Oh, how we’ve been longing for summer, for many reasons. Not only are many people simply anxious to get out of the house more often, but we’re also ready to move steadily away from snowy days for a time. The thing about summertime is that it isn’t all rainbows and roses for everyone. People who have skin conditions like eczema may have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the warm weather. We understand how the heat of the sun can feel both amazing and upsetting. If you or someone you love has struggled with summertime flare-ups of eczema itching and redness, we may have some suggestions that will make your summer that much sweeter.
Reducing Summertime Eczema Flare-Ups
Studies suggest that a person’s own sweat is one of the leading causes of eczema flare-ups. Our sweat contains salt, manganese, copper, nickel, iron, zinc, and other chemicals. For the person with eczema, pretty much any chemical can cause a reaction in the skin that results in a flare-up. Can we stop you from sweating? Of course not. However, we can suggest a few strategies to reduce sweat accumulation on the skin.
- Seek cool places when possible. We are not suggesting that you stay indoors this summer. We are suggesting that, when you go out, seek shady places. Plan outdoor adventures during non-peak hours if possible, such as in the morning or evening rather than the middle of the day. Also, you can keep the body cooler by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Remove all unnecessary chemicals. Summertime is a time for swimming. We hope this year will be no different than years past in that regard. If you swim in chlorinated or salt water, one of the best things you can do to prevent an eczema flare-up is to rinse your skin afterward. You could take this one step further by removing wet clothing right away, as well.
- Use a mineral sunscreen. Did you know that some sunscreens work through a chemical reaction in the skin? Mineral sunscreen products are called physical sunscreens because they do not create a chemical reaction. These sunscreens block UV light with particles of zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Don’t worry, mineral sunscreens don’t always make that thick, white coating on the skin anymore.
- Moisturize well. People with eczema need to replenish their skin’s natural protective barrier. Studies show that ceramide lotion like CeraVe can help achieve this, applying lipids to the skin to keep it moist and protected.