itching skin rash on arm
May 17, 2023

Spending a lot of time outdoors during the warmer months can cause some annoying skin problems, from itchy sunburnt skin to common plant and water-based rashes. We’re here to help with some prevention tips for common skin rashes so you can be well-prepared to enjoy the great outdoors!

1. Heat Rash

red rash on arm

Heat rash is one of the most common summer skin problems, caused when sweat glands become blocked. While this rash is not dangerous and will disappear with time, its red and itchy splotches can be painful and bothersome. Take these steps to prevent heat rash in the summer:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing: sweat glands are prone to get blocked when wearing tight clothes that restrict air circulation.
  • Shower immediately after being outside: if you are wearing restrictive clothing such as workout leggings and shirts, be sure to shower and change into dry clothing as soon as possible.
  • Gentle exfoliation and moisturizer: use a gentle exfoliator to ensure debris doesn’t get stuck in your pores and use a mild moisturizer to soothe dry, irritated skin.
  • Keep cool: it’s always a good idea to take regular breaks in the air-conditioning or even being near a fan or shade is helpful!

2. Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

These poisonous plants cause blisters and painful rashes and can be difficult to get rid of. Most of the time, this type of rash will clear up on its own; however, sometimes a topical and/or oral steroid is necessary. The most important way to prevent coming into contact with these plant oils is to simply learn what the plants look like and stay away! Also, because the oils can transfer onto clothing, garden tools, and shoes, it’s important to periodically wash your hands when working outside and avoid touching your face.

3. Sunburn

woman at beach with sunburn on shoulder

Not only is sunburn a frustrating experience, but it also increases the risk for more serious skin issues such as skin cancer. Before going outside for any length of time, always do the following:

  • Apply broad-spectrum water-proof sunscreen, at least 30 SPF, and reapply consistently.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeve tops whenever possible
  • Look for shaded areas in order to limit prolonged, direct sun exposure.

4. Sun Allergy

A sun allergy rash can result in hives spreading across the exposed skin. Usually, this type of allergic reaction occurs in those with a sun allergy which probably runs in the family, or because it’s a side effect of certain medications. Take a close look at your medication labels and be cautious about how long you are in the sun. Much like sunburn, prevention tips include ample sunscreen application, protective clothing, and shade.

5. Swimmer’s Itch

girl itching arm in water

Kids are especially susceptible to swimmer’s itch, a common rash caused by tiny parasites found in shallow water, ponds, lakes, and even oceans. Look for signs that prohibit water access due to infested water. To prevent these angry welts and blisters from appearing, briskly rub the skin with a towel after being in the water. That way the parasites won’t have a chance to burrow under the skin.

We hope these prevention tips for common skin rashes help you get the most out of being outside! At our local and independent pharmacy, you can count on us for helpful information, friendly service, and professional care. Please feel free to contact us for more information about our services!

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