6 Common Skin Problems of Summer

Cynthia Bailey, MD|June 28, 2012

The long, hot, languid days of summer are great for your psyche, but they are not always so great for your skin. Your skin is your biggest organ and it is on the outside of you, exposed to the weather and environment. Naturally, the climate can wreak havoc with it! Know what problems to expect as the summer heats up, treat them before they're a problem, and avoid scrambling for an appointment with your dermatologist once it's too late.

6 Common Skin Problems of Summer:

  1. Pityrosporum folliculitis type of acne from sweating
  2. Staph folliculitis from shaving with an unclean razor
  3. Self-tanning product problems, such as alligator-looking skin scale or significant darkening of age spots
  4. Increase in rosacea from the sun
  5. Rough thick scale on feet from wearing sandals
  6. Intertrigo from sweating

Are you at risk for these problems? If so, what should you do about them? Pityrosporum folliculitis: This is a form of acne that causes bright red pimples on your forehead, along your hairline and chin, and on your back and chest. Younger people, such as teens and young adults, are the most prone to this condition. That's because sweat, combined with oily teenage skin, puts them at particular risk. You are even more at risk if you have a history of allergies, hay fever, and asthma because of your skin's immune system. Treatment and prevention for pityrosporum folliculitis is to shower as soon after sweating as possible, to try to avoid sweating, and to cleanse your skin with a medicated product that helps to control the pityrosporum yeast. I have specific instructions in my article: Pityrosporum Folliculitis Acne, Could This Be Why Your Acne Won't Go Away? Staph folliculitis: Again, you are at higher risk if you have a history of allergies, hay fever, and asthma because of your skin's immune system, but staph folliculitis can happen to anyone. Shaving causes the staph bacteria to spread from hair follicle to hair follicle and little pimples form on shaved skin, including legs, armpits, or the beard area. I have information on how to properly care for your razors to help prevent this in my post titled: Tips To Prevent Skin Infections from Your Shower Sponge and Razor. Once the folliculitis develops, you need to see a doctor for diagnosis and possibly antibiotic treatment. Self-tanner mishaps: People with dry skin and age spots are at risk for developing alligator-like or leopard-looking skin when they use a self-tanner. That's because the tanner gets stuck in these thicker spots, making them darker than the rest of your skin. The fix is to exfoliate your skin before applying self tanner. Keep this up throughout the summer and you'll use self tanners like a skin care pro. I have great advice tricks for expert self-tanner application in my blog article: Use Self-Tanner Like a Pro.

Click here to see my favorite self-tanning lotion by Avene.

Rosacea flare ups from sun: Some people with rosacea find that sun exposure can cause their rosacea to flare up (I am included here!). The solution is sun avoidance and good skin care to treat and control rosacea. My 5-blog post series on rosacea begins here: What Is Acne Rosacea? I have a lot of sun-protection information on my blog. The most concise is: 5 Steps For Smart Sun Protection. Generally for the face, I recommend wearing a good hat with a full circumference 3 to 5 inch brim, applying sunscreen with SPF 30 to 40 with 5% or more zinc oxide, and seeking the shade when possible.

Click here to see the sunscreens that I trust for my rosacea patients and for my own rosacea-prone skin. 

  Rough scaly feet: Older and sandal-wearing folks are particularly prone to thick, rough heels that will snag stockings and crack. The trick is exfoliation. My specific instructions that promise soft, sandal-ready feet can be found here: 3 Simple Steps For Soft Sandal Ready Feet By Spring.

Click here to see Glytone Heel and Elbow, a miracle worker for your rough heels.

Glytone Ultra Heel and Elbow Cream

Intertrigo: Anyone who sweats and has skin folds can develop a red, often tender rash in the skin folds called intertrigo. Diabetics are especially prone to intertrigo. Treatment and prevention involves keeping the skin folds as dry as possible and treating the problem when it flares up. My blog post with complete information is: Intertrigo: A Red Rash In The Skin Folds. Photo: Thanks and gratitude to Greg Pye