4 Summer Skin Problems (And How to Avoid Them)

Hot, humid days can create skin woes. Here’s how to overcome a few common summer skin concerns. 

The problem: Blisters

You might love those new sandals but after walking around in them all day in the heat, a new set of blisters means you can barely limp back home. And it’s not just new footwear that might be to blame: Blisters tend to occur more often under warm, moist conditions, so they frequently pop up in the summer.

Solution: Most blisters tend to heal on their own over time, so resist the urge to pop them (that bubble that forms is actually a protective layer that helps keep infections at bay) and put on a blister-bandage to help reduce friction. To prevent blisters from forming in the first place, make sure your shoes are comfortable and don’t rub, and wear socks made from a wicking fabric that will help reduce blisters while running or doing other sports. Applying some tape or padding to trouble spots like the inside of your heels can also help reduce blisters.  

The problem: Chafing

Too much walking around in the heat can lead to some uncomfortable friction, especially when your inner thighs rub together or your clothes rub you the wrong way. This irritation can leave you with a painful rash that seems especially common in hot, sticky weather.

Solution:  Try using some baby powder or Vaseline on areas that seem to rub the most, whether that’s below your sports bra or on your thighs. The right wardrobe choices can also make a difference. “Look for activewear that helps to wick sweat away from your skin, so you stay more dry and less sticky,” notes William Wooden, M.D., a plastic surgeon with Indiana University Health.

The problem: Heat rash

Hot, humid days mean perspiration can become trapped under blocked pores, creating red splotches or a prickly, itchy rash. Heat rash is common among babies, who have a harder time cooling themselves off, but adults can also develop this rash, especially in skin folds or areas of clothing that rub your skin. 

Solution: Drink up. “The more hydrated you are, the healthier your skin will look and feels,” says Dr. Wooden. Keep a cool water bottle with you and sip throughout the day. Calamine lotion or cool compresses can also help soothe skin.  

The problem: Sunburn

Going out in the sun can expose you to dangerous UV rays that can damage your skin’s DNA and cause the skin to become red or blistered.

Solution: Make sure you’re always wearing adequate sunscreen before you leave the house, says Dr. Wooden, and reapply every couple of hours. “We need to get to the point where we think about applying sunscreen like putting on a helmet for a bicycle ride or a seatbelt when in the car,” he notes. “The more exposure you have, the higher your risk for skin cancer.”

— By Alyssa Shaffer