How Houston Humidity Affects the Skin (And What You Can Do About It)
With Summer just around the corner, our Houston patients will once again be dealing with some of the most humid weather in the world. In fact, Weather.com has consistently listed Houston among the top 10 most humid cities in America. The honor is well deserved as Houston has a humid subtropical climate, where humidity typically hovers in the neighborhood of 90% in the morning and 60% in the afternoon on any given day (Source). During the summer months, the heat and humidity of Houston make it comparable to countries in Central America.
High humidity means hot, sticky, and sweaty days and nights. Most people know humidity has an effect on hair, but did you know that humidity can also affect skin health? Understanding this effect will help Houstonians keep their skin looking and feeling its best in even the most humid of weather.
How Humidity Affects the Skin
The skin naturally prefers a nice balance between humid and dry climates. When humidity is high the skin struggles with excess sweat and oil production while pores are encouraged to open, the perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive. Thus, acne and skin infections are two of the most common issues experienced by our patients during periods of high humidity. This is informally referred to as “tropical acne” since many people experience breakouts after being exposed to high humidity.
Increased moisture on the skin also raise the risk for rashes and other forms of skin irritation. Additionally, we experience more complaints related to eczema flare-ups, allergic reactions, blisters, and athlete’s foot in higher humidity months.
Skin Care Tips for Humid Weather
Patients who have a skin type of oily, combination, or acne-prone are more likely to experience humidity induced skin issues. If you fall into one of these categories, it’s very important to pay attention to humidity and take steps to protect your skin.
Here are some tips for dealing with high humidity:
- When possible, try to remain indoors during the most humid parts of the day. Beating the humidity in an air-conditioned room or facility is recommended.
- Wet wipes are a great tool for keeping the skin clean and cool while on the run.
- Thoroughly cleanse the skin at the start and ending of each day.
- Make sure to regularly exfoliate to keep the skin clear of excess oil and dirt. Consider using a gentle scrub weekly.
- Consider asking your dermatologist for a topical antibiotic to prevent bacteria development.
- Reduce your chances for athlete’s foot by wearing dry socks and spraying shoes with disinfectant daily.
- Acne-prone patients should use salicylic acid containing products to help manage oil production. Benzoyl peroxide is also a great ingredient for killing the bacteria that causes acne.
- Continue to moisturizer. Just make sure to use a high-quality moisturizer that is oil free, lightweight, non-comedogenic, and water-based.
- In-office treatments like microdermabrasion and facials can help patients maintain skin health and shield the skin from humidity-based stress.