The recent change from winter to spring might be fabulous for your mood, but it can also come with a slew of new skin care concerns. Here are five problems spring drags in for your skin.
1.) Acne Breakouts
Although pimples can pop up any time of the year, many of us seem to experience more acne breakouts as the seasons change. Additionally, rising temperatures and more time spent outside being active can lead to more sweating, which means breakouts can appear on places other than the face. Many people find that back acne (sometimes called “bacne”) becomes more common in the spring and summer.
Regardless of if you’re breaking out on your face, your back or anywhere else, the treatment is the same. If your skin is pimple prone this spring, make sure you’re using a cleanser containing an acne-fighting ingredient like salicylic or glycolic acid. SkinMedica's Purifying Foaming Face Wash is a highly recommended cleanser for acnaic patients. While you’re at it, prevent breakouts while making sure the products you use on your skin from cosmetics to sunscreen are oil-free.
Dr. Doppelt can use a variety of medical treatments to help you break the breakout cycle, from oral medications to customized, medical-grade skin care products.
2.) Contact Dermatitis
As we transition to spring and start spending more time outdoors, the risk of contact dermatitis rises. Anyone who’s had a run-in with poison ivy or another irritant likely knows the uncomfortable, itchy feeling caused by this skin condition. Contact dermatitis often appears when your skin is directly exposed to an irritating substance or allergen. Causes can include poison ivy or poison oak, along with cosmetics, soaps and even jewelry. Contact dermatitis often appears within minutes or hours of exposure and can last between two and four weeks.
In many cases, you can treat contact dermatitis at home. After you’ve identified what caused the rash, avoiding the irritant is the first step towards healing. You can also apply a non-prescription anti-itch cream containing one-percent hydrocortisone to relieve symptoms. Over the counter antihistamines like Benadryl can help in more severe cases.
Your dermatologist can also help you treat contact dermatitis. Considering calling Debbie, our Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner, if your rash is so uncomfortable it interferes with your daily routine, if it doesn’t show improvement after a week or two of home treatment, or if you are embarrassed about how your skin looks. Seek emergency attention if your skin shows signs of infection.
3.) Insect Bites
We aren’t the only ones excited about spring and summer—insects are buzzing with enthusiasm about the shift in seasons, too. Many of us are allergic to the bites of mosquitos, flies and other critters and insects. If you spend a lot of time on the trail, on the water or even in your backyard, chances are that you are familiar with the tell-tale welts these pests can leave on our skin. Though itchy, for the most part, insect bites are harmless. Other bites and stings, like those from hornets, wasps, bees and some kinds of ants can cause penetrating pain and allergic reactions.
You can treat minor insect bites and stings at home. Applying hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion can help relieve itching. And try to avoid scratching the bite. Broken skin or germs hiding under your fingernail can lead to an infection.
If you suspect an insect bite has become infected or if symptoms are severe, do not hesitate to seek medical treatment.
4.) Grass and Pollen Allergies
For many people, exposure to grass and pollen can cause rashes and discomfort. In the spring and summer, contact with grass and other pollen can lead to allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and even asthma. Direct contact with grass (from mowing or sitting in grass) can cause hives (also called urticarial) and atopic dermatitis.
Like contact dermatitis, rashes caused by exposure to grass and pollen can usually be treated at home. Consider applying a non-prescription anti-itch cream containing one-percent hydrocortisone to the affected area to relieve itching as needed. Over the counter antihistamines like Benadryl can help treat current breakouts, and adding a daily allergy medicine like Claritin or Zyrtec to your regular routine can help prevent future problems.
5.) Seasonal Eczema
Though the exact cause of eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) might be unknown in many cases, some patients have found flare-ups are linked to changing seasons and exposure to a variety of conditions. Spring can increase your risk of exposure to eczema irritants including:
If you find your eczema gets worse as the seasons change, consider making an appointment with a Debbie, so you can address a treatment plan. Dr. Doppelt can treat your eczema with topical creams, oral medications or even phototherapy.
Make the most of the season by taking care of your skin. Spring into action by scheduling a consultation with Southeastern Dermatology to help treat your seasonal skin concerns. For more tips, check out these common summer skin concerns.