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May month is yet to come: Keep your skin and hair healthy and beautiful!!

By,Dr. Rinky Kapoor,Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon,The Esthetic Clinics

Summers are right round the corner is it s time for you to gear up your skin for summers. As the temperature changes, we need to change our summer care routine to make sure that the skin stays young and fresh. With sun at its peak, the summer brings in with it all kinds of pesky problems such as Prickly heat, Acne , Oily and sticky skin, Uneven skin tone , Sun allergies, Tanning, Sunburn, Folliculitis, Fungal infections.

You should never ignore the summer skin care otherwise; the effects of summer will stay with you a long time. Acne breakouts if not treated in time can lead to scars on the face and body, hyperpigmentation can make the skin appear dark, sunburn and exposure to sun without protection can cause skin cancers and permanent damage to the skin. The skin is a very delicate organ it needs to be cherished otherwise the signs of ageing will appear before time, wrinkle and patches on skin will make you look older and tired.

Hydrate your body and skin. Drink lots of water. Juices and soft drinks don’t compensate for water. Carry a bottle of mineral water with you wherever you go and take a sip every few minutes. Drinking water also helps in case of sunburns because it cools the body from inside.

Do not step out of the house without applying sunscreen all over your body. The key is to apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before stepping out in the sun. Choose a sunscreen that is suitable for your skin. The minimum SPF should be 30 and it should have UV protection. There are mineral sun blocks like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxide that your sunscreen should contain. Reapply sunscreen after four hours or if you have been swimming or sweating too much. If you have to apply makeup, then first apply sunscreen then sun protection makeup.

Cloths become the first shield of the body against sun. Wear a hat or a cap when you go out so that the harmful rays don’t reach your scalp and ears. Wear cloths made of unbleached cotton, Polyesters and silk as they absorb UV radiation and damaging rays don’t reach the skin. Wear light coloured clothes that have tight weaves.

Don’t ignore your lips in sun protection. The lip is a common site for skin cancer. Cracked, dry lips should not be ignored as they can indicate serious skin problems. Therefore before you go out in the sun use lip specific products on your lips such as lip balms of SPF 15 or higher, reapply lip balm every two hours, avoid high shine lip gloss, if you have to use lipstick use one with SPF and antioxidants for extra moisture.

Summer facials are very important. They will relax your skin; remove clogged pores, blackheads and pigmentation from the skin. Your skin will be hydrated and feel fresher. Go for power facials, which include and exfoliating peel, microdermabrasion infused with antioxidants and vitamin C, and Intense pulsed light to remove brown spots.

Do not look directly in the sun. A broad brimmed hat will protect your eyes too. Wear sunglasses when you step out. Your sunglasses should have a UV protect coating. Select sunglasses with bigger glasses.

Add serums like Vitamin C serums to your skin care routine to keep dryness away from your skin.

Home Remedies:

· Make a paste of chickpea flour and rosewater and apply on skin. Leave for 15 minutes and wash with cold water to cool the skin.

· Apply yogurt on rashes

· Multani Mitti or Fullers earth is excellent to absorb oil and remove impurities from face. Mix with apple cider vinegar and apply on face.

· Add a few drops of lavender oil in your bathing water to ease the heat rashes.

· Do not buy products that contain alcohol

· Apply cool milk and cucumber to the skin to treat sunburn.

Prickly heat: (Ghamori)

Itchy rash in covered body parts due to blockage of sweat glands

Prevention and Treatment:

· Keep cool with a fan, or air-conditioning.

· Wear loose cotton clothing.

· Calamine lotion, prickly heat powders give relief.

· Multani mitti, sandalwood or neem paste helps.

· Drink enough water and avoid cold drinks

2) Pimples and oily skin:

Sebum and dirt block the pores causing pimples.

Prevention and treatment:

· Wash face using an anti acne face wash with salicylic acid, tea tree oil, neem.

· Remove make up thoroughly before bedtime.

· Cut down on sugared and processed dairy food.

· Oil blotting sheets and anti acne masks like black mud face packs help.

3) Sun tan, sunburn and pigmentation:

Strong sun exposure can cause redness, peeling, sunburn, and pigmentation.

Prevention and treatment:

· Apply a broad spectrum UVA/B and C blocking water and sweat resistant sunscreen spf 30 +.

· Use umbrellas, long sleeved cotton clothing etc for sun protection.

· Oral antioxidants like Vitamin C will help.

· Laser skin rejuvenation, chemical peels or Microdermabrasion can be done for pigment problems.

4) Bacterial and fungal skin infections:

Bacterial infections like boils and fungal infections of the body folds are common.

Prevention and treatment:

Use loose clothes.
Take a shower with antibacterial soap.
Use anti fungal powders in the body folds.
Treat all infected contacts.

6) Unmanageable hair:

In heat, hair becomes static, dry, brittle and frizzy as the humidity and heat damages the cuticle (outer layer) of your hair. Your scalp tends to get more sticky because of excessive sweating.

Prevention and treatment:

· Wash your hair 2-3 times a week. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner. Use anti-dandruff shampoo once a week if you are prone to dandruff. Leave in conditioners seal in the moisture and protect the hair from the damaging effects of the sun and pollution.

· Diluted Apple cider vinegar after shampooing can restore the shine.

· Tie up the hair to avoid greasiness and make it manageable.
Follow the simple tips given above and you will be able to enjoy a summer friendly skin for a long time. Remember to see your dermatologist, in time, if your problems do not resolve!

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