Skin Diseases In Summer And Natural Home Remedies
Summer is here and so are seasonal skin problems. However, effective natural remedies are available to treat most of these conditions. Read on to know more about their prevention and treatment.
By Shirley Johanna
As the mercury begins rising, so also do the dust, dirt and grime. All these, combined with high humidity, increases the risk of common skin diseases and infections. So, even after taking the best care of yourself, you may fall prey to some skin condition. Some of the common skin problems can be quite irritating and painful. However, there are simple, effective home remedies and Ayurvedic medicines to treat them.
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Types of skin diseases
There are many types of skin diseases. While some of these are easy to prevent or treat, some are chronic and can last for a long time. Here is a list of skin diseases that occur mostly during summer, and simple tips and home remedies to treat them.
Acne: This is one of the most common skin problems during summer. It is the result of skin pores getting clogged with oil, dirt and dead cells. Acne appears mostly on the T-zone of the face (forehead, nose and chin) which is usually more oily, and thus prone to developing the condition.
Here are some home remedies to treat acne:
- Mix a teaspoon of lime juice with a few drops of honey. Apply this mixture on the areas affected by acne. After 5 to 10 minutes, wash the area with water and pat dry with a clean towel.
- Put a few drops of tea tree oil onto a cotton swab and dab the area affected by acne with this. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of tea tree oil help treat acne and even reduce acne scars.
Prickly heat: This condition, also known as heat rash, occurs when sweat glands on the skin are blocked. Prickly heat are tiny, red bumps that can appear anywhere on the body. Individuals who sweat more in warm, humid climate are more likely to develop prickly heat. Also, wearing clothes made of synthetic fabric that prevent sweat from evaporating, using oil-based cosmetics, and taking certain medication can cause heat rash.
Some home remedies to soothe the skin affected by prickly heat are:
- Applying mild calamine lotion on the rash to soothe the affected areas
- Taking cold showers to reduce body temperature and help clear the rash faster
- Applying aloe vera gel, solution of baking soda or paste made of fuller's earth until the rashes go away
Folliculitis: This is a bacterial or fungal infection in which hair follicles become inflamed. It has the characteristic appearance of a cluster of small red bumps or white-headed pimples around the hair follicles. This condition can occur anywhere on the skin but is more prevalent on the shoulders, neck, thighs, buttocks and underarms. Although folliculitis is considered a serious condition, nontreatment can lead to scarring or damage to the skin.
To treat and prevent folliculitis:
- Limit the use of greasy skincare products that can clog the pores and trap bacteria.
- Make a saltwater solution with one teaspoon of salt and two cups of water. Soak a piece of clean cloth in this solution and apply a warm compress to the affected area at least three to four times a day to get relief.
- Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in half a cup of water. Dip cotton balls in this mixture and apply to the affected areas twice a day.
Rosacea: This is an inflammatory skin condition which most often affects the face. It causes redness, swelling and dilation of the superficial blood vessels. Rosacea affects the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. Exposure to the sun can worsen the condition. The hot weather and humidity can trigger rosacea and lead to a flare-up.
Here are two simple home remedies to reduce symptoms of rosacea:
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel over the affected areas. Leave it for some time and wash it off with cold water.
- Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and apply it on the affected areas before bedtime. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of both lavender and coconut oil will help reduce redness and inflammation.
- Having green tea, which is rich in antioxidants, a few times a day or using cold green tea compresses also help alleviating the condition.
Athlete’s foot: Also known as tinea pedis, this is a fungal infection that commonly occurs between the toes. It is a contagious infection that is spread by contact with an infected person or with contaminated surfaces like floors, shoes and so on. Individuals who experience excessive sweating during summer are likely to get this fungal infection.
Some readily available home remedies are effective in treating athlete's foot. Here are a few:
- Crush three cloves of garlic and put them in a tub of lukewarm water. Soak feet in this water for 20 minutes and then pat dry. Repeat this procedure twice or thrice a week for better results. Garlic contains a compound called ajoene which helps treat fungal infections.
- Antifungal properties of neem oil can help fight athlete's foot. Apply a few drops of neem oil directly to the affected area twice a day.
- In a bucket of warm water, mix half a cup of baking soda. Soak feet in this water for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not rinse the feet after soaking but pat dry.
Eczema: This is a group of skin conditions that make the skin appear red, itchy, inflamed and rough. Eczema can be triggered when the skin is exposed to irritants and allergens like pollen and dust. High temperatures during summer can worsen eczema. Thus, it is important to shield yourself with a hat when going out and wear light clothing.
There is no definitive treatment for eczema; however, effective relief can be gained from certain home remedies. Here are a few:
- Those affected by eczema tend to have dry skin. So, apply coconut oil to moisturise the skin. Anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil help keep eczema under control.
- Dry skin is prone to cracking and flaking. Thus, it is important to keep yourself hydrated and use moisturisers that are free from artificial fragrances to soothe the skin.
- Apart from the above, reducing stress levels, massaging and applying acupressure also help provide relief from eczema.
Yeast infections: Yeast infections can occur at any time of the year. But the hot weather and humidity during summer make it easier for the yeast to grow as it is a fungus that thrives in warm and moist conditions. Here are a few ways to prevent summertime yeast infections:
- Maintain good personal hygiene to prevent fungus from invading your body. Wash your body regularly and dry yourself thoroughly. Wear clean, dry clothes.
- Avoid refined sugar as it increases the risk of yeast overgrowth.
- Boil neem leaves and bathe in this water.
- Apply a paste of garlic mixed in coconut or olive oil on the affected area.
Simple tips to keep your skin healthy during summer:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Tender coconut water and varieties of seasonal fresh juice also help keep the skin healthy.
- Wear light-coloured and loose-fitting clothes. Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat whenever you step outdoors.
- Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to protect your skin from sunburn.
- Stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day (mid-morning to mid-afternoon).
- Always take a shower after swimming, exercising and playing.
This summer take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe from skin problems and infections. And, if you have skin problems, don't let them dampen your fun! Use our home remedies or consult your dermatologist to get rid of them.
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