Summer Skin Hazards

Summer skin hazards sunburn

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of summer skin hazards

Inhabitants of tropics, subtropics, humid and arid regions are subjected to extreme heat conditions throughout the year. This gives rise to numerous heat-related disorders within these people and few of them develop permanent skin diseases as well. A very common problem observed in frequent beach visitors and inhabitants of equatorial regions is “summer skin hazards”. They encompass various skin disorders such as heat rash, sunburn and different forms of infections. According to estimates by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 128,885 deaths were reported in the year 2015 due to heat-induced ailments.

 

What are summer skin hazards?

Summer skin hazards itchingSummer skin hazards refer to the cascade of skin disorders that arise due to excessive heat and increased intensity of Ultraviolet radiation in summer.

This includes all forms of heat-induced skin ailments such as heat rashes, blisters, infections, acute sunburns and a lot more. It is to be noted that sunlight is useful for the skin only to a certain extent.

It helps in the synthesis of Vitamin D which is essential for the body. But increased exposure to direct sun rays and UV rays beyond a certain magnitude causes detrimental effects on the skin. In a few extreme cases the underlying tissues are also damaged and these diseases are usually incurable.

 

Role of UV rays in summer skin hazards

Ultraviolet rays play a prime role in heat-related skin diseases. The human body gets exposed to mainly three main types of UV rays-

  • UVA rays: These are of least magnitude and cause mild skin disorders like aging, spots, and wrinkles.
  • UVB rays: These have a relatively higher intensity and can cause damage to the DNA of skin cells, leading to skin cancer in a few cases.
  • UVC rays: They are of the highest intensity, but they normally react with the ozone layer and do not reach the ground. Therefore they are least responsible for heat-induced skin disorders.

The risk of damage due to UV rays depends on the duration and degree of exposure to these rays. The following factors are accountable –

  • Sun elevation: Higher the intensity of solar radiation, greater is the risk of UV triggered skin damage.
  • Latitude: Places closer to equatorial regions are more exposed to UV rays.
  • Cloud cover: Increased cloud cover can obstruct UV rays from reaching the Earth’s surface.
  • Altitude: Thinner air layers at higher altitude absorb less UV radiation.
  • Ozone: The ozone layer absorbs a portion of the incoming UV radiation.
  • Surface reflection: Surface of snow, sand, and water reflect more UV radiation.

 

General causes of summer skin hazards

Summer skin hazards sunburnThe most common causes of summer skin hazards are as follows-

  • Extremely hot weather with the complete absence of breeze or wind (in arid regions)
  • Increased exposure to direct UV radiation (high intensity) of the sun
  • Failure of melatonin pigment to protect the skin ( due to excessive exposure to heat)
  • Exposure to the sun between 10 AM- 2 PM (period of maximum intensity of sunrays)
  • Habitual exposure to sun due to leisure activities in summer such as tanning, swimming, surfing, skiing or other beach activities.
  • Reflection of sunlight from water, sand, snow
  • Reduced use of sunscreens, hats, heat-friendly clothing and sunglasses exacerbate existing skin hazard conditions
  • Ozone depletion due to global warming (effect felt mainly in industrial areas)
  • Excessive sweating due to overactivated sweat glands
  • Clogging of sweat glands due to an accumulation of wastes and dirt (impedes sweat to travel via sweat ducts to the skin surface)
  • Covering the skin with an air-tight material (waterproof clothing)
  • Insufficient cooling of the body
  • The extreme sensitivity of skin to a high temperature
  • Low intake of fluids
  • Infections caused by tick virus or West Nile virus which are more common in summer
  • Toxicity due to direct contact with poison-ivy plants which grow well in summer

 

Symptoms of summer skin hazards

The following symptoms are normally observed in case of summer skin hazards–

  • Skin inflammation due to sunburn
  • Reddened and dry skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Blisters and heat rashes
  • Pinprick sensation in the rash-affected region
  • Increased tenderness of the skin
  • Peeled of scales from affected areas

 

Types of summer skin hazards

Five types of illnesses are induced within the body due to extreme heat in summer namely- heat stroke, heat edema, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat rash. They give rise to different forms of skin hazards. The first classification of skin hazards belongs to the category of skin burns due to summer heat. Three types of skin burns are identified-

  • First degree burn: It is not so severe and affects only the outer epidermis.
  • Second degree burn: It is relatively severe and damages the dermal layer.
  • Third degree burn: It causes damage to all the skin layers and underlying tissues.

Coming to heat rashes, the following types of summer heat rashes are observed-

  • Miliaria rubra: It is marked by formation of minute blisters and papules which cause constant itching and irritation and is caused by obstruction of sweat ducts in the deep epidermis.
  • Miliaria crystallina: It is more common in infants and appears in the form of fluid filled vesicles.
  • Miliaria profunda: It is characterized by large flesh coloured papules and is caused due to clogging of sweat ducts in the dermis.
  • Miliaria pustulosa: It causes acute inflammation and pustule formation and is induced by bacteria that are dominant in summer.

Another rough classification is done based on the extent of skin pigmentation due to summer heat-

  • Light pigmentation: It causes mild spots and little tanning.
  • Intermediate pigmentation: It causes brown solar spots and significant tanning.
  • Heavy pigmentation: It causes serious damage to the skin due to excessive pigmentation and mole formation.

 

Clinical complications of summer skin hazards

Summer skin hazards melanomaSummer skin hazards, when left untreated, can give rise to the following clinical complications in the future

(most of which are either cancerous or precancerous in nature)

  • Lentigines ( freckles and solar brown spots)
  • Melanocytic naevi (permanent benign moles)
  • Keratosis (precancerous skin-cell growth)
  • Melanoma (skin cancer)

 

 

Recommendations for summer skin hazards

Doctors normally recommend the following habits that can help prevent or at least reduce summer skin hazards-

  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes to facilitate ventilation
  • Use sunscreens with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) higher than 15
  • Drink lots of fluids to compensate for excessive sweating
  • Stay in cool and well-ventilated places/rooms
  • Wear UV absorbing sunglasses to prevent eye-infection
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats to protect the face and neck region

 

Treatment  

Folliculitis 

  • Medications
    • Creams or pills to control infection – Antibiotic creams, gels and lotions are prescribed for mild infections. Oral antibiotics are not prescribed unless your infection is severe or recurrent.Antibiotics are not helpful in treating fungal infections. Your doctor will prescribe you an antifungal cream, gel or lotion to treat the fungal infection.
    • Cream or pills to reduce inflammation – Your doctor will prescribe you with steroids to help reduce the inflammation caused by folliculitis.
  • Alternate methods
    • Minor surgery – If a boil has formed over the infected area, your doctor will make a small incision and drain the boil. This helps in relieving the pain and swelling. In case the boil is still draining your doctor will cover the area with sterile gauze.
    • Laser hair removal – This treatment is undertaken for the removal of long-term hair, which helps in reducing the infection. This method is opted for if all other treatments have failed.

Acne 

  • Topical medication
    • Retinoid and retinoid-like drugs – These can be applied on your skin 2-3 times a week and then every day after your skin becomes used to it. This helps in plugging the hair follicles to reduce acne.
    • Antibiotics – For the first few months, a prescription of retinoids and antibiotics will be prescribed. These help in reducing the swelling and redness on the skin.
    • Salicylic acid and azelaic acid – There are present in the creams or gels that your doctor may prescribe. They help in plugging hair follicles.
    • Dapsone – This is prescribed in a gel form to help reduce the acne present on your skin.
  • Oral medication – Antibiotics, a combination of oral contraceptives, anti-androgens and isotretinoin will be prescribed to cure acne. These help in blocking the hair follicles, oil glands, and androgen from forming acne on your skin.
  • Therapies – Laser and photodynamic therapy, chemical peel, extraction of blackheads and whiteheads and steroid injections are some of the therapies that can help reduce your acne. These therapies may need to be done frequently as the acne tends to come back.

Sunburns 

  • The severe symptoms of sunburn tend to develop 2-3 days post the damage to your skin is done.
  • Generally, sunburns tend to heal on their own.
  • Treatments for sunburns do not heal your skin, but they can help relieve the symptoms such as pain, itching, and burning.
  • There are certain home remedies that can help ease the symptoms of sunburn –
    • Pain relievers – Ibuprofens can help relieve the pain and swelling caused by sunburns.
    • Lukewarm or cool baths – Taking a cool or lukewarm bath can help reduce the itching and leave a cool feeling on to the affected area.
    • Creams, lotions or gels – Aloe vera or calamine lotions and gels can help soothe the symptoms of a sunburn.
    • Drink water – This helps you from getting dehydrated.

 

Prevention

Folliculitis 

  • Do not wear tight clothes.
  • Make sure to clean your rubber gloves between each use.
  • Try and shave as less as possible. If you chose to shave, shave with care.

Acne 

  • Maintain proper hygiene.
  • Do not have any greasy and oily food.
  • Have a bath frequently, if you tend to sweat a lot.

Sunburns

  • Avoid sun exposure between 10 A.M to 4 P.M. as the sun rays are strongest during this time.
  • Use sunscreen frequently.
  • Avoid sun tanning and sunbathing.
  • Cover up.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Look for any indication of infection post the bite or sting – for insect bites or stings.
  • Use a gel cleanser – for back acne.
  • Take a cool or lukewarm shower – for sunburns.
Don'ts
  • Scrub your skin; it can irritate the acne – for back acne.
  • Use petroleum jelly or petroleum-based products as they tend to create a block your skin – for sunburns.

 

 

 

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Malaria Antigen Test A malaria antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) that can detect malarial antigens (proteins) in your…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
Sushi: health benefits and recipes Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish prepared with vinegared rice served with fish (often raw), vegetables, and other…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
50 common health conditions
What are the top 50 deadly and widespread diseases? A complete list of the top 50 most common and deadly diseases that plague humanity. Which disease is…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less painful and ooze…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
blood elements analysis
Vitamin Profile Your doctor will recommend you undergo the vitamin profile test if you are showing signs of either vitamin…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure is depends upon…
Sputum test Sputum test is a commonly used diagnostic tool that is used to examine the presence of pathogens in…
Sweeteners-good or bad?
Sweeteners – Are They Good or Bad for Our Health? Sweeteners can be artificial and natural. Learn about the different types of sweeteners and their health benefits and…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
CBC blood test
CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test refers to the test that measures the number of RBCs, WBCs, etc…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by a key weight…
Gynecomastia or male breast enlargement
Gynecomastia Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breasts. Learn about the treatment options, surgeries, and post-op care for…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
Did you know vitamin E can fight these fatal diseases? Vitamin E, an essential fat-soluble vitamin, is key to building strong immunity, for healthy eyes, and skin. It…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
PULMONARY EMBOLISM
IVC Filter Implantation IVC or inferior vena cava implantation is a minimally-invasive procedure to arrest blood clots and prevent them from…
Cellphones and Human Brain
Cellphones and Human Brain – Are Cellphones a Slow Poison to Our Brains? Cellphones have become an intricate part of our lives but they can be highly addictive and overuse can…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
Hysteroscopy_procedure
Hysteroscopy Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive tool to help specialists view the uterus to diagnose and even treat several…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute available today,even vegans…
Threatened abortion
A few facts about threatened abortion A threatened miscarriage indicates an early pregnancy loss. Look out for symptoms like bleeding, vaginal discharge, and pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis xray
Arthritis Profile Arthritis profile is a panel of primarily blood tests used to detect the presence of arthritis or check…
Splenda
Splenda Splenda is an artificial sweetener derived from Stevia plant extracts. It is low in calories and a popular…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life by offering the…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Aphasia brain scans
Neuroendoscopy Neuroendoscopy is a minimally-invasive surgery used to treat disorders of brain, spine, head, etc.
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
Pelvic_ultrasound
Pelvic Ultrasound Pelvic ultrasound is a process where sound waves are used to create image of your pelvic region organs…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk of cancer, and…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
angiography
Angiography Angiography is a diagnostic tool used to determine the narrowing or blockage in the arteries and veins supplying…
Proteinuria and blood pressure
Hypertension Profile Hypertension profile is a panel of blood tests done to analyse the cause of hypertension or high blood…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
breast-surgery-2
Breast Augmentation Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure done to alter the shape and size of the breast. It uses…
Low carb diet
8 appetizing and mouth-watering recipes that every low-carb dieter should try Looking for delicious recipes that will fix your hunger pang without adding those pesky carbs? Look no further…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…

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