Spring is almost here, bringing with it significant increases in temperature, humidity and sun exposure. Seasonal change can also bring about changes to your skin’s overall health and appearance. Environmental changes significantly impact those of us who have common skin issues including psoriasis, eczema or acne.
Here’s how it may affect you or someone you know with these 3 common skin issues, as well as simple ways to reduce symptoms.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes skin redness and irritation. Most people with psoriasis have thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white patches called scales.
Many patients will notice improvement in their skin during the Spring and Summer time months because of increased UVL and sun exposure. But its important to make sure you use a broad-spectrum SPF sun protection so you do not burn your skin.
The goal of treatment is to control your symptoms and prevent infections. Dr. Cohn recommends, three treatment options are used for patients with psoriasis:
- Topical medications such as lotions, ointments, creams, and shampoos
- Body-wide (systemic) medications, which are pills or injections that affect the whole body, not just the skin
- Phototherapy, which uses targeted light to treat psoriasis
There are a variety of options for treating eczema or atopic dermatitis.
The heat and humidity that come with Spring and Summer weather often are beneficial to patients with eczema. Although activities like swimming and spending more time in chlorinated pools and salt water oceans can dry skin out too much. So, moisturizing becomes more important for eczema patients.
Dr. Cohn recommends an eczema treatment plan based on several variables, including:
- the type or cause of your eczema
- the location of the rash (face vs. knee)
- the severity of eczema and its impact on your life
- the duration of symptoms (acute vs. chronic). Long-lasting symptoms usually require more potent eczema medications.
- Results from previous treatments
- Your personal preferences
Acne is a very common skin problem that shows up as outbreaks of bumps called pimples or zits. These usually appear on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne can be a source of emotional distress, and severe cases can lead to permanent acne scars.
For many people acne can greatly worsen with warmer weather. Heat can lead to increased sweating, increased occlusion of pores, bacterial overgrowth and ultimately acne flare ups.
For ongoing acne skin care and prevention of acne in the Spring and Summer, Dr. Cohn recommends:
- Clean skin gently—Use a mild skin cleanser twice a day, and pat skin dry. Harsh cleansers and astringents can actually worsen acne.
- Do not pop, squeeze, or pick at acne lesions, as this can promote inflammation and infection. Keep hands away from your face and other acne-prone parts of the skin.
- Limit sun exposure—Tanning only masks acne at best. At worst, sun exposure can lead to skin damage, especially if you are using an acne treatment that makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight and UV rays (this includes tanning booths).
- Choose cosmetics with care—Choose non-greasy skin products, and look for words like “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free,” and “water-based.” Some facial products contain active acne-fighting ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, to help keep mild acne at bay.
- Be patient with your treatment—Find out how much time it should take for your acne treatment to work (generally 6-8 weeks) and then stick with it. Stopping treatment early may prevent you from seeing good results or even cause a relapse of symptoms. Realize your skin may look worse before it begins to improve and you may need to try more than one type of treatment.
Taking the proper steps to manage your symptoms can allow you to still get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. If you think you may be experiencing one of these warmer weather skin issues, contact Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center by calling 330-425-7600 to set up an appointment in Twinsburg with Dr. Monique S. Cohn.