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Skin Health: How To Help Your Skin in Sunny Summer Months

Your skin is the biggest organ in your body! Take good care of your skin this summer, as the sun will be out and the world is slowly opening back up. You can make many small changes to make this summer that can have a significant impact on your skin. 

What Am I Protecting My Skin From? 

Ultraviolet (UV) rays trapped beneath Earth’s ozone layer are often responsible for skin cancer in humans. UV rays occur naturally, but due to climate change, more are entering our atmosphere. As humans are further exposed to UV rays, we develop adverse effects from the sun, such as sunburn and skin cancer.

There are two different types of UV rays, UVA and UVB. UVB rays penetrate the top layer of skin, while UVA rays penetrate even deeper through two layers of skin, potentially causing even more harm.

Skin and Body Health in the Sun 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests several ways to keep yourself healthy and protected from harmful UV rays:

  • Wear protective clothing and sunglasses. Wear a hat, light shirt, and other proper clothing to cover your skin while you enjoy the outdoors. Make sure your sunglasses have 100% UV protection, allowing you to see and block UVA and UVB rays. 
  • Apply sunscreen regularly. NIH recommends using sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher for the most effective protection. Also, make sure that your sunscreen blocks UVA and UVB rays. Many sunscreens only block UVB rays, so try to find one that blocks both.
  • Avoid hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is the overheating of a person’s body, which is most dangerous and prevalent in older adults. Small children may succumb to hyperthermia as well. Signs of hyperthermia include headache, nausea, muscle spasms, dizziness, and fatigue. If you suspect that someone is suffering from hyperthermia, get them to a cool and shaded area immediately. You can avoid hyperthermia by doing outdoor activities in the early morning or evening rather than peak sun hours. 
  • Exercise in air-conditioned areas or pools, or at least avoid late morning and afternoon hours to avoid sweating away your sunscreen and getting burned or suffering from hyperthermia. 
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin moist and body temperature cool, which can help prevent sunburn and hyperthermia. 
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are great for your skin. They also tend to be plentiful in the summertime, so check your local grocery store or farmers market today. 

Skin Health for Blemishes and Breakouts 

The NIH estimates that about four of every five people will experience acne outbreaks between the ages of 11 and 30. Acne is the buildup of excess oil, dead skin, and dirt in your skin’s pores. This buildup will remain there, grow, inflame, and even turn red or painful as your body’s immune system attacks it. When you spend time in the sun, sweat, makeup, oil, and other buildups can clog your pores and cause even more acne.

Many people believe the misconception that tanning your skin is good for eliminating breakouts. All tanning does is darken the skin, allowing for blemishes and inflammations to blend in better. The sun does not magically cure acne in any capacity — in fact, it can make acne worse. It’s common for many people to develop acne and blemishes in the summer months. If your skin does break out, it’s important not to try burning the acne away in the sun. This damages your skin and can lead to worse health problems in the future. 

Identifying Rashes and Skin Conditions

If you develop any type of rash, talk to your doctor. Your rash could be the result of an allergy or a skin condition, such as eczema. According to the NIH, eczema is a red, itchy rash affecting about 30% of the population at some point in their life. Thankfully, eczema is treatable and often goes away with proper care. 

Sunburn is treatable as well and can be avoided by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing. Sunburn is a red, painful rash that often swells slightly and varies in its degree of severity and pain. Many people’s skin can peel from severe sunburns. The worst of sunburns can result in sun poisoning, so consult a doctor immediately if your sunburn is overwhelmingly painful. With some extra effort and caution, you can love the skin you’re in and help keep it healthy.

The summer months are almost here, which is exciting news for those who have been cooped up during the pandemic. As you spend some well-deserved time outdoors, be sure to take proper safety precautions for your skin by wearing sunscreen and other forms of sun protection. If you’re worried about everything opening up this summer, that’s okay. We are all readjusting to the world around us. If you’re concerned about continuing or reoccurring alcohol or substance abuse this summer, turn to RECO Intensive for help. At RECO Intensive, we understand that summer months are often synonymous with party time, which can be scary to people in RECOvery. We want to help guide you through a safe and happy summer, keeping your sobriety intact. Our specialized staff and experienced alumni will help you stick to your goals in RECOvery and enjoy your summer. Call RECO Intensive today at (561) 464-6533 for more information. Let’s get back to a brighter future. 

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