Summer Skin SOS

Fast fixes for the season's five biggest problems.

ByABC News
May 23, 2008, 11:20 AM

May 27, 2008 &#151 -- As anyone who's ever had a scorching sunburn or a nasty case of poison ivy can attest, summer can be hard on the skin. Luckily, most of the damage is easy to remedy. Here are fast fixes for five common seasonal snafus, plus steps to safeguard your skin through Labor Day and beyond.

You're breaking out on your back, shoulders and chest and your regular soap isn't helping.

The fix: Wash with a body cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, ingredients that unblock pores and dry up excess oil. (Don't scrub; it may inflame skin.) To try: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub ($6; drugstores). To prevent breakouts, dust talcum powder on your back and chest to help absorb perspiration, and look for oil-free products that won't clog pores.

Avoid form-fitting clothes that hold heat and moisture close to your skin and change into fresh gear ASAP after perspiring heavily.

You got caught up in the excitement of your kid's Little League tournament and forgot to reapply sunscreen. Now your skin is beet red.

The fix: Avoid the sun until the skin has healed completely.

"Sunburned skin temporarily loses its protective barrier, so it's more susceptible to subsequent burns," said Fran Cook-Bolden, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.


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A beach vacation left your skin looking and feeling drier than a desert.

The fix: After swimming, rinse with fresh water to remove any salt or chlorine buildup, which can further dry out and irritate skin. Keep subsequent baths and showers short (no longer than five minutes) and use a mild cleanser and warm water. Gently use a loofah, washcloth or exfoliating scrub to slough off dead cells. After bathing, towel-dry and moisturize immediately with a rich lotion. "You need to seal in the moisture while you're still slightly damp," said Bank.


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