By Hasan Kamoonpuri - MUSCAT — During summer’s high temperatures and humidity, taking extra care of your skin in order to stay fresh, healthy and free of blemishes assumes special significance.
Dr Meera Radhakrishna, Dermatologist and Cosmetologist, Apollo Medical Centre, Muscat, says the common skin problems during summer are sunburn, photopositive skin rashes, summer acne, fungal infections, and dry flaky skin.
The precautions people must take include limiting sun exposure during peak hours ie, 10 am-4 pm; using a good quality water resistant sunscreen with SPF at least 30 and high UVA protection; and using sunscreen at least 15-30 min before stepping out. One must wear loose airy cotton clothes. Use of soothing moisturisers is also advisable after sunburn.
As for summer acne, Dr Meera says, “pimples increase in some people due to sweating and heat especially over back. Cleansing skin regularly, taking cool showers, and using topical agents like benzoyl peroxide is good.
Fungal infections occur mainly in the skin folds due to sweating and tight inappropriate clothing. Consult your doctor for antifungal creams. Keep skin folds dry and wear loose cotton clothes. On insect bite reactions, she said, “Especially if you plan to visit Salalah this Khareef, insect repellent lotion is a must”.
Dry flaky skin is a problem because skin can become dehydrated, dry and flaky and lips chapped due to heat. Use a water-based moisturiser regularly and drink plenty of water. Use a good quality scrub twice a week for exfoliation. It is important to remove make-up before sleeping. Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables.
Dr Fatma Obaid Ali, CEO, Emirates Medical Centre, says other common summer skin problem include back and chest Acne. So acne prone people must use a product containing salicylic acid or benzoil peroxide on their chest and back area once a day. Wash back and chest after heavy perspiration. Avoid clothing made from synthetic fibers. Wear an oil-free sunscreen.
Hyper pigmentation is most common in darker skin types. Medications like birth control pills, hormonal supplements and antibiotics increase photosensitivity and have been linked to increased pigmentation. Minimise sun exposure during 10 am to 4 pm. Wear a hat, sunglasses and broad spectrum SPF sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25. Consume anti inflammatory and antioxidants to help your body fight off free-radical damage.
Dr Fatma says impetigo, known as “School Sores,” is common to children. This is a highly contagious disease through direct contact. Signs of impetigo are extreme itchiness of the skin, fever, diarrhoea, weakness, tiny blisters with fluid leaking sores. It is better to consult a Doctor to know what the best treatments are.
The possibility of dehydration increases in summer. Human body is composed of 75 per cent water and if one loses water more than one takes it will naturally result in dehydration. Signs of dehydration include more yellow urine than usual; dry mouth; muscle cramps; nausea; vomiting; and heart palpitation. In severe cases, one feels confusion, weakness, and loss of balance.
“You can prevent dehydration by drinking lots of water, probably 10 glasses per day, avoiding walking when the sun is up and not doing rigorous activities in late morning to afternoon” says Dr Fatma.
Your skin is the “mirror of your body, which strongly reflects your inner state and body needs”, say experts. Daily nutrition affects your skin condition? In the case of healthy nutrition, you will notice smooth, moist, fresh and vital skin. On the other hand, poor nutrition and the lack of essential nutrients lead to a pale, rough, dehydrated and irritated skin. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially those which are rich in vitamin C, which plays a major role in keeping the skin looking healthy. Eat more oranges, melon, broccoli, and sweet pepper.
Enrich your diet with foods (green, orange and red, nuts and seeds) that are rich in antioxidants that help in destroying the cancerous cells caused by ultraviolet rays. Eat vitamin E-rich foods, such as almonds, walnuts, and avocado. Vitamin E helps keep the skin moist and prevents its dehydration.
Avoid highly salted foods, and avoid adding extra salt to your food; high salt intake leads to water retention and bloating.