The dog days of summer are here. Your outdoor plans are many, and you’ve decided that this will be a summer to remember. But summer might be taking a toll on your skin. Excessive sunlight, insect bites, and some plants can all impact your skin’s health this season. That said, here are the four things messing with your skin and health this summer and what you can do to fight back.

1. Humidity

Mayo Clinic advises setting indoor humidity at between 30% and 50%. Setting humidity at levels that are outside these percentages will result in dry skin. A good first remedy is always applying a generous amount of sunscreen before heading outdoors. Ensure your sunscreen is water resistant and is SPF 30+. After swimming, shower immediately, using a mild cleansing soap made specifically for swimmers. For your daily shower, warm water is better than hot water, and always apply a moisturizer after bathing. Carry a moisturizer in your bag and apply it to your hands whenever you wash them.

2. Poison Ivy

Is there a hike planned? Hikes are fun! There will be lots of walking, picking wildflowers and smelling them, breathing in fresh air, and enjoying the freedom of the outdoors. Unfortunately, you will get skin irritations upon contact with plants such as poison ivy. Your skin becomes red and swollen, with blisters and severe itching as soon as it comes in contact with this plant.

The irritation may take up to two weeks to heal, but the good news is that you can seek a doctor’s services through telehealth consultations. Three skin conditions whose treatment can be sought through telehealth include rashes, eczema, and acne, according to Healthgrades.

If this irritating plant has touched you, find out from your dermatologist the best anti-itch creams to use. You can also take a painkiller to relieve the pain and an antihistamine to help you sleep better.

You can soak the affected area in a basin of cold water mixed with baking soda to relieve the itch. Using a cool, wet compress for up to half an hour several times daily is another useful solution for your skin.

3. Air Conditioning

It’s hot outdoors, and in your scramble for the cool indoors, you’re likely to set the room air conditioning as low as possible. Remember that air conditioners remove moisture from the air, impacting your skin, especially during summer. This is because your body will respond to the lower surrounding temperature and reduce sweat production. Oil production also goes down, leading to dehydrated skin.

With 75% of homes in the U.S. using air conditioning, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can bet many Americans have dry skin right now. Fortunately, there’s help, at least for your skin. Apply moisturizer regularly to keep it hydrated. Have you checked the AC filters lately? Ensure they’re changed at least after every month and a half. Next, hydrate by drinking lots of water and juices regularly to maintain skin health. The eight glasses of water daily may feel overkill, but it will help you.

4. Sweating

Summer is a sweaty season and for obvious reasons. Temperatures are high, and the weather is humid in some areas. While sweating is good for your skin, helping to keep bacteria and other harmful toxins away, it can increase your risk of breakouts. Luckily, specialized facials can help with that. In 2021, the facial treatment segment commanded 54.6% of the skin care products market. Consider using gentle cleanser products and hydrating facials while keeping exfoliation to a minimum. A professional dermatologist or other skin care treatment center can also provide you with the right facial options to use.

Summer can take a toll on your skin when you least expect it. Remember to hydrate regularly, wear sunscreen, and take care of your skin this summer to fight back against breakouts, rashes, and more.