Rashes can happen at any time of the year, but there are some allergens and irritants that we’re more likely to encounter in summer. If you have allergies or sensitive skin then you should watch out for these common causes of summer skin problems.
Heat and Sun Exposure
Summer weather can cause various problems for our skin. The stronger sun we’re exposed to at this time of year can cause sunburn as well as longer term sun damage that could result in issues such as skin cancer in the future. Some people can also experience rashes and inflammation as a result of sun exposure, a condition known as polymorphic light eruptions.
Heat can also trigger skin problems, either directly or because it is making us sweat more. Prickly heat is a common summer rash that causes red, itchy bumps when sweat glands get blocked. Skin conditions such as acne and eczema can also get worse due to summer heat and sweat.
Protecting your skin from the sun and taking plenty of breaks to cool off can help you to avoid these summer skin problems.
Plants and Pollen
We tend to spend more time outdoors during the summer, which means we’re often exposed to more potential allergens. If you’re allergic to a particular type of plant or pollen, then it could trigger rashes and other reactions like hayfever. Some plants can trigger reactions even if you don’t have a specific allergy. For example, the sap of the giant hogweed can burn your skin and cause lasting sun-sensitivity in the affected area.
Being aware of potential allergy triggers can help you to avoid them. You should also take care when gardening and wear gloves when dealing with plants like the giant hogweed.
Bites and Stings
Insects are a lot more common during the summer months, and many of them will feed on people or sting us if they feel threatened. In most cases, the effects will be mild, but some insect bites and stings can trigger stronger reactions in some people. You might notice redness, swelling, or a rash around the bite, which can usually be treated with over-the-counter sting relief creams. If you experience a severe allergic reaction (such as breathing problems or swelling in your face) then you should see emergency care immediately.
Covering up, avoiding areas where insects gather (such as around still water), and using insect repellent should help you to avoid bites and stings as much as possible.
If you’re suffering from summer skin problems or you’ve noticed an unusual rash, then you can always consult your dermatologist. We can run tests to find out the cause of skin allergies or recommend treatments to help soothe irritation and inflammation.