Do you love the summer season? The sounds and fragrances of this season are what we all look forward to. But along with all the fun that summer brings in, it’s also time to get a very irritating skin problem – itchiness.
Medically an itch, called ‘pruritus’, is a skin irritation that urges you to scratch that area. It can be a localized irritation or can be generalized occurring all over the body. During the hot months itchiness is common due to the heat and presence of allergens in the air. Prickly heat, Sunburns, Dryness, and Skin Sensitivity are your common ‘itch-providers’.
Prickly heat: Millaria or prickly heat occurs when the sweat pores get blocked due to excessive sweating. It manifests itself as tiny red or pink spots seen mostly on areas such as upper back, chest, trunk, abdomen, forehead, neck and also on places where there is friction caused by clothing. This condition can be alleviated by using prickly heat powders, staying in a cool environment, keeping the affected area clean and dry and taking frequent, cool and light baths.
The Sunburn Itch: Summer makes the skin very vulnerable to sun burns. With sunburns your skin gets red, inflamed and itchy. Severe sun burns can cause blisters to appear on the affected area. To soothe the skin you can apply an ice compress on the affected area, stay out of the sun completely, drink lots of water to stay hydrated and apply aloe gel on the affected area. If your sunburn starts to look redder or none of the above remedies work within 24 hours, make an appointment with your dermatologist to get the right help.
Dryness: Though associated with winter it can strike during summers with prolonged hours spent in an air conditioned environment. Our skin tends to get dry and dehydrated. Also frequent baths and showers strip the skin of essential oils making it dry and itchy. Some of the things you should do to tackle this problem are moisturize well after showers, use a light water based moisturizer on areas that feel dry and itchy, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, include water based fruits and vegetables in your diet to work inside out and use a moisturizing body soap or body wash.
Skin sensitivity: The hot months cause the skin to become more sensitive because of the increased presence of allergens. The heat and sweat do nothing to help sensitive skin. Seborrheic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, athlete’s foot and atopic dermatitis are skin conditions that normally tend to get worse during summers. In areas of low humidity these skin conditions might aggravate. Here is what you should do to deal with such itchy skin problems: stay cool and hydrated, use a light dermatologist prescribed skin moisturizer, limit your bathing time to 5 to 10 minutes, apply a moisturizer immediately after a bath so that it gets absorbed in the skin and use fragrance free products.
How do you combat itchy skin during summers? Write in and let us know.