Open Accessibility Menu

Common Springtime Skin Disorders—and What to Do

  • Category: Skin Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: LVMC Staff
Common Springtime Skin Disorders—and What to Do

The arrival of springtime brings a welcome reprieve for many people who do not enjoy colder temperatures. However, spring flowers and rain showers can also bring on certain classic medical conditions, including skin disorders.

At Lompoc Valley Medical Center, our family medicine and internal medicine providers are skilled at helping diagnose common springtime skin disorders and helping you manage these conditions so that you can get back to feeling your best and enjoying the weather. Here’s what you need to know about skin conditions more likely to occur in the spring and what to do.

Why does springtime bring on certain skin conditions?

Springtime is often the perfect storm when it comes to your skin. Springtime weather can fluctuate dramatically, ranging from cool days to sweltering days in quick succession. Your skin is your most crucial barrier to maintaining a balance within your body, and the temperature fluctuations during the springtime can catch your skin off guard. For example, if there is suddenly a scorching day, your skin may not have an opportunity to aerate or cool off appropriately. Or, if the sun comes out after the rain, you may suddenly be caught without sunscreen.

Another big reason for springtime skin conditions is the arrival of flora and fauna that have been dormant all winter. Increased pollen counts, growing plants, and busy insects can all wreak havoc on your skin.

Here’s what you need to know about the following skin conditions more likely to occur in the springtime.


There’s nothing like the first truly warm day of spring. You may be planning for it, or you may not be expecting to catch those first bright rays. Many people who were old pros at slathering on sunscreen during the summer and fall months may have grown out of the practice of doing so, come spring. They may not be storing a bottle of sunscreen at the ready, or may not be prepared with a hat. For this reason, sunburns may be more likely to occur in the spring.

To prevent sunburn, make sure to check the daily forecast before you head out for outdoor activity. Use protective clothing, such as long sleeves and hats to keep the sun off your skin, and use a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, reapplying every 2 hours or more frequently if you’re sweating. If you do happen to get a springtime sunburn, you can manage pain with cool packs and anti-inflammatory medications over the counter (such as ibuprofen). You can also keep the area moisturized with aloe vera to speed healing.

Contact dermatitis

When springtime comes, many people hear the forests or hiking trails beckoning. While springtime is an opportune season for hiking and exploring outdoors, it also is a time when people may be coming into contact more frequently with plants such as poison oak, ivy, or sumac. The agony of the skin rash, or contact dermatitis, that is caused by the itchy plant oil known as “urushiol” is unmistakable. It is intensely itchy and can burn.

If you come into contact with urushiol oil while adventuring outdoors, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you immediately rinse off your skin with water that is lukewarm and soapy. Take care not to let the oil spread onto your clothing or other items (such as gardening tools) because re-contacting the oil can cause a rash elsewhere. If you develop blisters, leave them be—don’t try to open them because this can cause infection. To relieve the symptoms, you can take lukewarm baths with oatmeal, or short, cool showers. Cool compresses, calamine lotion, and even antihistamine pills may also be beneficial—but make sure to contact your medical provider before trying any new remedies.

Lyme disease rash

During the springtime, gardeners return to the great outdoors. Unfortunately, this means they are more likely to encounter ticks, including the black-legged ticks that transmit Lyme disease. One of the most common early symptoms of Lyme disease is actually a rash. You should suspect a tick bite from a Lyme-infected tick if you see a rash that appears as two red rings, known as a “Bull’s eye” rash.

If you see a Lyme disease rash, make sure to follow up with a medical provider as soon as possible, as this condition can be successfully managed with antibiotics. If you know you’ve been bitten by a black-legged tick but don’t see a rash, you should still follow up because antibiotics may still be useful in preventing Lyme disease. To avoid Lyme disease in the first place, make sure to wear long clothing (including hats), use insect repellent, and do self-examinations for ticks after being outside.

Fungal rash

Springtime may also be a time of year when you’re adopting a new exercise routine or heading back into the water—whether it’s the ocean, lakes, or public pools. For this reason, you may experience a higher likelihood of a fungal rash. Fungal rashes come in many flavors, including tinea corporis (ringworm of the body) and tinea pedis (ringworm of the feet). They may appear as circular or oval-shaped rings with a slightly raised red border and may be very itchy. To treat fungal rashes, over-the-counter creams or powders can be helpful, but you may need further assistance for stubborn conditions.

Heat rash

As the temperatures rise in the spring months, your sweat glands kick back into high gear. This can cause the reappearance of a skin condition known as heat rash. Heat rash, also called prickly heat or miliaria, can occur in anyone exposed to a hot or humid environment. The rash looks like tiny pinpoint blisters, and it is most common in areas of skin folds where you don’t have much aeration—such as in the creases of your neck, armpits, or groin. To treat the rash, try to move to a cooler place and dry off. It should typically go away on its own within a few days.

Allergic rash

Flowers and blooming trees are beautiful to look at, but the beauty ends there for many people. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that about 81 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with hay fever (also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis) within a recent year. While seasonal allergies are most notorious for causing itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, many people also suffer from an itchy allergic rash in the form of hives. The triggers of this allergic rash can be pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds that circulate at higher volumes in the air. In addition to the hives rash that accompanies hay fever, some people may also experience non-specific skin itching.

To treat hay fever with an allergic rash, an antihistamine can help. You will also want to watch an allergy tracker (available on the internet and tailored to your location) and avoid outdoor activities on days with high pollen counts. If you must be outside during a high pollen count, shower as soon as you get home to wash potential allergens off your skin and out of your hair.

Bee stings

Springtime activities also bring the return of unwanted encounters with insects such as bees and mosquitoes. A bee sting is often unmistakable, occurring within an instant and delivering immediate pain. Depending on the specific type of offender, you may also see a stinger left behind. If you are stung by a bee, wash off the area to remove the venom. You can reduce swelling and inflammation using cold packs and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) like ibuprofen. However, start to experience symptoms such as wheezing, throat or tongue swelling, feeling dizzy or faint, or feeling nauseous with abdominal pain after a bee sting. You may have a life-threatening allergy to the venom in the stinger. In this case, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. If you have a known allergy to bees, carry an Epipen when you are outside.

To prevent bee stings, you can avoid areas that are known to attract bees (such as flower beds) and wear long clothing with light colors. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends avoiding wearing perfumes and banana-scented items, as these may attract bees.

What to do about springtime skin disorders

If your skin is acting up this spring, don’t suffer alone. At Lompoc Valley Medical Center, our family medicine and internal medicine providers are skilled at helping diagnose springtime skin conditions and creating personalized treatment plans to help manage the symptoms. They can also help make recommendations about skin specialists, known as dermatologists, who can offer even more specific skin care insights and treatment plans.

Contact us today to make an appointment to help manage a springtime skin condition.