How to protect skin from extreme heat, by expert

A consultant Dermatologist at University College Hospital, Ibadan, Dr Shakirat Gold-Olufadi has emphasised the importance of taking good care of the skin and staying hydrated during scorching heat.


To avoid skin diseases like sunburn, rashes, and other problems associated with hot, humid weather, she stressed the need to protect the skin from the harsh rays of the sun.


Nigerians are currently experiencing an extreme heat wave, which negatively affects the skin. Additionally, frequent power outages have exacerbated the situation.

According to the World Health Organisation, heat waves, or prolonged periods of hot weather, can significantly impact society, including an increase in heat-related deaths


On how to protect the skin, Gold-Olufadi wants people to drink plenty of water, ideally around three liters daily, to compensate for increased sweat loss. “This helps prevent dehydration and heat stroke, which can manifest as confusion or unconsciousness.


“Use fans, air conditioners, and cool showers to reduce body heat. Use a light sponge for bathing and avoid extreme water temperatures. Always moisturise after bathing to keep the skin hydrated. Avoid antiseptic or medicated soaps as they can disrupt the skin’s natural bacterial balance. Opt for mild toilet soaps instead,” she said.


According to her, “Overexfoliation can damage the skin’s protective barrier, so exfoliate sparingly. Wear light-colored clothing to avoid heat absorption and try to stay indoors when Ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest. Apply sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) between 30 and 50 to protect against UV-induced skin aging and skin cancers. Complement sunscreen with physical barriers like wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing.”

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