In the warm months of the year many people show “skin”. Under light blouses, colourful T-shirts, short trousers and airy summer dresses, however, it often still shines out pale. The feeling of lying down in the cosy warmth after months with little sunshine in swimwear or roaring through the area with the top down is wonderful.
But be careful: If light or sensitive skin gets too much UV radiation, the reward is often sunburn. Here you will find tips on how to avoid irritated skin in summer or – if it is already too late – how to care for irritated skin.
Note 1: Sunlight is important
Sunlight is important for the human body. UV-B radiation stimulates the formation of vitamin D in the organism, which is needed for the construction of the bones. It also strengthens the immune system and daylight controls the hormone balance.
Note 2: Symptoms of too much sunlight
However, anyone who exposes himself to the sun for too long without protection will irritate his skin: it reacts with redness and becomes inflamed. While in mild cases only a painful reddening occurs, severe sunburn results in a dark red skin colour. This coloration is caused by dilation of the blood vessels, the irritated skin radiates heat and is swollen. As it heals, the sunburn itches severely – the skin becomes detached. Dermatologists warn: frequent sunburn can promote the development of skin cancer and lead to premature skin aging.
Note 3: Risk factors for sunburn
The duration of sunbathing is decisive for the development of sunburn. The skin type also determines how well UV light is tolerated or whether irritated skin develops. Light-skinned people suffer more quickly from burnt and irritated skin than people with darker skin. These have more pigments that block the sun’s rays. The sun shines particularly extremely in water and on the beach or when skiing, as the light surfaces increase the reflection of the sun’s rays.
Note 4: The correct sun protection factor
The level of the required light protection factor (SPF) depends on the skin type and the UV index. According to the classification of the American dermatologist Thomas Fitzpatrick, a distinction is made between six skin types – from the “Celtic type” (Type I) with an intrinsic protection time of only 10 minutes to the “Black skin type” (Type VI) with more than 90 minutes. While the former should already apply SPF 15 at a UV index of 3 to 4 – which roughly corresponds to the spring sun – the latter only needs SPF 2.
Note 5: Irritation factors in summer
It would also be a mistake to underestimate the afternoon sunshine during the convivial round on the terrace. Once the sun has set, there is another danger for the skin: small pests that attack their human victims with their pricking tools. Especially people with sensitive skin react to insect bites or stings with severe itching, redness and swelling.
The desire to scratch the itchy bite is strong – but the relief only lasts for a short time. Usually the damaged skin becomes even more irritated and can also become inflamed. Similarly, contact with plants such as nettles can be “irritating” in the truest sense of the word and lead to skin irritation and itching.
Dermatologists warn: frequent sunburn can promote the development of skin cancer and lead to premature skin aging.
Dermatologists warn: Frequent sunburn can promote the development of skin cancer and lead to premature skin aging.
Note 6: Cool reddened and irritated skin
Instead of scratching, it is advisable to cool sun-red or insect bite irritated skin as quickly as possible and to provide it with nourishing moisture.
Those who suffer more frequently from irritated skin should use care products with as few ingredients as possible to reduce the risk of further irritation. Fragrances and preservatives may also cause skin irritation.
Note 7: Avoid insects and mosquitoes in the garden
If you want to be spared from mosquitoes in your home garden, for example, you can make it as difficult as possible for the insects to breed. During the warm season, all open watering places should be covered and standing water should be emptied into watering cans and coasters.
On terrace and balcony special mosquito spirals can put the pests to flight. They burn for about eight hours and are relatively inexpensive. Scented lamps with citrus, clove or lavender oil are a nice eye-catcher at garden parties and keep mosquitoes at bay.