Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall – throughout every season there are many reasons to enjoy the great outdoors. But take precautions about the harm the outdoor environment can do to your skin. During the year there are seasonal skin conditions that can wreak havoc on your skin, so be aware and take precautions.
Ski enthusiasts know the exhilaration and clamor to the ski resorts each year to take in the sport. But what many people don’t realize is the harm that harsh, cold wind and high altitude sun can do to their skin. Seasonal skin conditions that can be noticeably worse in winter include
- Eczema – an itchy rash that many people develop, typically on their legs and arms and can be worse in the winter
- Seborrheic dermatitis – a condition marked by patches of itchy, flaky skin, typically in oily areas such as the scalp, eyebrows, nose, and chest is also worsened by winter weather.
Some good winter weather tips to maintain healthier skin include
- drinking plenty of water
- bundling up when outdoors
- shorter showers to avoid drying your skin
- maintaining humidity indoors
A break from winter’s starkness lures us to the great outdoors. Flowering plants and scents of new life springing forth also bring with them the season of the itch. Seasonal skin conditions are affected by insects, pollen and itchy dermatitis, which is highly active in the springtime.
The desire to get out and enjoy the spring after a long winter is understandable, but there may be some hidden dangers to your skin you may not be aware of. Here’s a springtime favorite that has the potential for making your acne worse if you aren’t careful.
Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or just going for a relaxing dip, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time in the pool this spring. But one of the biggest skin offenders is chlorine, a chemical found in almost every pool. Chlorine is an essential component in keeping pools clean, but it can also be very harsh on the skin. Chlorine-damaged skin can dry out quickly, causing your body to produce more oil in an attempt to rectify the situation. This excess oil then leads to–you guessed it–acne breakouts.
Just as winter sports draw us to the outdoors, so do the many activities of summer. Swimming, hiking, trips to the beach, volleyball and so much more get us outside and into the activities of summer. But perhaps the most harmful source that attributes to seasonal skin conditions in the summer is the sun. Intense and ever-present for three to four months, the sun can be very harmful to your skin if you get sunburned. Dermatologists will tell you that there is really no such thing as a tan because what you see as a tan is really burned skin. Too often people think that a good, so-called “base tan” will somehow protect them from over-exposure to the sun, but it’s really just the start of skin damage.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the sun’s UV rays are responsible for about 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 86% of melanomas.
Of all the seasons, perhaps fall seems the least likely to be a big danger to our skin. But before you run out to jump in the leaves or pick yourself a pumpkin, make sure you’re aware of some of the environmental hazards your skin can face in the autumn as well.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects both men and women, and it can occur in adults and children alike. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, psoriasis appears in 1% to 3% of Americans. Characterized by patches of red, scaly skin and itching, flaking epidermis, psoriasis is present year-round, but it surfaces as a seasonal skin condition frequently in the cooler months of the year.
Once the temperatures start dropping again, many people are anxious to dive right into their thermals and woolly sweaters. Cozy as they may be, this can send your skin into crisis. Scratchy wool and flannel can cause rashes, redness, and itchiness. A better idea is to layer such clothing over softer, more skin-friendly bases like cotton shirts. And don’t be fooled into thinking that autumn sun is less harmful. Keep the sunscreen handy year-round, especially if you’re outdoors for extended periods of time.
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