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Taking care of Summer Skin

Lying on the beach with the breeze in your sun-bleached hair and the sun baking your skin is how you would imagine a perfect summer to go down. Typically though, while you’re prepping your body for that smooth, bronzed look, along come those annoying skin lesions, mysterious rashes and dry, cracked skin. The good news is that you’re not alone and there is usually a quick fix. Here are three common types of skin irritations and how to deal with them swiftly so you can continue doing what you love all summer.

Heat Rash – This frustrating skin irritation is common during the hot summer months. The rash looks like small dots, bumps, or patches of red skin usually on the neck, elbows or back of the knees. Wearing thin, cotton clothing when out in the sunshine, will not only prevent your skin from sweating, but also prevent you from burning in those UV rays. You can also take lukewarm showers during those higher temperatures, and avoid heavy skin creams as they can clog your pores. If you do end up with a heat rash, soothe the skin with an Aloe Vera gel and seek medical advise if it continues for three or more days.

Hives or Bug Bites – no-one wants to cover up and stay indoors to avoid the bugs, but it is important to take certain measures to avoid being chomped, especially in areas where insects can carry diseases. Bug bites and hives manifest in raised red welts on your skin, which can swell and become extremely itchy. Prevent those pesky insects from getting close by using an insect repellent that contains Picardin or Eucalyptus oil. Also, sleep under a mosquito net if possible or wear loose fitting cotton sleepwear. If your methods of prevention aren’t successful, soothe your irritations by rubbing the bites with Calamine lotion and take an antihistamine if the urge to scratch becomes overwhelming.

Folliculitis – this infection of the hair follicles usually manifests as an itchy, painful rash surrounding one or more infected follicles. Beware of wearing tight clothes or spandex for too long in the heat. Damp, hot clothing against your skin can cause bacteria to form in the hair follicles, creating an infection. To avoid this uncomfortable experience, take a lukewarm shower to rinse off immediately after exercise, wash yourself with an antibacterial soap and change into loose-fitting, cotton clothing. If you happen to develop an infection, treat the area with a salt compress or oatmeal lotion.

It’s no fun if you’re experiencing pain and discomfort while on holiday or enjoying the summer months in the sun. Stressing about your skin can also make the problem worse. However, there is nothing like the natural antibiotic of the salty ocean to soothe irritated skin; so relax, take a swim, drink lots of water, and enjoy your summer months with healthy, radiant skin.

Written by  – Dominique Kotze

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