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Does heat still hurt your skin? -The truth is surprising

Mar 22,2022 | HISEEK PRETTY

We all love to lie around the pool on a warm summer's day or spend the whole afternoon enjoying a family barbecue in the park. But staying outside in the heat for long periods of time can have a negative effect on our skin! I'm not encouraging anyone to spend their summer in an air-conditioned room. But there are a few things you should be aware of before spending an afternoon outdoors.

Prickly heat

Here's a little lesson in basic biology: our skin plays an important role in regulating our body temperature. It cools itself by sweating. Sweat is produced in sweat glands located throughout the body in the dermis when the temperature control center in our brain tells the sweat glands that we need to cool down.

Sometimes those sweat glands get blocked and the sweat cannot reach the surface of the skin. Instead, they get trapped underneath the surface skin and the result is itchiness and irritation, and inflammation. It can also produce small, itchy bumps in the infected area. This is known as a heat rash or prickly heat. Sweat isn't the only thing that can block sweat glands. Sometimes, substances such as dirt and dust can also cause blockages. There are also instances where heavy creams and lotions can be the culprit. Also, if you wear clothes that cause friction or are made of non-breathable fabrics, they can further irritate your skin.

If you do find yourself suffering from heat rash (I had it earlier this summer! It happened on both my arms and was an itchy nightmare that lasted for 3 to 4 days.) An ice or cold compress on the affected area will help relieve the inflammation. If it persists, you can go to an urgent care clinic and get a prescription for a steroid cream that will help clear up the rash. Some people recommend using hydrocortisone or taking antihistamines, but in my experience, these don't do much for prickly heat. Prickly heat can cause tiny red bumps filled with pus on the skin. Scratching them can not only aggravate the irritation but can also cause infection if scratched. Also, if you suffer from eczema, remember that heat can further irritate the skin and worsen the symptoms.

Sunburn

By now, we all know that prolonged exposure to the sun without sunscreen can (and usually does) lead to sunburn. But too many people think that sunburn is just a mildly painful inconvenience that lasts for a few days and then turns a "nice wheat color". But this temporary pain can have long-term consequences. These include melanoma and premature aging (e.g. rough skin and wrinkles).

The visible damage in the case of sunburn is from UVB radiation (think UVA for 'aging' and UVB for 'burning'), which causes pain and erythema (redness), and they peak within 12-24 hours, although burns can continue to develop within 72 hours. The peak is within 12-24 hours, although burns may continue to develop for up to 72 hours. After a long day of exposure to the sun, you may notice redness and possibly even blisters on your skin. If it is particularly bad, you may experience a severe sunburn, resulting in fever, chills, nausea, rashes, and even the need for hospitalization. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are also possible consequences of a particularly severe sunburn.

If you do get a sunburn, there are measures you can take to help relieve it. Take aspirin as soon as you start to feel or notice a sunburn. According to Dr. James Spencer, a dermatologist in St. Petersburg, Florida, featured on the Allure website this month, "UV radiation causes inflammation, and aspirin is an anti-inflammatory that doesn't cause weakening of the skin." Less inflammation means less pain. Afterward, bathe in warm or cool water, as hot showers can cause further irritation to sunburn. After showering, make sure to apply aloe vera.

Write at the end
As much as we all love summer, the heat is not kind to your skin. It can lead to complications such as heat rash and sunburn which can cause permanent damage to the skin. Always be aware of how much time you spend outdoors in the sun and take precautions to protect yourself and your skin.

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