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Summer Skin – Protect Your Skin From Sun, Plants and Insects

Sunburn is an inflammation caused by overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which destroy the skin’s outer layer and may even damage blood vessels underneath.

Just one episode of blistering sunburn in childhood could raise your skin’s cancer risk. Repeated sun exposure can lead to permanent dryness, wrinkles and age spots.

It’s not only bright sunny days that pose the greatest risk–You have to be careful on cloudy, hazy or cool days because the sun’s rays can penetrate some clouds and haze, and are unaffected by temperature. And sun reflecting off sand and snow can be even stronger.

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Post-Sun Care  If you get sunburn, you need to put moisture back into your skin. Drink fluids to avoid dehydration and apply cold compresses or ice packs to affected areas. Choose a moisturizing lotion with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid), and vitamin E, panthenol or aloe vera, which will soothe and heal the skin. Stay away from products with alcohol, which can sting burned skin and further dehydrate it.

If you get a sunburn, immediately take an anti-inflammatory such as Advil or Motrin to ease pain and minimize swelling.

Don’t go out in the sun if using certain drugs. People with fair skin have a higher risk of sunburn because fair skin produces smaller amounts of melanin, a protective pigment. Be careful if you are using certain antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline, anti-seizure drugs such as Dilantin or the acne cream Retin-A. All of these drugs can increase the skin’s sensitivity.

Skin Saver Tip: Protect Skin After You Shower

Apply sunblock before getting dressed. The recommended amount is an ounce (about a shot glassful) on your body, and a teaspoon on your face, neck and ears.

Apply a hydrating sunscreen lotion after showering when your skin is still damp which will trap in extra moisture.


Get Heat-related Redness of the Skin Out 

Need relief for heat-related flushing, common in rosacea patients? Carry a frozen water bottle. You can get rid of redness (a flush) by holding the icy bottle next to the jugular vein on your neck, near the pulse point. Opt for a light liquid sunscreen as opposed to a thick, heat-trapping sunscreen.

What to do for insect bites and plant reactions

Poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac leaves or vines can burn and blister skin. A bite by a tick-carrying Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause flu-like symptoms and in rare cases (when extremely high fever occurs)  even cause death.

To help prevent these problems, cover the skin on your arms and legs, and use insect repellent, and check skin, hair and clothes for ticks after spending time in the woods or fields.

Topical cortisone cream soothes most irritation. If the pain and itching don’t go away after a few days, call your doctor. If you have a hypersensitivity to bee stings or if you have had a life-threatening reaction to any insect or plant, ask your doctor about an epinephrine pen, which contains an injectable drug that could save your life. 

Click below for more top notch products to protect your skin against sun damage

MyChelle Dermaceuticals


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