Summer is a time to relax and have fun! The season has already begun with long evenings spent by the lake, backyard barbecues and the welcome sound of an approaching ice cream truck. But with the luxuriously warm days comes something a little less pleasant… summer skin conditions or, as they are known to specialists, “summer dermatoses.” The warm sunny days of summer also bring along skin issues, such as sun damage, insect bites, summer acne, fungal infections and rashes.Take care of your skin to combat summer skin problems before they begin and enjoy having fun in the sun.

When you’re wearing shorts or swimwear, you have to protect your skin at all costs from the ravages of the summer, especially sunburn. Even in a short time, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can do real damage to your outer layer. Summer also can mean dry skin and bug bites when you’re working in the garden or simply walking to your car. Here are 10 ways summer can affect your skin and how to fight back.

Summer Skin Care for Sunburn



Too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays can result in the redness and pain of sunburn. Sunburn usually appears within hours after sun exposure and may take weeks to fade. To prevent: minimize sun exposure during peak sun hours (10a.m. to 4 p.m.) and when exposed to the sun, use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply regularly.

Poison Ivy



If you’re allergic, poison ivy and its cousins — poison sumac and poison oak — can give you a nasty skin rash. Protect yourself by knowing what the plants look like so that you can try to avoid them. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone, oatmeal soaks, and oral diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may relieve the itch.

Summer Skin Care for Cuts and Scrapes



When you’re active in the summer, it’s easy to fall prey to cuts and scrapes. Stick to plain petroleum jelly and a light covering, changed daily, to prevent thick, dry, and itchy scabs.

Skin Care for Chlorine



To minimize this summer skin bummer, wear goggles and a swim cap. Also, as soon as you get out, rinse your skin and hair with fresh water. If you have the option, swim in saltwater pools.

Care for Dry Skin



Soaking in a hot tub can remove your natural skin oils. The skin and beauty solution: As soon as you emerge, apply moisturizer to your skin. Moisturizers work best to trap your natural skin oils if you apply while skin is still damp.

Care for Blemishes



The solution to this summer skin and beauty issue is to look for skin and beauty products that are non-comedogenic, or won’t block pores. Also, try not to use your hands to constantly wipe sweat off your brow — you could actually be introducing more dirt to the area. Cleanse with a non-drying acne wash and lukewarm water to keep skin clear.

Care for Feet



Soak your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes and cleanse your feet thoroughly by scrubbing properly with a sponge or a pumice stone to remove the dead skin, rough areas and calluses from under the feet. Then apply little amount of the shea butter on your feet thoroughly to keep it smooth and moisturised. Don’t forget to slather sunscreen on your feet, too!

Care for Bug Bites



Scratching is a no-no to avoid infection — apply an icepack to an itchy bite or a paste made from baking soda and water for a sting. If your skin becomes red or infected, call your doctor.

Care for Shaving



To lessen the irritation that shaving can cause, shower or bathe before you shave so your skin is wet and plump. Always shave in the direction that your hair grows. Change blades frequently so you’re never using a dull blade, which is even more irritating, and shave lightly so as not to nick your skin.

Summer Skin Care for Low Humidity



The problem with air conditioning is that it pulls the humidity out of the air, and that can dry out your skin, or worsen an existing dry skin condition. Running a humidifier will put moisture back in the air. Other quick tips are to take short showers in lukewarm (not hot) water and slather on the body cream as soon as you get out. Stay hydrated from the inside, too, by drinking lots of water.