Summer is a common time for breakouts, rashes, and flare-ups of preexisting skin conditions. Summertime skin rashes can be caused or exacerbated by heat, sweat, insects, and UV rays. If your child has allergies or preexisting skin conditions, they may be especially susceptible to developing summertime skin rashes. Likewise, babies may experience more summertime rashes due to their sensitive skin.
Here are some of the most common types of skin rashes that can occur in the summer.
Heat Rash/Prickly Heat: Blocked sweat glands trap sweat underneath the skin, causing a rash that consists of tiny, itchy bumps. It is most commonly found in areas of the skin underneath clothing or near skin folds such as the neck, elbows, and armpits.
Sun Rash: A sun allergy or sensitivity can develop due to taking certain medications or due to family history. A sun rash typically looks like red scaly bumps on the skin that are extremely itchy. Some children may also develop blisters from sun exposure.
Sunburn: Similarly, the common childhood experience of developing a sunburn is caused by excess sun exposure without adequate protection. A sunburn can be extremely painful, swollen, and even itchy as the skin goes through the healing process. Kids should always be covered with protective clothing or a high SPF sunblock.
Melasma: Although more common in adults, some children can develop this patchy discoloration of the skin similar to hyperpigmentation, caused by sun exposure.
Swimmer’s Itch: Swimmer’s itch can be caused by exposure to infested or unclean water. Bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and streams can harbor tiny parasites that burrow into the skin, causing an itchy and painful rash. Be sure to avoid bodies of water that appear murky or have posted warning signs, and always shower after swimming.
Folliculitis (Hot Tub Rash): Similarly, children who swim in unclean pools or hot tubs can develop an itchy rash from the bacteria in these water sources. Bacteria may get into the hair follicles on the skin, causing them to become infected and inflamed. Wearing a damp swimsuit for too long can also cause a similar rash. Avoid dirty pools and hot tubs.
Cutaneous Larva Migrans (Sandworms): More common in the southwestern United States and other subtropical and tropical areas, a sandworm rash is caused by the presence of worms in contaminated sand. These worms can burrow into your child’s skin, usually around their feet or their bottom, and create the lines of an itchy, red rash as they move under the skin. Be careful around unknown sources of sand and make sure that kids keep their swimsuits and shoes on when playing in the sand.
Rashes from Insect Bites/Stings: It is common for insect bites and stings to cause small, localized reactions that can include an itchy rash and even hives. Bug sprays can help prevent the incidence of these bites and stings in the summer months.
Rashes from Plants: Poison oak/sumac/ivy all have the potential to cause a skin rash. These plants contain a sticky oil called urushiol that can cause redness, itching, swelling, and even blistering. Parents should learn what these plants look like and avoid them.
Eczema: High mold and pollen counts during spring and summer can worsen the skin condition of children with eczema. Excess sweating can also exacerbate eczema.
Acne: The sweat and heat of summertime activities can also worsen acne breakouts in older children and teens. Be sure to have kids change clothing often and shower or bathe immediately after playing outside.
If you feel that your child may need treatment for a summertime skin rash or infection, give us a call today and come in for an appointment with one of our friendly board-certified pediatricians in Littleton.