How To Cover Up Bug Bites

Summer is the greatest—who would argue with that?—but between bug bites, sunburns, and breakouts, it’s hard for your skin to emerge entirely unscathed. As your clothes get smaller and the sun gets stronger, it's crucial to pay extra-close attention to your skin regimen. From sun burns to bug bites, this is your guide to skin that will withstand the relentless summer elements.

The Issue: SUN-SCORCHED SKIN

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Prevention is key, and you know the sunscreen drill: Broad spectrum of at least SPF 30, a nickel-size amount for your face, a shot-glass-full for your body, and reapply every two hours or after sweating, swimming, or toweling off. But there’s more: “People who burn easily can take Heliocare,” says Shirley Chi, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Arcadia and Glendale, California. “It’s a supplement made from the polypodium leucotomos fern, an antioxidant.” Taken in the morning, studies show, it can help boost your skin’s ability to protect itself in the sun (but that’s no excuse to skip the sunscreen).

The minute you realize you’re developing a sunburn, get out of the sun “to reduce any further damage,” says Sejal Shah, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Then cool, soothe, and hydrate the skin.” A spring-water mist, cool compress, or aloe vera (either squeezed from the actual plant or a gel) can all be calming in those first hours. To speed recovery in the days after, resist any urge to pick at peeling skin, and apply a gentle moisturizer with ingredients that rebuild the skin’s barrier, like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, or ceramides.

HOW A PRO CAN HELP

For a severe burn, topical prescription ointments such as mupirocin “can form a protective barrier over the skin and prevent infections in areas where it’s open or raw,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.

The Issue: BODY BREAKOUTS

WHAT YOU CAN DO

If you’re getting acne on your back or chest, watch your postworkout routine. “Don’t run errands in sweaty workout clothes,” says Dr. Chi. “Change and shower as soon as you can—do not keep that sweat clogging your pores.” When you do shower, use a salicylic acid wash like Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash ($7, target.com), and if breakouts are severe, try a 10 percent benzoyl peroxide cleanser. Another weapon is the formerly prescription, now over-the-counter retinoid Differin Gel ($30, differin.com), says Dr. Chi; after you dry off, apply a thin layer to breakout-prone areas, and follow up with a light hydrator like Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion ($11, target.com), as retinoids, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide can be drying. If you can’t shower immediately after a workout, clean skin with wipes or pads infused with salicylic or glycolic acid, says Dr. Shah.

HOW A PRO CAN HELP

Prescription retinoids like Tretinoin can tackle persistent breakouts; a series of blue-light treatments (about $70 a session, four to six weeks apart) will work tokill acne-causing bacteria, says Dr. Chi.

The Issue: TAN LINES AND BRUISES

WHAT YOU CAN DO

For fading tan lines, sunscreen vigilance is “totally key” to prevent tanned areas from getting darker, says Dr. Shah. Her favorites, like La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral ($34, laroche-posay.us) and Avène Mineral Light Mattifying Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($28, aveneusa.com), are lightweight and don’t leave a weird cast on darker skin tones. But if you tan easily, says Dr. Shah, “you gotta cover up more with sun-protective clothing.” (Dr. Chi loves Athleta rash guards: “They’re supercute—forget the bikini top!”)

If you’re trying to diminish a few bruises from your surfing weekend, try a cream with vitamin K or arnica. Dr. Shah also notes there’s evidence that vitamin C, an antioxidant, either taken internally or applied topically, can bring down inflammation. Self-tanner can temporarily mute the look of tan lines and bruises, says Dr. Chi; or try a full-coverage body concealer like Dermablend Quick-Fix Concealer Stick ($26, ulta.com).

HOW A PRO CAN HELP

There’s not much to be done in-office—your best bet is camouflaging, hastening the fading process, and then taking preventive measures (that means SPF).

The Issue: RASHES AND BITES

WHAT YOU CAN DO

For most itchy irritations, drugstore hydrocortisone cream—0.5 percent for your face, one percent for your body, used up to three times daily—is your best friend. And the same ingredients that help your skin recuperate after a sunburn work here to bring down redness. Dr. Shah likes copper-zinc-laced Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream ($28, aveneusa.com): “It’s a great healing balm.” An oatmeal bath like Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment ($9, cvs.com) can also reduce inflammation. Once the rash or bug bites are handled, darker skin tones may have lingering hyperpigmentation; treat it with a brightening vitamin C serum or a spot-fading cream with soy extract. If you fall victim to razor burn, get a new razor (dull blades pull at hairs and cause irritation), and use a gentle, fragrance-free shaving cream.

HOW A PRO CAN HELP

“If a rash doesn’t go away in a week, see a board-certified dermatologist,” advises Dr. Chi. An M.D. can prescribe an antibiotic ointment or a pill for bacterial infections.

Source : https://www.glamour.com/story/summer-skin-fixes-from-sunburns-to-bug-bites

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