SKIN CARE IN SUMMER
The onset of summer is popularly known as the ‘Doctor’s season’, considering the enormous number of people who fall sick at this time of the year. The sudden change in temperature is the major cause of several diseases & infections and calls for proper attention, particularly SKIN CARE.
Although we say that it is good to get some direct sunlight so as to fulfil the need of the body for the required vitamins, but the temperature has a great impact on the skin. The higher the temperature, the greater would be the damage caused to the skin in the form of wrinkles, freckles, blemishes, age spots and rough, dry skin. The sunlight contains three types of UV rays namely the A, B and C. if one comes in direct contact with UV A and UV B rays then it can lead to tanning effect on the skin or can also lead to sun burns respectively. It depends on the type of skin the person has and the place on the earth where they are situated. Two persons may show different results on the same place. Also the effect of UV rays is maximized in summer season because this is the time when maximum amount of penetration occurs in the atmosphere.
Under normal circumstances, when the body is exposed to heat, anatomical cooling systems kick in, causing sweating or perspiration. When sweat evaporates, it cools the body, and reduces temperature. On prolonged or excessive exposure to heat, these cooling systems shut down, or cannot function properly. As the ambient temperature rises, in the absence of a cooling mechanism, the temperature of the body rises proportionately, leading to sunstroke, which is the most common skin problem. This can cause a huge damage to the skin that might take time to get recovered. The most common symptoms of sunburn / sun stroke are red skin and blisters on skin and sometime excessive pain as well in cases of severe burns. Apart from this nausea or vomiting, fainting, severe blistering, chills and fatigue are also some of the symptoms for severe sunburn conditions.
Excessive and prolonged exposure to UV light may sometime even cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of the skin. Over 90 percent of these cancers will appear on sun-exposed skin, usually on the face, neck, ears, forearms, and hands.
According to Dr. Senthil Prabahar S, MBBS, MD, Specialist Dermatologist & Venereologist from the Department of Dermatology, NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, while heat strokes are quite common generally after mid-May, the solution is to take care of your skin by protecting it from the sun by keeping oneself well-covered, using caps, cotton jackets, hats etc. Especially people working in air-conditioned offices must not step out in the heat suddenly. It is safer to stand in the shade for a few minutes before exposing the body to high temperature so that our skin cooling systems get accustomed to the environment.
Do’s - Regular skin care routine
The American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends six steps to help reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
Minimize your exposure to the sun at midday and between the hours of 10:00AM and 3:00PM.
Apply sunscreen with at least a SPF-15 or higher, to all areas of the body which are exposed to the sun. Any sun screen with SPF above 30 has no significant advantage over others.
Apply sun screen half an hour before going out. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days. Reapply after swimming or perspiring.
Wear clothing that covers your body and shades your face. (Hats should provide shade for both the face and back of the neck.)
Avoid exposure to UV radiation from sunlamps or tanning parlors.
Protect your children. Keep them from excessive sun exposure when the sun is strongest (10:00AM and 3:00PM), and apply sunscreen liberally and frequently to children 6 months of age and older. Do not use sunscreen on children under 6 months of age. Parents with children under 6 months of age should severely limit their children's sun exposure. Most people receive 80% of their exposure to the sun by age 18.
Other do’s include:-
Summer is the one time when one must consciously consume liquid foods. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin and organ hydrated besides water, an adequate intake of citrus juice and plenty of salads are very important. Drinking plenty of water, around eight glasses per day will cleanse the system, flushes out toxins and lend the skin a glowing look.
Take bath at least twice daily, the skin with benefit from the coolness of water soothing the sweat glands. But make sure you do not take a bath immediately after you came indoors from being under sun for long. Your skin will benefit if you wait for some time before entering the shower, taking a bath immediately after coming from direct sun tends to dry skin, rather than do it any good, a 10 minute wait would be beneficial.
Eat a balanced and nutritious diet rich in vitamins, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin E-rich foods such as green vegetables, whole grains and some nuts are good for the skin. Including cold-water fish to a diet, couple of times a week ensures enough omega-3 fatty acids. Eating berries and plums will also boost essential antioxidants.
Relax well, sleep for at least eight hours in the night. This will relax the body system and will give a comfortable feeling thus improving overall skin condition.
Put on a pair of sunglasses when exposed to direct sunlight. Be sure to get shades with %100 UVA/UVB protection. Sunglasses will stop you from squinting; too much squinting can lead to fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes in long term.
Don’ts - Regular skin care routine
Don’t take too many showers. Though you might think that it’s hydrating but taking multiple showers tropically throughout the day can have a drying effect on your epidermis by washing away the natural skin oiliness.
Don't skip your workouts. Get some aerobic exercise at least three times a week. It's good not only for your body, but also for your circulation (which is great for your skin).
Don’tuse any harsh chemical based soap which will mess with your skin. The chemicals might show some temporary desired effects but later on they turn out to be dangerous for skin.
Don’t smoke and drink alcohol excessively. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol as this can cause harm to your skin health by dehydrating your skin and also causing premature aging.
Cut down the consumption of carbonated soft drinks with preservatives and shift to water with salt & sugar and natural fruit juices.