Summer Heat Rashes: Prevention and Treatment

As summer finally arrives, many people will find the hot and humid summer weather challenging for their skin. Many skin conditions become more problematic as summer approaches. These may include rashes that are autoimmune, allergic, infectious, or irritant in nature.

Many individuals have a tendency toward atopic dermatitis (AD) or eczema that worsens in the summer months. AD is a genetically based skin rash that generally worsens in the colder months but also commonly flares in the skin fold areas of the arms, legs, neck, and chest in the summer months. It usually appears as itchy, red, inflamed patches in skin fold areas.

Additionally, with more time spent outdoors, many people develop allergic type skin conditions such as hives (urticaria) or welts. These itchy raised bumps may result from airborne or direct exposure to allergens, or from insect bites. Also, more severe rashes like those caused by plants such as poison ivy can cause much distress for exposed individuals. Such rashes may even include blistering and crusting of the skin and may take weeks to resolve.

Finally, heat and friction can contribute to the overgrowth of yeasts, fungi, and bacteria on the skin, often causing rashes in skin fold areas. Such rashes usually change the color of the skin and may itch or burn.

Prevention of summer rashes includes avoidance of excessive heat and perspiration, washing with a gentle cleanser after heat exposure such as Avéne XeraCalm A.D. Lipid Replenishing Oil, and in some cases taking oral antihistamines to reduce the reactivity of the skin. Application of bug repellant and identification and avoidance of toxic plants is also key.

Should you develop a summertime rash or skin condition, please contact Advanced Dermatology for an appointment with one of our providers. Treatment may include topical application of corticosteroids or anti-microbials, or may involve the administration of oral medications based on the situation.