The summer months are a great time to take in some  sun and enjoy outdoor recreation with friends and family. However, the increased heat and humidity, UV exposure, and outdoor interactions can wreak havoc on your skin. Don’t let skin problems stand in your way! Here are our go-to remedies for common summer skin issues:


Prevent sunburn by wearing an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, reapplying every 2 hours, using sun protective clothes, and seeking shade whenever possible. However, if you or someone you love does get burnt, try cool compresses or showers followed by a moisturizer with aloe. Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs can help with swelling and discomfort. Make sure to drink lots of water as a sunburn can draw fluid out of the body. If your skin blisters, leave the blisters intact as they provide a natural “bandage” to the open wound. Protect your skin as it heals and keep an eye out for infection. If you develop increasing pain or pus in an area, contact our office.

Acne breakouts

The rising temperatures can make it easier to break a sweat outdoors. Sweat and bacteria on the skin can clog pores and irritate acne-prone skin. Try washing your face and/or showering immediately after a workout. If you often battle clogged pores, a wash with salicylic acid can help. Look for non-comedogenic daily facial moisturizers, like Cetaphil Oil Absorbing Moisturizer (also SPF 30!) to help keep skin moisturized without clogging your pores. Over the counter benzoyl peroxide creams work well for spot treatments.


While the higher levels of humidity are good for people with dry skin, we still see a fair amount of eczema in the summer months. In eczema, the barrier function of the skin is abnormal. To prevent and treat summer eczema, regular moisturizer use is recommended. Shower with a moisturizing soap (we like Dove beauty bars) rather than an antibacterial one which can dry out the skin. Moisturize right after coming out of the shower with a body cream (preferred over a lighter lotion). If you’re still feeling itchy this summer, you may need a prescription for a topical steroid.

Bug bites

These can definitely put a damper on a fun weekend! For itchy bites, try an ice pack and over the counter hydrocortisone ointment. A non-sedating anti-histamine (Zyrtec, Claritin) can also help.


Common to Pennsylvania, Poison Ivy can wreak havoc on your summer fun. A brush from these “leaves of three” can leave your skin covered in urushiol oil, which for most people causes an intensely itchy and blistering rash. Often times, a family pet can come into contact with the oil while playing outdoors and spread the oil throughout your home. If you notice the rash (usually presented in streaks of tiny blisters on the arms and legs), it’s important that you wash any items (pets included) that may have come in contact with the oil to prevent re-exposure. Treat the rash with topical steroids which can typically be purchased without a prescription. If the rash persists beyond topical treatments, call our office. We can provide you with oral steroids to help promote faster treatment.

If you find yourself battling any of the above summer skin ailments, contact our office. We provide general dermatological care to patients of all ages, and can often accommodate next day appointments.