The sun is causing a lot of skin damage this year
For some this summer is a dream, for others the heat is a burden and for some it is even a health hazard. Whether you like the record heat or not, one thing everyone agrees: Our largest organ, the skin, gets a lot of sun this summer and is therefore exposed to increased dangers. A dermatology professor reports on the five most common skin problems this summer brings - and what you can do about it.
Norbert Sepp is a university professor and head of the Department of Dermatology at the Ordensklinikum Linz. "Sun is actually good for us humans because it helps to form the important vitamin D," explains the skin expert in a message from the religious clinic. You should live the heat as the southern countries do: According to Sepp, you should avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., because during this period there is most UV radiation and therefore the most common health damage from the sun.
These are the five most common skin problems caused by the sun
As the dermatologist reports, damage to the skin can occur in extreme sun exposure. Five complaints would emerge, which were particularly common this summer:
- Sun allergy,
- Mallorca acne,
- Brown spots,
- Heat rash.
What helps against sun allergy?
According to the university professor, sun allergy is the most common lighting disorder (light dermatosis). "Sun allergy usually occurs in adolescence, when the sun hits pale skin," says Sepp. Women are affected three to four times more often than men. An itchy rash, which often spreads to the décolleté, hands and feet, is often a symptom. There may also be vesicles or wheals that remind of insect bites. Once broken out, the allergy lasts a lifetime, reports the skin expert. Prophylactically, UV light therapy can help with sun allergy, in which the skin is treated with artificial UV radiation before the summer season. Cortisone cream would help against the outbreaks.
What can you do about Mallorca acne?
This form of light dermatosis is triggered, among other things, by fatty sunscreens combined with UV rays, explains the expert. Pore inflammation is the result. Signs of Mallorca acne are red spots and itchy pustules on the skin. The Techniker Krankenkasse reports on its website that cooling helps against itching. Affected skin areas should, for example, be cooled with a cool pack or a suitable gel. Under no circumstances should fatty creams or lotions be used. The constant itching should also not be treated with scratching, as this could intensify the symptoms. Until the pustules have healed, it is better to avoid direct sunlight. Mallorca acne often disappears after a few days. In severe cases, the doctor should be consulted, who can help, for example, with creams containing cortisone or with antihistamines.
How can you treat brown spots?
"In younger women, hormones often cause a brown color on the forehead, cheeks or around the mouth, the so-called melasma," continues Sepp. The brown spots would result from taking the birth control pill or during pregnancy and would fade over time. The dermatologist gives another tip for fresh scars. Since the dark pigmentation can also appear on fresh scar tissue, it is better to protect it from direct sunlight.
Quick help for sunburn
Sunburn is one of the best-known sun damage to the skin. "Almost all people underestimate the power of the sun, against which even the highest sun protection factor does not work 100 percent," said the expert. The reflective surfaces in particular are often underestimated. For example, if you float on an air mattress over a lake, the strength of the sun is as strong as in African Kenya. In addition to common home remedies for sunburn, these immediate measures can help with sunburn:
- Find a shady spot immediately.
- Cool the head and the affected area with a damp cloth.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Apply after-sun, panthenol or aloe vera spray to the affected areas (quark wrap is also an alternative).
- Treat the affected area with coconut oil before bed.
Heat pimples often appear on the back if the skin there is damp for a long period of time and clogs the pores. As a result, the hair follicles can become inflamed. "This happens when you wear tight clothes or a backpack, for example," says Sepp. Here the dermatologist gives the all-clear. In most cases, the pimples would go away as soon as you stopped sweating. (vb)