How Overheating Affects Your Skin and Hair

Hot, humid weather not only feels uncomfortable, it can impact your skin and hair. Skin is the largest organ of the body and helps to regulate a body's temperature. Here are three ways overheating affects your skin and hair.

1. Heat Rash

A rash of small, itchy, red bumps is a classic sign of overheating. Heat rash, as this rash is known, is a patch of red bumps surrounded by red skin. Heat rash appears where sweat glands have become clogged, and the sweat moves out to the skin around the clogged glands.

The rash is itchy, and sometimes can prickle or sting. It is most common underneath clothing where skin gets the warmest, such as the stomach and groin.

You are more susceptible to heat rash on a hot, humid day where you are exercising or doing another activity that causes you to sweat.

The good news is that heat rash alone isn't dangerous. Do not itch the heat rash, which can cause infection. Do move to a location that is cooler, out of the sun, and where your skin can dry out.

2. Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are serious conditions, and both are caused by excessive exposure to hot temperatures.

One of the earliest signs of heat exhaustion is a tingling of the skin and goosebumps. From there, the symptoms often move on to nausea and headache, then noticeable confusion and lethargy.

Heat stroke can come on suddenly, without warning, and is a potentially deadly condition. Symptoms include hot, dry skin, vomiting, body temperature over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, convulsions, and loss of consciousness. Heat stroke needs to be treated by a medical professional immediately.

Prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion by drinking plenty of fluids on hot days and by seeking out locations like an air-conditioned house with cool, circulating air.

3. Humidity and Hair

Have you ever heard a curly-haired friend complain on a high humidity day? Curly hair is particularly reactive to humidity, but all types of hair are impacted when the moisture in the air is above normal. Hair absorbs water, and extra water in the air equals extra water in your hair.

Excess humidity can create curls and frizz in hair where they didn't exist before. Even those who straighten their hair every day, or use products to maintain their smooth locks, will struggle in a humid climate.

To help prevent the frizz (or at least, not make it worse) avoid brushing or touching your hair. Condition your hair regularly and, when you know it is going to be humid, apply an anti-frizz styling product to help block water absorption.

Overheating in hot, humid environments affects both your skin and hair. While sometimes this is simply an inconvenience, such as in the case of frizzy hair, other times it is a symptom of a more serious condition.

Take care of yourself by drinking plenty of water, and seeking out cooler, indoor locations to let your body rest.

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