We’ve always been told to get some morning sunlight to allow our bodies to synthesise vitamin D, an important nutrient. Though several foods are fortified with vitamin D and supplements that contain this vitamin, there is nothing more effective than receiving it directly through sunlight. It is essential to understand that too much sunlight can cause sunburn or skin damage for people of all skin types, especially those who have sensitive acne-prone skin.
Skin Problems That Can Trouble You This Summer
Weather changes affect our bodies, including our skin and hair. Hot and humid summers can make your skin oily and clog your pores, resulting in acne breakouts. Cold winters can dry your skin out, including your pores, resulting in irritation and cracking of the skin.
Common skin problems in summer are:
- Sudden acne breakouts
- Dry, irritated skin
- Folliculitis (infected hair follicles that become tender and itchy)
- Nail infection following a manicure or pedicure
- Melasma (brown to grey-brown patches on the skin)
- Itchy rashes to plants like the poison ivy, oak and sumac
- Heat rash (also called prickly heat)
- Sun allergy and rash
- Sunburn pimples/Sun pimples
- Swimmer’s itch
Regardless of your skin type, the sun’s rays and the heat during the summer months can significantly affect your skin health and increase the likeliness of developing skin conditions.
Why is the Sun Harmful to Acne-Prone Skin?
The summer months are hot, and as the season progresses, the days only get longer and warmer. Excessive exposure to the sun dries out our skin, and it starts producing excessive oils to compensate for this dryness. At the same time, our skin is also trying to regulate body temperature through processes like sweating. Excessive production of oils and sweat, along with dead skin cells, dirt and grime, tend to clog pores. This results in more frequent breakouts.
For people with acne-prone skin, the frequency of acne breakouts are already high compared to others. The summer months only bring out the worst in the skin, resulting in irritable sun acne or rashes.
How to Manage Sun Damage in People with Acne-Prone Skin?
If you have acne-prone skin or experience frequent acne breakouts during the summer months, here are some skin protection tips to keep your skin healthy and happy this summer:
- Avoid stepping out in the sun. If you have to, take necessary precautions like covering your skin. Wearing protective clothing is helpful.
- If you have to step out in the sun, you must apply a strong SPF sunscreen. If needed, top it up every two hours to ensure your skin is protected. Ask your doctor about the right sunscreen product if you have sensitive skin.
- Wear protective sunglasses that protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
- For people with acne-prone skin, their oil and sweat glands work overtime. Use a gentle foaming face wash or cleanser to clear away the dirt and grime from your pores and unclog them.
- Astringents are an excellent product to add to your skincare regime during the hot summer days.
- Stick to light, water-based moisturisers to keep acne away for the summer months.
- Always take a shower after a rigorous activity that made you sweat. Not washing away the sweat can cause skin irritation.
Your dermatologist may prescribe a few topical medications to help alleviate your acne symptoms. Products such as gels or creams need to be applied as a thin coat on the skin either in the morning or evening before going to bed. While some medications are available as OTC products, others may require a special prescription from your dermatologist.
When your acne does not respond to topical medications, your dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics, birth control pills to restore hormonal balance (if that is causing your acne breakout) or isotretinoin (known to reduce the size of oil glands, so they produce less oil).
Having sensitive acne-prone skin during the hot summer months can be highly inconvenient. If you feel your acne has flared up or aggravated due to the summer heat, visit your doctor immediately. Avoid self-medication to prevent any complications.
Sunscreen is a magic elixir that must be applied every day. The hot summer months require strong and potent sunscreen, even when indoors. Sunscreens contain antioxidants and minerals with antioxidant properties that prevent free radical formation and damage to the skin cells, delaying ageing and reducing sun damage. This is particularly true for acne-prone skin as it is more sensitive and can easily break out to cause spots, blackheads and pigmentation on sun exposure.
If you need expert help and advice to take care of your skin problems this summer, Skin and Hair Academy can help connect you with the best dermatologist in your city.