It’s summer and once with it the long-awaited holiday. Even if the sun tans us, entertain us and increases our immunity and bone calcium reserves, however there are situations where excessive and unprotected exposure may affect the beauty and integrity of the skin. Also in the summer, sea or hiking time, we are more likely exposed to the occurrence of cutaneous accidents, bacterial fungal and parasitic contamination, allergic and irritant dermatitis, etc.. To prevent problems most frequently encountered and to keep our skin beautiful and healthy, we have to consider the dermatologist’s advice on holidays and beyond.
– Sun exposure should be progressive and outside office hours 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.;
– The use of broad spectrum photoprotection creams (UVA and UVB) and corresponding SPF to skin type is mandatory for sun exposure. Application should be done 30 minutes before going out in the sun and reapplication at every 2 hours if going to the sea or pool and after swimming. Creams should be used on the skin in sufficient quantities (equivalent to 2-6 teaspoons for the whole body, every application). Skin should be clean and dry well before applying the cream. Any other previously product applied can diminish its effect. You should know, however, that no sunscreen protects you totally or combat skin cancer.
– Your lips need also hydration and photoprotection using special balms with SPF built in;
– Stay in shade, under umbrella and use other protective measures because the umbrella does not provide complete protection during peak hours. Use sunscreen even on cloudy days. Solar erythema can be calmed by local application of cold compresses, hydrating and moisturizing lotions, antiallergic gels, corticosteroids. Try to prevent sunburns by following previous recommendations, but if these still appear, ask your dermatologist for proper solving.
– Choose loose clothing: pants, long-sleeved shirts made of natural materials (cotton or linen), wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
– The risk of skin cancer is greatest with sun exposure during childhood, so children and young people should use sunscreen with high SPF (50 +), together with other protective measures. The same category includes people with dysplastic nevi syndrome (many moles).
– For a beautiful and healthy skin, avoid excessive consumption of concentrated sweets, fats, salt, alcohol and tobacco in the summer (and not only).
– We recommend consumption of enough fluids, foods rich in beta carotene and antioxidants: vitamin C, E, selenium, zinc (vegetables and fruits yellow, red, green, nuts, fish, skimmed milk, green tea).
– Daily face care rituals would be done with quality products, preferably dermatocosmetics (from pharmacies), adapted to each skin type and skin diseases (if they are present). The most important are: cleanser gel, foam or cream, morning and night cream / emulsion moisturizing day cream wrinkle /nourishing for the night. Use a weekly moisturizing mask and light exfoliation products for face and body. Emollient body creams / lotions will be applied after sun exposure, and, if necessary, to prevent skin dryness. To avoid dehydration and to relieve sensitive skin irritations, use frequently thermal water sprays before and after exposure to the sun. After dermatological procedures there are complex medical treatments for skin hydration and regeneration, based on amino acids and hyaluronic acid, that you can benefit of, especially in the summer.
– To maintain the good looks and firmness of the skin, for cellulite and stretch marks control, combine proper diet with exercise and body reshaping procedures: electro, vacuum, ultrasound, massage, lymphatic drainage etc.
– For very light-colored skin type (phototype I, II), sensitive, acne, rosacea, pigmentation problems, one should avoid sun exposure and use products specially designed for each condition separately, with cream / emulsion sunscreen with SPF 50 +, associated with UVA protection.
– Deodorants, cosmetics and perfumes can cause allergic reactions in the sun, so applying these products should be avoided;
– If you follow a treatment it is recommended to consult your doctor before you expose to the sun, because some drugs increase sensitivity to light (retinoids, tetracyclines, amiodarone, and others).
– During the summer months avoid invasive skin treatments in exposed areas: laser hair removal, chemical peels, microdermabrasion (these increase the risk of local hyperpigmentation). Do not expose to sunlight recent scars or broken skin!
– Treat excessive sweating using creams / sweatcontrol sprays, antiperspirants and even by injecting botulinum toxin to palmoplantar and axillary areas. Do not use these products on irritated/ inflamed skin or current infection!
– Rigorous skin hygiene with soap and water is necessary during hot weather to prevent occurrence of skin infections, more widespread during this season: folliculitis, impetigo, ectyma, furunculosis, etc. Avoid bathing in lakes and backwaters.
-Use adequate lotions/sprays to prevent insect bites and ask your dermatologist for treatment in case these do occur.
– Disinfect the skin well with alcohol before and after shaving or waxing procedures, then apply emollient lotion / creams to combat skin dryness and local irritation.
– Prevention of fungal contamination of the skin and nails is made by avoidance of personal items sharing (shoes, towel, bathrobe, underwear, etc.) and by not attending overcrowded beaches.
– Use proper shoes at the beach or pool, in order to avoid planting micro trauma, skin dryness, and fungal and bacterial contamination.
– People with hypo/hyperpigmentation spots on the chest or extremities (pityriasis versicolor), will use antifungal shampoos or creams before exposure to the sun for a tan. Combat seborrhoeic dermatitis of the scalp (dandruff), using medical antifungal shampoos.
– Certain skin disorders such as psoriasis, neurodermatitis, pityriasis rosea, acne etc. can benefit from sun exposure. Others, on the contrary, can be triggered or worsened during the summer: cutaneous lupus, polymorphous light eruption, porphyria. Excessive exposure to sunlight or tanning may induce and / or exacerbate skin dehydration, skin aging, rosacea, appearance of benign and / or malignant lesions (freckles, lentigines, actinic keratoses, nevi, carcinoma, malignant melanoma).
– Skin contact with the leaves of certain plants such as celery, dill, parsnips, etc, while sun exposure can cause skin irritation or dermatitis.
Dr. Mirela Telipan –Dermato-venerology specialist