How the Summer Can Exacerbate Rashes

Two boys hiking in the summer How the Summer Can Exacerbate Rashes

Summertime means camping trips and days in the sun. And while this warm weather might help you feel your best, common summer rashes might ruin your fun. Here are some of the types of skin rashes to watch out for this summer and what you can do about them.

Common Summer Rashes

Heat Rash

Heat rash, also called prickly heat, develops when the sweat glands in your skin become blocked. This typically happens when sweaty clothing traps the sweat, which causes the skin to become irritated. If you develop heat rash, you’ll likely notice small itchy bumps in the affected area. The bumps may eventually burst, which leads to a prickly sensation.

Wearing loose clothing on hot days can help you avoid heat rash. But if the rash sneaks up on you, remove your sweaty clothing and apply a cool compress to the skin.

Sun Allergy

If you break out in an itchy rash when spending time in the sun, you might have a sun allergy. Sun allergy rashes are typically red and itchy with small bumps. The rash often develops in a cluster and may worsen to include blisters, scaling, hives, crusting, or even bleeding. Excess sun exposure, certain medications, and genetics may trigger this type of rash.

Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing can help prevent a sun allergy rash, as can avoiding prolonged sun exposure in general. Be sure to seek medical attention if you develop these types of rashes frequently. They may recommend treatment like topical medications or phototherapy.


Exercising outdoors during the summer might lead to skin chafing, which happens when the skin rubs against skin or clothing. This skin issue often appears as an inner thigh rash, but chafing can occur anywhere on the body. Wearing exercise clothing that wicks away moisture can help prevent chafing, as can rubbing petroleum jelly on the skin. Your dermatologist can recommend products and remedies if you experience severe chafing during the summer.

Insect Bites

Mosquito bites and bee stings are usually harmless and cause little discomfort. However, some people react more severely to these bites. Mosquito bites may swell and become itchy, and bee stings may cause similar irritation and pain.

Your dermatologist can recommend topical products, like hydrocortisone cream, to provide relief. However, some people may need to take antihistamines to avoid swelling. If you have an allergy to insect bites, be sure to carry your emergency auto-injector with you to prevent an allergic reaction.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a fungal infection that develops on the toes and feet. This rash is typically itchy and scaly, and some people will develop blisters or ulcers as well. You might contract this fungal infection from a pool deck or other contaminated floor, but it often develops when your sweaty feet are confined in your shoes. This is why it’s common in athletes.

If you develop athlete’s foot, your dermatologist can prescribe antifungal cream or ointment to clear the infection. As for prevention, be sure to keep your feet dry, change out of athletic shoes quickly, and wear sandals when walking on public floors like pool decks.

Poison Ivy

If you spend time in the woods during the summer, you know that poison ivy, oak, and sumac may be lurking in the brush. Rubbing up against these plants can cause a red, itchy, and swollen skin rash that may blister with time. Symptoms typically develop within two or three days and will fade within a few weeks.

Topical products like calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream can help you find relief. Your dermatologist may also recommend an oral or topical antihistamine to control symptoms. Just be sure to seek medical attention if the rash spreads to a sensitive area like the face or genitals.

Summer rashes are a common part of warm-weather activities. Fortunately, the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists is here to provide treatment for common skin rashes. With locations in Carson, CA and other communities around the Greater Los Angeles area, we offer medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatments to support your skin’s health. Contact us today to book an appointment.

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