Summer is here, and that means we must take care of our skin. Sunburns are one of the biggest skin issues in Arizona, but what are some other common ones? A majority of the population suffers from eczema, psoriasis, and rashes. The summer months are all about fun in the sun, but the warmer weather also brings a variety of different rashes or skin concerns. Dr. Andrew Newman along with Susan Casper of Sonoran Living discuss solutions to the summer’s biggest skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, swimmer’s itch, and even margarita rash.

What is Eczema?

Eczema affects about 10% to 20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S. Most infants who develop the condition outgrow it by their tenth birthday, while some people continue to have symptoms on and off throughout life. With proper treatment, the disease often can be controlled.

Eczema usually begins during childhood and is known to be a hereditary condition. It generally appears as a rash on the arms and behind the knees but can appear anywhere on the body, including the face. Eczema is a term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated.

The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis atopic eczema. Atopic refers to a group of diseases with an often inherited tendency to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder characterized by raised lesions with silvery scale that most often occur on the scalp, elbows, knees and lower back. It can range from a very mild, hardly noticeable rash to a severe eruption that covers large areas of the body. In some patients, psoriasis causes nail changes and joint pain (psoriatic arthritis).

Psoriasis affects 2% of people and is not contagious, but may be inherited. The first episode usually strikes between the ages of 15 and 35. It is a chronic condition that will then cycle through flare-ups and remissions throughout the rest of the patient’s life.

What are the common rashes in the summer?

Swimmers itch , heat rash, and margarita rash are a few of the skin concerns that are more common in the summer. Swimmer’s Itch is an itchy rash that appears after you go swimming or wading in lakes, ponds, and oceans. It’s caused by an allergic reaction to parasites that burrow into your skin. While swimmer’s itch is uncomfortable, it usually clears up on its own. You can prevent it by:

  • Avoiding infested water. Look for warning signs that may be posted in the area and pay attention to what other swimmers have been hearing and experiencing.
  • Rinse immediately after swimming with clean water. Then, briskly dry your skin. The parasites start to burrow when you’re no longer in the water and the water on your skin starts evaporating
  • Apply waterproof sunscreen to protect skin from parasites
    Clogged sweat glands can lead to build up under your skin and cause tiny, itchy bumps or blisters. Heat rash usually goes away after a few days, but if you sweat less, you can reduce your chances of getting it.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting cotton clothing.
  • If you work outdoors, aim for the coolest parts of the day.

The so-called margarita rash is a skin condition that can occur when a chemical compound found in limes interacts with sunlight. The rash could cause scarring, but that’s rare. The rash that develops is quite itchy at first and then it might get irritated and painful, potentially turn a dark red on your skin. Avoid this rash by carefully mixing drinks outside, and avoid handling citrus fruits before heading to the pool.

Miliaria Rubra (aka heat rash)

Don’t forget that your skin is your body’s biggest organ, so we must take care of it. Stay hydrated, and don’t forget that SPF!

We’re offering 15% off several of our products in our dispensaries to keep your skin feeling and looking as healthy as it can be! If you have any skin concerns or questions, call Affiliated Dermatology at (602) 775-5025 to book an appointment or request an appointment online.