With summer in full swing there are common issues that occur with acne prone skin that I have seen in my skin care business. There are ways to prevent summer break outs with some preventative measures. Always have a carefully planned skin care routine that you follow to the “T” without skipping AM or PM routines. Even one skip with your acne medication can mean pimples a few months down the road for you.
Complaint number one: Side of the Neck Acne
Even if you don’t typically have neck acne, summer and intense sweating, can cause a problem. I see a correlation with this type of acne and individuals who sweat a lot during their workouts, or work hard and sweat in warm environments. If you shower, but do not wash your hair you are more likely to break out. I have seen this in addition to black heads in the ears, pimples on the ear lobe or below, especially in hair that is washed infrequently with an oily skin type. Even if you are wearing noncomedogenic hair products, they still seem to get lesions there. I don’t know if its just the compression from sleeping, post work out hair, or reapplying products into the hair the next day that causes this problem with sweaty summer weather. I understand we don’t always want to cleanse the hair daily with shampoo for fear of drying it out, but in the summer you may have to make an exception.
Solution: Either wash your hair daily or rinse the hair daily in the shower. Cleanse the area that is acne prone and follow up with your acne regimen in that area.
Complaint number two: Chest Acne
Chest acne seems to sprout out in summer and some contributors to this problem can be wearing synthetic clothing, sweating and not showering quickly afterwards. Also, body moisturizers and perfumed lotions that have comedogenic ingredients can exacerbate acne skin conditions. In addition, Fungal Fulliculitis can also be combined with the acne on the body, since this condition loves warm, moist environments. Also, friction from work out clothes like bra straps, back packs, and tight fitting clothing can make a big difference too on how clear your skin stays this summer.
Solution: Typically fungal fulliculitis lesions respond well to the same products that treats acne: mandelic acid, acne medications, etc. (For more information on fungal fulliculitis check out my website: www.skinandacnespecialsit.com) Treat the chest acne with treatment products: Acne Cleanser, Toner, Mandelic Acid serum and Acne medication. Wear loose, cotton clothing that fits generously and change clothes if you cannot shower immediately after your workout or sweating.
Complaint number three: Swim Acne
Swimming in chlorinated pools are fun in the summer, but if you have acne those same pool chemicals that clean your pool can pose a problem for your type of skin.
Solution: I tell my clients to apply sunscreen then a barrier product to the skin before swimming in those acne prone areas. Vaseline works well to protect the skin from pool chemicals and to reduce irritation from them. Don’t forget to re-apply your noncomedogenic sunscreen often to prevent burns since your acne products can also make you sun sensitive.
Also note, that with the action of sweating your body releases excess iodine through the sweat gland. When this happens it can irritate the sensitive acne prone follicles (pores) thus causing a pimple to form. What you can do is reduce iodine rich foods like dairy, processed foods (high in salt) and soy from your diet to name a few.
Rachel G., Skin and Acne Specialist LLC