Indian summers are anything but easy. The scorching heat, hot wind, the soaring temperature can be difficult to bear. If careless, all these can have a detrimental impact on your health. As the sun glows bright and shines right above the tropic of cancer, it has a direct impact on the skin. People in India suffer from a host of skin-related issues, from acne breakout to skin rashes and allergies. Prevention is crucial. Hence, to understand the skin-related diseases prevalent in summers and the ways to prevent them, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr. Manjul Agarwal - Senior Consultant- Dermatology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.
Common Skin-Related Problems In Summers
During summers, you must take proper care of your skin to prevent these common conditions:
1. Acne Breakout
During summers, you sweat a lot. When this sweat mixes with bacteria and oil in your skin, it can clog your pores, causing an acne breakout. It is quite common if you have oily or acne-prone skin. To prevent acne:
- Blot sweat off your skin with a clean towel. Do not wipe as it can irritate your skin leading to another breakout.
- Always wash your sweaty clothes, towels, headbands, and hats before wearing them again.
- Use non-comedogenic products on your skin.
- Look for products that are oil-free and do not clog pores.
2. Worsened Melasma
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Melasma is a condition in which brown or grey patches appear on the skin. If you have melasma-prone skin, take appropriate measures to protect yourself from the sun as much as possible.
- Hence, wear a good sunblock whenever you go out.
- Cover yourself with appropriate clothing and avoid the sun as much as you can.
3. Prickly Heat
Also known as prickly rash or ghamoria in Hindi, prickly heat develops when sweat gets trapped in the skin. It happens due to the blockage of sweat glands. As sweat cannot get out of the glands, it builds up within the skin, causing rashes that are itchy and appear as red bumps. To prevent prickly heat:
- Do anything that prevents you from sweating profusely.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitted cotton clothes.
- Exercise during the coolest part of the day or indoors with a fan or air conditioner turned on.
- Keep your skin cool by making the environment around you cool by turning on the fan, cooler, ac, etc.
4. Sun Allergy
Sun allergy is quite common during summers in India. It shows as hives, polymorphous light eruption, etc. If you suffer from red, itchy rashes due to exposure to the sun, seek your dermatologist’s advice. Other than that, avoid the sun as much as possible. While going out:
- Apply sunscreen
- Wear full-sleeved clothes
- Wear a hat
- Keep your body covered as much as possible
- Use shade wherever you can
Sunburn happens due to overexposure to the sun. To prevent it:
- Apply sunscreen. Opt for the broad spectrum one with an SPF of at least 30. It should be water and sweat-resistant.
- Wear sunglasses
- Wear a white-brimmed hat
- Wear long-sleeved clothes and keep your legs covered
- Seek shade wherever you can
6. Fungal Infections
Cases of fungal infections rise during summers in India. Also known as ringworm infection, these are commonly seen in the body’s folds, such as groin fold, armpits, etc. In women, these can develop under the breasts or between them. “All these are areas where sweat tends to accumulate. And fungus thrives in hot and humid conditions causing fungal infections,” explained Dr. Agarwal. To avoid fungal infections, avoid sweating. You can do this by:
- Wiping off your sweat frequently
- Taking bath daily
- Staying in a cool and ambient environment
And if you see the rash in these folds, consult your dermatologist immediately and avoid applying any over-the-counter steroid creams.
Summer Skincare Tips
As you step from winter into summer, you need to modify your skincare regime. For example, switch from a heavy moisturiser to a light lotion. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, switch to water or gel-based lotions. Also, avoid the sun as much as possible, especially from 9 am to 3 pm when the sun is at its peak. If you step out, apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses, wear a hat, cover your face and neck with a cloth, carry an umbrella, and stay in cool and ambient temperature to avoid sweating.
(With inputs from Dr. Manjul Agarwal - Senior Consultant- Dermatology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh)
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