Renowned dermatologist, Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra tells us how to safeguard our skin when the sun shines bright.
As the temperature soars and heat becomes unbearable, the skin has to fight to stay cool, protected, hydrated and infection free. The answer lies in increasing your intake of water and fluids, avoiding and protecting against sun exposure and keeping skin clean.
- Sunburns: The sun during this season is so harsh that it can singe your skin, causing red patches and rashes that give a burning sensation. Those with sensitive skin are more prone to sunburns. The only way to protect your skin against this condition is to minimise sun exposure. At the same time it is equally important to wear a sunscreen without fail. Apply a sunblock liberally all over your face, neck and arms 20 minutes before stepping out. Make sure you reapply every four hours to ensure continuous protection. Those with sensitive skin are advised to wear clothes covering as much skin as possible during the day. Cool down your sun-sensitised skin by applying aloe gel on the affected area at the end of the day.
- Dehydration: It is not just your body but also your skin that bears the brunt of dehydration. As we sweat, we continuously lose hydration from the skin. If not sufficiently replenished, this can leave the skin dry, irritated and more prone to sunburn. Your lips may start cracking and dry patches may appear all over. To avoid these problems drink as much water as you can. Carry a water bottle with you all the time, do not go without sipping once every half an hour. Also add a lot of juices and summer fruits to your diet. Fruits like water melon which are full of water content are particularly good for the body and skin during summers. You can also seek deep hydrating treatments like Hydrating Electroporation Therapy and Oxygen Therapy or Juvederm Refine.
- Acne: Sweat attracts dust, grime and pollutants, particularly if when you are outdoors. This combination of heat and dirt is a perfect recipe for acne and pimples to grow. The dust clogs the skin’s pores while the heat gives bacteria a perfect environment to thrive. In order to minimise chances of breakouts keep your skin clean always. Keep a small-sized facewash in your bag and give your face a quick wash thrice a day or whenever you think it is needed. At the end of the day apply a soothing facepack of multani mitti or sandalwood paste to cool the skin and reduce inflammations. In case, your breakouts do not subside, do visit a dermatologist.
- Heat Rashes: Multiple factors combine to make your skin irritable during summers. Along with the heat another factor that puts a lot of pressure is sweating. Sometimes dirt and dust clog the sweat ducts of the skin, trapping the perspiration. This can result in itchy rashes, blisters or mini bumps. Clothes can make them more irritable because of friction. You can prevent this condition by keeping yourself squeaky clean. Take a shower twice a day, particularly in the evening after returning home. Use an anti-bacterial soap or bath gel. Keep yourself dry as much as possible. Rubbing the affected skin with ice cubes can help soothe the irritation. If the condition persists, meet a dermatologist.
- Bacterial Infections: The hot and humid weather is the perfect environment for bacteria and virus to thrive. Those of you who use public transport and spend time outdoors in crowded places are more susceptible to come in contact with multiple bacterial infections. The things which you touch during the day may be carrying bacteria. And touching your face with the infected hands will for sure result in skin infections. Try to keep your hands clean and washed most of the time. Carry a hand wash and keep washing every couple of hours. If this is not possible use a hand sanitizer or wipes. And most imporatantly avoid touching your face.
- Tanning: When exposed to the sun’s UV radiations, the skin’s melanin reacts by forming a protective shield, which results in dark pigmentation, appearing either uniformly all over or in patches on the skin. The result is what we call skin darkening, tanning or hyper-pigmentation. Using sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and reapplying is important, so is wearing sunglasses to prevent dark circles. To undo the effects of tanning, seek procedures like laser skin rejuvenation, chemical peels or Microdermabrasion. Your dermatologist will suggest the right procedure for your needs.