skin because of clogged skin ducts. Although it can be annoying, it usually disappears on its own within a few days. You can minimize your risk of developing heat rash by avoiding using heavy creams or ointments on your skin during the hot months and by wearing loose, light fabrics.

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Contact dermatitis

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The most common causes of contact dermatitis are poison ivy and poison oak. The oil from the plants causes the rash, and it most often appears where you touched the plant; however, if you have oil on your hands or clothes and touch another part of your body, the rash can appear there as well. Minimize your risk by wearing long pants and long sleeves. Wash your clothes as soon as you go indoors. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams usually help reduce the itch.

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Insect bites

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Mosquito bites cause a raised red, itchy welt on your skin. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams help reduce the itchiness. Some mosquitoes carry West Nile virus or the Zika virus. Ticks are also plentiful in the summer months and can carry Lyme disease. If you develop flulike symptoms after a mosquito or tick bite, you should see your doctor. Wearing light-colored clothing can help you spot insects on you, and using an insect repellant when outdoors will lower your risk of being bitten.

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Overexposure of sun

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Wearing sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from the dangerous rays of the sun. However, there may be times when you forget to reapply or you miss an area and you end up with sunburn, which can result in redness, itching, and peeling. Make sure to apply sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 before going outdoors, and keep some with you to reapply throughout the day. After-sun lotions with aloe can help reduce the stinging effects of a sunburn.

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Dry, irritated skin

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Even when you use sunscreen, you might notice your skin is dry, itchy, and irritated from the summer sun or from the dry air after spending time in air-conditioned buildings. During the summer, look for moisturizers that are thick and creamy and apply at least once a day. Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

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Fungal infections

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Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections are more prevalent during the hot, humid weather. They often appear between the toes, in the underarms or in other folds of your skin. You might notice red patches that are itchy. Wear shoes or flip-flops when using public restrooms and showers, and avoid sharing towels with other people. There are antifungal creams available over-the-counter. If these don’t bring relief, talk to your doctor about prescription-strength creams.