Common Summer Skin Conditions

We all know that sunburn is a significant risk in the summer. The rules are: seek shade, wear protective clothing, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 30). However, sunburn isn’t the only summer skin problem.

Heat rash

Because of the Summer temperatures, we tend to sweat more. This excess in sweating can cause the sweat ducts in the skin to become inflamed. When this happens, it creates a rash of small itchy bumps wherever the material touches you. Heat rash is also commonly known as prickly heat because you feel a prickly sensation as the bumps burst and sweat is released. Heat rash typically goes away on its own after a couple of days, but for immediate relief, try cold compresses or over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

Poison Ivy / Oak

Many people are allergic to poison ivy and poison oak because of the urushiol oil found on the plant. When this oil comes in contact with skin, the affected skin develops a red, itchy, blistering, oozing rash. People can contract poison ivy both directly, for example, when gardening, or indirectly. You can catch poison ivy indirectly by touching an object that has come in direct contact with the plant – like a playground swing. Even though the oil can spread wherever you touch your body, the poison ivy and oak rash is not contagious. While OTC medicine and hydrocortisone can help, the best treatment is a prescription-strength topical steroid, and in extreme cases, an oral steroid.


Sun poisoning

Everyone knows sunburn is bad for your overall skin health. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, if you have had more than five sunburns in your lifetime, you are at an increased risk of developing melanoma. Sun poisoning is an extreme case of sunburn. Most times, sun poisoning is associated with sun rash, which mimics a hives rash. Other symptoms of sun poisoning include blisters, peeling, and flu-like symptoms – such as dehydration, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. The best way to prevent sun poisoning is by regularly applying sunscreen and taking extra precautions when exposed to the sun.

When should you see a doctor?

Even though over-the-counter remedies may help, you should see your dermatologist if it starts to impede your daily routine. The skincare professionals at Anne Arundel Dermatology can assist with your Summer skin conditions. Schedule your appointment today.

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