Summer is here! Cue the pool parties and beach getaways, camping trips, sundresses, iced matcha lattes and long evenings spent on the porch. But as the temperatures rise, so does the occurrence of bug bites, rashes, warts, sunburns and a host of other skin issues. Let’s face it, your skin can suffer during the summer months!
Which is why we put together a handy guide from our Board Certified Dermatologists to have at the ready this summer season.
Summer Skin Survival Guide for the Whole Family
Luckily most bug bites are more annoying than they are harmful, except if they become infected by bacteria and fungus from overly scratching. If that’s the case, the best way to head off infection is by cleaning the bite with soap and water, applying an antibiotic cream, and covering it with a bandage. A hydrocortisone cream will help with the itch. The bug spray we recommend is OFF! (because it works! And we feel confident in the safety data).
Poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac contain urushiol, a resin that can cause a bumpy, blistery, and very itchy rash. The best way to prevent exposure is learning how to identify these plants. We like the app PictureThis to help identify plant species, including the poisonous kind. If you do make contact with the leaves from one of these plants, quickly wash the area with soap, water and a washcloth. Be sure to only use the washcloth on the treated area so not to spread to other areas of the skin. Apply a topical ointment like Lucas Papaya ointment to soothe skin. If the rash is severe or on the face, make an appointment to come to the office as you may need oral steroid treatment to control the inflammation and prevent long term nerve complications.
The nemesis of all mom’s during the summer months, warts become super common on kids from days spent barefoot in public places like pools and beaches. Treating warts promptly will help them from spreading to other parts of the body. Buy a wart medicine with 17% salicylic acid (such as our own “V cream”). Apply the acid once a day to the top of the wart. Since it’s an acid, avoid getting any near the eyes or mouth and try to keep it off the normal skin. The acid will turn the wart into dead skin. If you or your child has multiple or stubborn warts that aren’t responding to treatment, make an appointment with our providers for professional removal.
We know it’s highly unlikely you or your kids will get a sunburn this summer since you’re diligent about SPF, but we get it, accidents happen 😉 If you do find yourself sunburned, start by taking frequent cool baths or showers to alleviate pain and moisturize using a topical hydrocortisone for anti-inflammatory benefits. If the pain is particularly bothersome, consider taking ibuprofen to reduce swelling and discomfort. During the next few days it’s crucial to keep the skin covered with clothing (try our chic Acqua rash guards sold at our office), stay in the shade, and resist the urge to pop any bubbles that start to surface on the skin. These are protective barriers from infection so it’s important to leave the skin to heal on its own.
Additionally, our Omnilux LED treatment is brilliant for healing skin and inducing the anti-inflammatory cells of the skin. So swing by the office twice a week for a 20 minute LED session to help recover from a sunburn.
Outdoor exercise, sunscreen applications, and longer hours spent in the heat increase the risk of the skin producing extra sebum, causing pores to clog and leading to breakouts. Resist the urge to over cleanse as this can strip the skin of important skin-balancing oils, and instead look for products with anti-inflammatory ingredients like niacinamide. Incorporate regular exfoliation with AHA’s or BHA’s (like our Gly-Sal glow pads) in your summer skincare routine along with the use of non-comedogenic SPF products. We like Elta MD and MD Solar Sciences sold at our Brilliant Boutique.
Although summer is the time to kick back and relax, we don’t recommend completely abandoning your healthy skin habits. Combat dull and irritated skin during the summer months by drinking a ton of water to keep the skin hydrated. For an added boost, try Aethern, a drinkable collagen supplement that our team is obsessed with, that contains critical vitamins and micronutrients, which play a vital role in cell regeneration and protection. Aethern is also available for purchase at our office.
Regular facials for deep cleansing and purifying (try our Irene Forte signature facials with Brittany!). We also love Forma, our personal favorite for skin-remodeling (it feels like a hot-stone massage for your face), and will keep your skin glowing all summer long.
Book an appointment with our doctors and providers this summer by calling 203.764.2230 or put a request in through our website www.greenwichpointdermatology.com