5 Common Summer Skin Conditions (2024)

5 Common Summer Skin Conditions (1)

Grace Weatherby

/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2024

Nothing calls us outdoors quite the like warm temperatures and blue skies of summer. Whether you’re swimming, hiking, biking, or just taking in the clouds from the comfort of your lawn, you’re at risk of any number of common summer skin woes. Here’s a look at five issues and how to prevent and treat them.

Prickly Heat

Also called heat rash, prickly heat occurs when sweat gets trapped under the skin due to humidity and heat.Featuring small, inflamed blister-like bumps, prickly heat rightfully earns its name from the accompanying and itching or prickling in the affected area.

To prevent heat rash, wear lightweight, breathable fabrics and avoid excessive sweating. Staying in an air-conditioned area can help.

Treat heat rash by taking cool showers and allowing the affected area to air dry.

Bug Bites and Stings

Usually, biting and stinging insects only cause an itchy bump when they strike, but some can leave your skin with painful welts and even spread disease (think Lyme disease). No matter the pest that’s cramping your fun, prevention is the best approach to keeping bugs—and bites—at bay.

When venturing out, use insect repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing. Always follow the instructions on the repellent and reapply as directed.

NOTE: If you are also wearing sunscreen (and you should be), apply sunscreen first. After it’s dried completely, apply insect repellent.

If you know you’re going to be out at night or venturing into a known buggy area (deep woods or swampy areas), wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible. For added protection from ticks, pull your socks over your pants and tuck your shirt into your pants.

Treat itchy bites with and ice pack or anti-itch medication. For extreme itching, take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine.

For painful bites—think wasps or bees, take an over-the-counter painkiller, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Apply ice to reducing swelling and minimize pain.

If you find a tick in your skin, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure.

Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Once the mouthparts are separated from the body of the tick, it can no longer transmit the infection.Leave it be and let your body handle it.

Once the tick is removed, thoroughly wash your hands, and clean the bite area with soap and water, antiseptic, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If the tick is engorged or was attached to your body for more than 36 hours, contact your doctor for next steps.

Even if the tick was not attached for 36+ hours, watch for symptoms of tick-borne illness over the next several weeks. If you have any flu-like symptoms or a rash in the bite area, contact your doctor.

Plant Rashes

If you spend any time in the woods or fields, it’s difficult NOT to encounter poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. Oils in the leaves and stems of these plants cause an allergic reaction that can cause your skin to redden, swell, blisters, and itch.

The best way to avoid plant rashes is to avoid the plants that cause them. Take some time to learn what each plant looks like and it’s growing habits (you can find that info and photos here).

If you are exposed, wash your hands—including under your nails, other exposed body parts, and clothes using a degreasing soap (such as Dawn dishwashing soap), rubbing alcohol, or detergent, and lots (and lots) of water. Rinse repeatedly to keep the oil from drying on your skin and spreading.

If a rash appears, apply wet compresses, calamine lotion, or hydrocortisone cream to the skin to reduce itching and blistering.

For severe itching, take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine.

For severe rashes or ones located on the face or genitals, contact your doctor’s office or visit ExpressCare.

Chafing

A very common and uncomfortable summer skin problem is chafing. The result of friction between clothing and the skin, chafing is only made worse by moisture, usually in the form of sweat or water.

You can prevent chafing by wearing properly fitting, sweat-wicking clothing. If your clothes become damp or sweaty, change out of them quickly, drying your skin thoroughly (blot, don’t rub) before putting on dry clothes.

If you’re dealing with recurring friction during exercise, apply an anti-chafing cream or petroleum jelly to the affected area when engaging in the activity.

Sunburn

In addition to increasing your chance of skin cancer, sunburn can be a painful reminder of the power of sunscreen.

If possible, avoid spending time outdoors during peak burn hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you do venture out, apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. Let the sunscreen dry for 15-30 minutes for the best benefit. And remember to reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

Even with sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts, pants and wide-brimmed hats are always recommended.

If you develop a burn, use an after-sun moisturizer or gel or hydrocortisone cream for relief. Be sure to drink plenty or water to prevent dehydration, which is common among sunburn sufferers.

If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to break on their own, and clean them gently with a mild soap and water. Apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a non-stick gauze bandage.

If your burn is painful, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help minimize discomfort.

Be sure to avoid additional sun exposure until your skin is completely healed.

A Note About Medications and Sun Exposure

Certain medications can make your skin highly sensitive to the sun's radiation, resulting in immediate sunburn. Common culprits include certain antibiotics, thiazide diuretics, contraceptive pills, antihistamines, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil). If you’re on any of these medications, keep sun exposure to a minimum.

Lixia Ellis, MD, PhD is dermatologist at SVMC Dermatology.

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5 Common Summer Skin Conditions (2024)

FAQs

What are 5 common skin related conditions related to stress? ›

Due to increased inflammation and the skin changes mentioned above, skin conditions can flare with stress, such as:
  • Acne.
  • Hair loss (Alopecia areata)
  • Hair thinning (Androgenetic Alopecia or Telogen Effluvium)
  • Eczema (Atopic dermatitis)
  • Psoriasis.
  • Rosacea.
  • Scalp rash (Seborrheic dermatitis)
  • Hives.
Jan 10, 2024

What is the skin disease in hot weather? ›

Miliaria rubra (A), one type of heat rash, appears as clusters of small, inflamed blister-like bumps that can produce intense itching. Miliaria crystallina (B), another type of heat rash, appears as clear, fluid-filled bumps that don't hurt or itch. Heat rash usually goes away once the skin cools down.

What are 4 common skin problems? ›

Here are four of the most common skin problems and what you can do to find some relief:
  • Acne. Acne is the most common skin condition in the country. ...
  • Atopic Dermatitis. Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is most common among children, but it can also present for the first time in adults. ...
  • Psoriasis. ...
  • Rosacea.

What is the common skin rash in summer? ›

Spring and summer are times when there are many substances that can cause allergic skin reactions in the environment — moulds, pollens, plant and animal substances. Some skin allergies can be caused by heat or sweat, such as: hives (urticaria) eczema (atopic dermatitis)

What does an anxiety rash look like? ›

Stress rashes often appear as raised red bumps called hives. They can affect any part of the body, but often a stress rash is on the face, neck, chest or arms. Hives may range from tiny dots to large welts and may form in clusters. They may be itchy or cause a burning or tingling sensation.

What does stressed out skin look like? ›

If you start to notice that your complexion is looking dry, red, or otherwise irritated, you may be encountering another yet another form of stress in disguise. “The skin represents the largest organ of the body, and is prone to the same effects of stress that other organ systems are as well.

What are 6 common skin infections? ›

Primary Infections
  • Impetigo. Three forms of impetigo are recognized on the basis of clinical, bacteriologic, and histologic findings. ...
  • Cellulitis and Erysipelas. ...
  • Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome. ...
  • Folliculitis. ...
  • Erysipeloid. ...
  • Pitted Keratolysis. ...
  • Erythrasma. ...
  • Trichomycosis.

What is the most common inflammatory skin condition? ›

Common inflammatory skin conditions include dermatitis, poison ivy and poison oak, and drug rashes. Other forms of chronic skin inflammation may run in the family, and may be triggered by allergens, extreme temperatures and even stress.

What are the skin conditions to worry about? ›

Psoriasis, scaly skin that may swell or feel hot. Raynaud's phenomenon, periodic reduced blood flow to your fingers, toes or other body parts, causing numbness or skin color change. Rosacea, flushed, thick skin and pimples, usually on the face. Skin cancer, uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells.

What is summer eczema? ›

While the dry, cold winter air is a well-known eczema trigger, the heat, sweat and swimming associated with summer can bring on flare ups as well. In fact, many parents of children with difficult-to-treat atopic dermatitis (another name for eczema) report summertime flare ups.

What is summer hives? ›

Hives and summer allergies

While not strictly an allergic reaction, heat hives are also a concern for people who undergo allergic reactions in the summer. In some people, overheating can cause a similar histamine reaction to allergy triggers, causing outbreaks of hives.

Why am I itchy in summer? ›

Blocked sweat glands cause this. Because 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. Anything you can do to stop sweating profusely will help reduce your risk.

What are 5 illnesses caused by stress? ›

Top 5 Stress-Related Health Conditions
  • Heart Disease. ...
  • Belly Fat/Obesity. ...
  • Gastrointestinal Problems. ...
  • Depression and Anxiety. ...
  • Diabetes.
Aug 29, 2014

What are the skin reactions caused by stress? ›

Stress can increase the level of the hormone cortisol, increasing inflammation in your body, which can lead to hives, acne, eczema and hair loss among other symptoms.

What are psychological skin conditions? ›

A few examples include: Stress and skin conditions: Psychological stress can impact the health of our skin. Stress triggers the release of certain hormones, such as cortisol, which can lead to inflammation in the body. This inflammation can exacerbate existing skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.

What is stressed skin type? ›

According to New York City-based esthetician Sean Garrette, “Some signs of a stressed skin barrier can be: redness, inflamed skin, severe dryness, dehydrated skin, irritation and itchiness, stinging or burning sensations when applying products, increased breakouts, and overall dullness to the complexion.” He continues ...

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