Dry, itchy, red skin after a beach visit is not comfortable to deal with, whether you live near the beach or are on vacation. There are a few precautions you can take before your next beach trip to help prevent this occurrence, and there are also a few solutions to help your body post-trip to keep the rash away.
Several factors can cause you to be itchy after a trip to the beach. Bugs, like sand fleas and the mosquito, are not uncommon on some beaches. The sand itself can cause irritations, especially to sensitive skin or freshly shaved skin. Another cause could be sweat dermatitis, which is a rash caused when sweat is trapped in the skin. Itching and tiny red spots are a characteristic of this rash.
Severe cases of sun poisoning begin with an itchy skin rash. The best way to avoid this is to always drink lots of water, put sunscreen on when out in the sun for prolonged amounts of time and cover up in the heat of the day. If you have an itchy skin rash that also has burning or sunburned skin, accompanied with dizziness and nausea, you may have sun poisoning. Consult your doctor immediately.
Sensitive skin can really feel the “itch” if you shave and then go to the beach. Shave the night before so your pores have time to close and protect your skin. Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun to avoid any sunburn or having sweat get caught in your pores, which can lead to sweat dermatitis. Besides sunscreen, it won’t hurt to cover your body in a bug spray as well to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay.
Beaches are not necessarily clean because they are open. Some beaches and regions of the United States have problems with polluted water or parasites. If the water you are swimming in is contaminated, this could also be a cause for the itchy, red bumps or rash. Make sure to check the water quality or ask questions if you are visiting a new beach, lake or river.
After a day at the beach, wash and rinse your body off immediately. Some beaches have hoses so you can rinse off before you get in your car or walk home. Otherwise, once you are home shower as soon as possible. Don’t shave that day, as you could open your pores and spread any infection. If you feel sunburned or itchy, aloe and cortisone are both over-the-counter treatments that you can purchase at your local drugstore to help fight off any rash that may be sneaking up on you.
References and ResourcesItchy Skin Rash: Sun Rash: What Does This Mean
Itchy Skin Rash: Sun Allergy Rash: How to Enjoy the Outdoors
NYC Health: Beach Quality and Safety