Charleston Dermatology Blog

Weathering the Summer: How Heat Affects Your Skin

  • skin-conditions
  • skincare-tips

South Carolina summers mean Lowcountry beach days are back in full swing. However, there’s more to these exciting excursions than sand and surf. Aside from giving us a warm glow, intense heat can also negatively impact our skin. With the proper knowledge and practices in place, these issues can be avoided.

Sunburns and UV Damage

Without proper protection, the sun’s harmful UV rays can cause a wide range of skin damage and issues, including but not limited to painful sunburns, premature aging, sun spots and discoloration, and an increased risk of skin cancer.


  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, even on cloudy days. 
  • Cover all exposed areas of your skin, including your face, neck and ears. 
  • Wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats and lightweight long-sleeved shirts.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

Dehydration and Dryness

Dehydration is about more than thirst. The summer heat can quickly dehydrate your skin as well, leading to dryness, flakiness and a dull complexion. Lack of hydration can also make your skin feel tight and uncomfortable.


  • Keep happy, healthy and hydrated by drinking plenty of water daily – around 15.5 to 11.5 cups daily for men and women, respectively.
  • Use lightweight and hydrating moisturizers to lock in moisture and nourish your skin.
  • Choose skin products containing hyaluronic acid and glycerin to attract and retain moisture. 
  • Apply moisturizer immediately after showering or washing your face to seal in hydration.

Heat Rash and Skin Irritation

Have seemingly sudden rashes stopped your vacation fun? Summer heat may be to blame! When combined, heat and humidity create the perfect environment for heat rash, causing itchy, red bumps on the skin. This occurs when sweat becomes trapped beneath the skin, leading to inflammation and discomfort.


  • Combat heat rash and irritation by wearing loose, breathable clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton. 
  • Avoid tight clothing that can further irritate the skin. 
  • Opt for lightweight and non-comedogenic skincare products to prevent pore clogging and reduce the risk of irritation. 
  • Keep your skin cool and dry with talc-free powders in areas prone to sweating.

Excessive Oil Production and Breakouts

You may find oily skin is a problem during warmer seasons. That’s because heat and humidity can trigger excess oil production, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. This can leave your skin feeling greasy, congested and more prone to acne breakouts.


  • Cleanse skin twice daily with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, sweat and excess oil. 
  • Choose cleansers with salicylic acid or tea tree oil, known for their ability to control oil production and prevent breakouts. 
  • Incorporate oil-free and non-comedogenic products into your skincare routine, control shine and keep pores clear. 
  • Avoid heavy moisturizers and opt for lightweight, gel-based formulas.

Skin Sensitivity and Redness

High temperatures can make your skin more sensitive and prone to redness and irritation. Exposure to heat and environmental aggressors can cause inflammation, leading to discomfort and a flushed appearance.


  • Choose gentle, fragrance-free skincare products formulated for sensitive skin. 
  • Avoid harsh exfoliators and opt for soothing ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile to calm and nourish your skin. 
  • Keep skincare routines simple and avoid products potentially irritable to your skin. 
  • Apply a cold compress or calming face mist to soothe the irritation. 

Achieve clear, cool skin with Charleston Dermatology!

Don’t sweat skin issues. Seek help! At Charleston Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists are ready to support South Carolina patients in achieving their skin goals. We a proud to provide for patients throughout the state. Contact us today to book your appointment and learn more about our cosmetic and medical dermatological services!

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