Summer has set in the fullest in UAE. Temperatures have risen, holidays have begun. Half the population is getting ready to migrate to cooler places for these 3 months. Some are travelling to their homeland whereas others are going on travel holidays. All the magazines are now carrying articles on SUMMER CARE of the SKIN. But to be honest is their any such different procedure required for summer thats not on in Winter ? In this part of the world NO ! Even though the heat is on so are the air conditioners. Both contribute to dryness of the skin hence moisturising still plays an important role in summer. In contrast even in the winters here the Ultra Violet Radiations are enough to warrant a Year round usage of sunscreens.
The funny part is that as a dermatologist I would say that there is a reversal of skin & climatic conditions out here. Because the summers are too hot No one in their right senses sunbathes but holes up in Air Conditioning , which is all prevalent here. this gives rise to all dry skin conditions seen normally in winters. As opposed to this, come winters we have an exodus of people on the beaches and in parks….resulting in an increased sun exposure disorders, insect bite reactions etc. It is thus very important to think very rationally before doling out any advise to patients. Summer Skins…..are seen only in the Labour class people & Sales reps whose jobs entail a lot of heat & sun Exposure . Pricly heat, Photo dermatosis, severe prurigo , Fungal infections, Bacterial infections are seen commonly in this period.
I am not stressing on any particular topic in this write up but just penning down a few random observations & dilemmas.
The commonest dilema for most people travelling is what sort of skin care products to carry & in case of medical skin treatments what to take along. This was bought into focus recently when a lot of my patients came in only to ask me what soaps, creams etc to carry with them. My advise is very simple……If its just routine skin care do so according to the destination of your travel. For those travelling to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka…….one should carry from here the skin care not available back home the most glaringly obvious one being a good sunscreen. The variety available here and in the western world are not attainable inthese countries. Special medicated soaps if any should be taken along & of course your special make up !
Most other medicines & creams can be picked up locally albeit under different brand names. These countries are not so lacking ! Travel lite and concentrate on relaxation & fun ! For other expatriates each knows own country and the products available there so carry only what you wont get easily otherwise just pick up whatever you need on the spot.
More important is advise for those travelling to tourist destinations. Here we do face a problem regarding skin care. The safest thing to do is carry your own special facewash, one sunscreen that is in regular use with you or take medical advise, a night cream and personal makeup. If you are used to certain shampoos take it in a smaller container for easy carraige ! One emergency medical box is a must especially if you have kids with you. Always carry along anti pyretics ( for fever ), pain killers, antihistamines, antacids & bowel regulators. One or two courses of anti biotics is also a wise thing to carry bec these are prescription medicines in most countries. OTC products like cough & cold remedies etc are easily accesible. And of course if you are on special medications carry enough for double the calculated days of your stay !
For those of us who are staying out the summer here , drink plenty of fluids but dont excess on very cold items otherwise you’ll land up with bad throats. Plenty of salads and fruits will lighten the load on your digestion & keep you from feeling lethargic. Even though its hot the evenings can be utilised for short walks & a foray into natural environment. Staying cooped up in AC’s is as detrimental as overexposure to the sun !
Make sure of using a sunscreen even at home because light coming in from the glass windows also transmits ultraviolet rays. If the skin flakes be sure to use a moisturiser. There is a difference between sweating a lot & oily skin ! A light dusting of face powder will keep you comfortable. Most important is to bathe atleast twice a day & use body talc to prevent sweat stains, smells & reduce frictional dermatitis. It also keeps one more comfortable !
Have a good summer wherever you are !