The blistering Australian sun, sweating, air-conditioning, insects, humidity, chlorine and the combination of dirt, sand and salt are all contributors to awful skin conditions that can turn Summer into a much-dreaded time for many. Heat rash, sunburn and eczema are common skin problems that are known to run rampant during this season and are painful skin conditions for any family member, let alone your children. In this short guide, you will be informed of signs, symptoms and treatments you can adopt to deal with these top 3 summer skin problems.

  1. Heat Rash

Heat rash is a mild inflammation caused by the blockage of sweat ducts in heat and high humidity. The rash is characterized by small, raised bumps, course like sandpaper, that are spread evenly across small patches of skin mainly in places where sweat collects, such as the armpits, back, under the breasts, chest, groin, crooks of elbows and knees and the waist.

It can be very itchy, and scratching it can cause it to flare up, resulting in redness and swelling of the affected area. Heat rash usually doesn’t last more than a few days, and can even disappear in a matter of hours but it’s still good to be prepared to soothe the skin if the issue arises.

There are a number of over the counter creams and sprays available to treat heat rash. What you should be looking out for in products is Paraffin, a low-allergy ingredient that acts to soothe irritated skin. Medical treatment for heat rash may involve antibiotics if the sweat glands become affected.

  1. Sunburn

Almost all of us have experienced sunburn at some point in our lifetime. Sunburn is the term for red, sometimes swollen and painful skin caused by overexposure to the sun. It ranges from mild to severe, depending on skin type and amount of exposure to the sun. In extreme cases, sunburn can cause the skin to blister.

Sunburn can occur in as little as 20 minutes, but often takes 2-6 hours to develop. Pain is usually most extreme 6-48 hours after exposure. Some peeling and itching may continue for several weeks.

The best ways to avoid sunburn include:

  • Always wear sunscreen and re-apply regularly.
  • Wear a hat to protect the face and neck from the sun.
  • Protect the eyes with sunglasses.
  • Sit in locations with shade.

Unfortunately, sunburn can still strike despite preventative measures, especially in the harsh Australian sun. But fear not, there is an array of after sun creams and sprays to remove the sting and soothe the skin post burn. Keep on the lookout for products containing aloe vera, which cools the skin. Products containing high Zinc Oxide act as a sun block, as well as protects and soothes blistering skin.

  1. Eczema 

Eczema is a skin irritation that appears as patches of dry, red, scaly skin. Often referred to as the “itch that rashes,” eczema can be a very frustrating and painful condition, resulting in raw, sensitive and swollen skin from scratching.

Eczema is more often than not a consequence of genetics, however can sometimes be associated with allergy conditions such as food allergies, hay fever, and asthma. These conditions are traditionally more prevalent in the warmer months, which makes the hotter weather particularly difficult for children who experience eczema.

While there is no cure for eczema, it can be managed successfully. It’s just a matter of finding the right one for your child.

Eczema sufferers should also keep an eye out for products with Paraffin that exclude added fragrances and colours, as allergens and eczema go hand-in-hand. To soothe dry and cracked skin, products with Lanolin and Zinc Oxide work best to soften the skin, and Omega-3 may speed up the healing process.

The common denominator between sunburn, heat rash and eczema is that there are countless creams, serums and medications available to treat each of these conditions. In topical creams, parents should look out for products that contain skin-soothing ingredients that create a protective barrier on the skin to prevent further irritation and infection.

With summer fast approaching, it’s essential to be prepared to tackle these skin problems head on. Be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms and know what to look for on labels so you can be equipped to treat your child quickly and they can go back to just being healthy, happy kids.