In the summer, the scalp can undergo some changes due to the influence of ultraviolet rays and a temperature rise:
1. Increased sebum production
In the summer, due to a temperature rise, the activity of the sebaceous glands may increase. This leads to the increased secretion of sebum. As a result, the scalp can quickly get dirty and look greasy. This protective skin mechanism prevents transepidermal moisture loss.
Sebum covers the surface of the skin and active UV rays do not evaporate water, and it does not lead to tissue dehydration. But an excessive amount of sebum causes inflammatory changes on the skin. Sebum in this case contributes not only to the development of microorganisms, but also to the obstruction of excretory ducts.
In addition, UV causes hyperkeratosis – thickening of the stratum corneum of the epidermis. Which stops oxygen from accessing the cells, causes anaerobic microflora to actively reproduce and inflammatory elements to appear.
The appearance of inflammatory processes is facilitated by another UV influence on Langerhans cells – mast cells, which are a link of local immunity. The cells’ function is inhibited in the active sun, microorganisms multiply more actively. And when a person returns to normal conditions, the protective function of cells is restored and manifestations of inflammation rapidly increase.
2. Sweating increases, as the body tries to cool down.
Thanks to the center of thermoregulation, which is located in the brain – the hypothalamus, the synthesis of sweat is started reflexively.
Humans have two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine.
Eccrine glands are located on most of the body surface, especially in the palms, feet, armpits and forehead. They produce colorless sweat, which consists of water, salts, trace elements and some organic substances.
When the body overheats, for example, due to physical activity or high external temperature, the hypothalamus activates the eccrine sweat glands. Sweat is released on the skin surface, where it evaporates and takes heat away, which helps to cool the body down. However, excessive skin moisture can contribute to the reproduction of bacteria and fungi, which can cause itching of the scalp, peeling, inflammation.
3. The level of hydration of scalp cells decreases.
If you add to this the influence of chlorinated water from the pool or salty water from the sea, then hair dryness, dullness, and brittleness appear.
Due to the hyperosmolar solution of salt water, dehydration of skin cells occurs. According to the rules of osmosis, water moves into an environment with more salts. This reduces the protective function of the skin, increasing the likelihood of inflammatory processes.
Seawater can contain bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that can get on damaged or vulnerable skin and cause diseases. This can become a problem, especially if the water is contaminated, or if the person’s immune system is weakened. Sometimes the sensitivity of the skin increases, especially if seawater contains a large amount of minerals or other substances. This can cause skin irritation, redness, itching and inflammation.
How to take care of the scalp in the summer?
For scalp care in the summer, it is recommended to: