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How to Prevent Summer Acne Flare-Ups – Top Dermatologist Tips and Suggestions

Posted on: May 22nd, 2018 by Shany Batbold

The joys of summer can be dimmed by acne flare-ups brought on by summer heat and humidity. Emerging from a pool, lake or the ocean in a swimsuit, one’s hair swept back from the water, can be a difficult experience if one feels self-conscious due to breakouts on acne-prone sites such as the face, chest and back. But this is a challenge you can do something about and we can help. June is Acne Awareness Month and the official start of summer. So, let’s explore the causes of summer acne flare-ups and how to prevent them.

3 Causes of Summer Acne Flare-Ups

Acne is a complex condition with many causes and sensitivities that are best diagnosed on an individual basis by a dermatologist. But there are several factors that are likely to aggravate acne during the summer months.

  1. Sunscreen – Sunscreen is vital – make no mistake about that. But the wrong kind of sunscreen can be comedogenic. That’s the technical term for something that clogs pores which can lead to pimples sometimes referred to as comedones. Heavy, oily sunscreens can irritate your skin and trap oils on the skin’s surface causing a break-out.
  2. Perspiration – Perspiring or sweating is the body’s built-in cooling system. Air evaporates the moisture secreted by the sweat glands onto the skin’s surface in response to heat providing a bit of a cooling effect. However, if oils on the skin trap sweat and prevent it from evaporating, it contributes to a clog in the system.
  3. Direct Sun Exposure – For acne-prone complexions, sometimes just the harsh bright UV rays of the sun itself are enough to aggravate and irritate the skin.

Buy the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin Needs

A good sunscreen needs to be the cornerstone for your summer acne defense regimen. You need a lightweight moisturizing sunscreen that won’t clog your pores and trigger breakouts. A perfect option for a lightweight and gentle sunscreen is our Sheer SPF 50+. Its weightless, non-comedogenic formula was designed especially for sensitive and acne-prone skin types so that you don’t have to choose between moisture and acne-free skin – you can achieve both*. Moisturizing might seem odd but it’s counterintuitive. If your skin senses it’s starved for moisture, it may overproduce oils that result in – you guessed it – breakouts. So, nip that in the bud with a light non-comedogenic moisturizing sunscreen.

An ounce of sunscreen – about two tablespoons – equals the best prevention. And it needs to be reapplied every two hours when you’re in the sun. That’s a lot of product going onto your skin. So check with your California Skin Institute dermatologist to determine which one may be best for you.

Beyond Sunscreen – Other Great Sun Protection Tips

Sunscreen is important. Applying a clinically safe, non-comedogenic sunscreen should be part of your daily morning regimen. But sunscreen is basically an intelligent chemical guess on what will keep your skin safe from acne flare-ups, sun burn, sun-induced premature skin aging and possibly skin cancer.
Consider other types of sun protection to safeguard your sensitive skin.

Cover Up

Everyone’s doing it. You now see people of all ages wearing long-sleeved swim shirts at the beach. Join in. Many companies sell shirts with a UPF of 50. However, some of these shirts are made from fabrics that do not breathe so check with your dermatologist about applying medication on areas such as your back and chest to keep the fabric from creating perspiration that can trigger breakouts.

Ordinary shirts, pants, and shorts can shield skin from the sun’s rays, but it can also shield your skin from the oxygen it needs to breathe which can lead to buildup of oil, dirt, and bacteria on the body. While acne on the body is easier to disguise than on the face, it is still a cause for insecurity for many that struggle with blemishes – and especially during the Summer season. At CSI, we offer various treatments targeting body blemishes such as our medical Glycolic Acid Peels which include removing dirt and oil buildup and professional Acne Extractions which removes comedones from the skin to help acne heal faster and to prevent future breakouts.

Seek Shade

Find some shade. Or make your own. Look for picnic spots under a tree. Or pack along a pop-up canopy or canvas chairs with their own awnings. Equip your backyard or beach gear with one of those angled beach or patio umbrellas that swivel to provide optimal sun defense. Be part of the parasol revival and carry one as you walk around town doing your errands.

Plan Around the Sun

Early morning appointments. Late afternoon walks. Whenever you can, choose to go outdoors early or late in the day when the sun’s rays are less powerful and the outdoor temperature is cooler. Staying out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the current recommendation of the Skin Cancer Foundation. Following this rule can help protect your skin from reactions to both strong sunlight and perspiration.

For those moments when you just can’t resist a beautiful, Sunny day, make sure to grab your CSI Sport Sun Block SPF 45 on your way out to give your skin the protection it deserves while also combatting against premature aging.

If a flare-up occurs, we can help

Sometimes even if you’re doing everything right, an acne flare-up happens. California Skin Institute providers can offer many treatment options to our patients, and have helped many patients eliminate acne with a variety of treatments and procedures. Our providers are highly skilled in administering acne extractions, helping patients find the best topical products and providing skin cleansing consultations, assisting patients with better acne diet solutions, offering blue light therapy, prescription acne treatments, and much more.

* Individual Results May Vary