Ways To Manage Summertime Eczema Flares
Arsalans story isnt unusual.
Both Soleymani and Garcia said that since eczema manifests itself in such variable ways, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for managing it during the summer. Effective treatment depends on each individuals case and severity.
If youre reading this and concerned about your eczema symptoms, as always, consult your personal clinician about what might be the best course of treatment for you.
Soleymani said that one of the best ways to combat the effects of the summer on eczema is to protect yourself from overexposure to the suns ultraviolet radiation and replenish your skins natural barrier with adequate moisture if you live in hot, dry climates.
This doesnt mean to avoid the sun completely, that would be impractical during summer. However, protection from overexposure can come in the form of sunscreen and sun-protective clothing, which helps minimize the risk of sunburns, he explained.
When it comes to choosing moisturizing methods, Soleymani suggested keeping your skin moist and supple with simple emollient. He said that is most helpful for people who are living in dry, desert-like environments.
For those who live in more humid climates, summer can provide a temporary, and much needed, break from the thicker moisturizers used during winter to ones that are a bit lighter as the summer itself helps provide some added moisturization, he said.
Garcia said that eczema is a highly manageable condition.
How To Treat Heat Rash
The good news is that heat rash typically goes away on its own. You might be able to speed up the process by stopping whatever activity youre engaged in and cooling off.
Remove any heavy or sweaty clothing that may be trapping sweat in your skin. Take a cool shower to help lower your body temperature. This can also help remove any dirt and oils from the surface of your skin that may be clogging your pores.
For a more intense case of prickly heat, you may want to apply a calamine lotion or a low-dose hydrocortisone cream.
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How To Manage Your Babys Eczema In The Summer Heat
If the hot weather during the summer doesnt agree with your baby, youre not alone. Summer can be a time of sun and fun, but it can also be a time of irritated skin for your eczema-prone baby.
Sweating is one specific factor that can trigger an eczema flare-up in the summer heat. When our bodies get too hot, they sweat. The sweat glands produce moisture which contains chemicals that sits on the skin.
For children with eczema, sweating dries out the skin through the loss of fluids, and the sodium found in sweat can further dehydrate their skin as well as irritate it. So when your baby sweats, it leaves their skin dry and itchy.
And of course your little one is going to start scratching if their skin becomes itchy, which leads to irritation and inflammation. Even a little bit of sweat can cause an eczema flare-up in your baby.
So, as you can see, the summer heat can do a number on your babys skin if not cared for properly. Follow our list of ways to manage your babys eczema in the summer heat so you and your little one can enjoy summertime!
Hot Water Certain Skincare Products Fragrances And More May Cause Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms To Flare Up
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If you have atopic dermatitisthe most common type of eczemayou can have inflamed patches of skin that are so super itchy, they keep you up at night . The cause? An abnormal immune reaction that changes the skin’s structure and function making it itchy and vulnerable to irritants. While this type of eczema runs in families with asthma and allergies, it isn’t an allergic reaction.
Even though there are treatments, this type of eczema can subside and flare-up over and over againand certain things can make it worse. Natalie Zill, a Ventura, Calif., salesperson, struggles daily to manage her symptoms. The 24-year-old used a popular facial moisturizer every day for a while until her eczema returned three years ago.
“There was one day I put it on and my whole face was on fire,” she said. “I really have to make sure, especially for my face, what ingredients are in the lotions.”
Here are a few of the common culprits that can exacerbate symptoms and tips for avoiding skin irritants.
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Change Out Of Wet Clothing As Soon As You Can
Staying dry should be your summertime mantra if youre struggling with eczema-prone skin. If you feel perspiration start to build and your T-shirt start to stick to your back, for instance, swap your wet clothes for dry ones as soon as you can. The BioMed Research International study found that changing clothes when they become wet with sweat is an effective way to manage sweat if you have eczema.
Too Much Water Leads To Itchy Rash
Edna Ferber, an American novelist, said: Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little. Excessively dry skin breaks down the skin barrier leading to flares of eczema. However, too much water exposure may be detrimental to eczema.
It is not uncommon to see kids with large amounts of sweat accumulating in skin folds, such as the inner elbows and necks. The pooling of water and chemicals can lead to irritation and trigger eczema flares.
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Going Swimming Be Prepared
If you plan on swimming, moisturising half an hour before your child gets into the water will put a barrier on the skin to help stop irritation from the water. After swimming, rinse your child before you leave the beach or pool and apply your moisturiser straight after. Always use your sunscreen so youre not tempted to borrow somebody elses that might irritate your childs skin.
Natural Sun Versus Tanning Salons
It is essential to understand that there is a big difference between the sun and the artificial light produced in tanning salons. Those differences could make a big difference for people dealing with eczema. If you have eczema, you might receive benefits from the sun. However, there is a good chance that the light produced in tanning salons will cause the symptoms to worsen. Too much sun exposure is definitely bad. However, tanning salons are even worse.
If you have eczema, you should avoid too much sun exposure and you should stay out of the tanning salons. Otherwise, your skin is going to become cracked and scaly. Also, remember that those tanning salons are dangerous anyway. They can greatly increase your risk of developing cancer and theyve been linked to premature aging.
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How Does Heat Trigger Eczema
Heat causes water loss which dries out the skin. Dryness breaks down the skins natural barrier which can then no longer protect it from irritants and toxins, allowing them to get into the skin and cause damage. Hot temperatures can also make us sweat. Not only does sweat take all the moisture out of the skin, but it also brings any irritants to the surface where they can aggravate and inflame the skin.
Does The Sun Make Eczema Worse
Eczema is a skin condition that can undoubtedly cause embarrassment. The unfortunate truth is that there are few to no real cures for eczema. And, the triggers of the condition are not clearly known. They tend to vary from one sufferer to the next. Suffice to say, if youre suffering from eczema, youll have to experiment with it as you go. This will ensure that youre able to find out what causes your condition to flare up and what makes it better.
Now for the matter at hand, does the sun make eczema worse? Youll find out in the thorough article Ive written below. Read on!
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Be Aware Of The Temperature
If your Crossfit box is more like a garage with no air conditioning, your eczema is probably not happy. Hot temps and a lack of ventilation mean more sweat pooling on your skin, triggering an eczema flare. Try this instead:
- Find an exercise spot thats air-conditioned or well-ventilated.
- Take a cool to warm shower right after your workout and moisturize right after.
- Use products that work for your skin instead of whatever soap is in the gyms dispenser.
- Exercise at home where you can easily control the temp and follow your own shower/moisturize routine.
The Issue: Winter Weather Is Drying
The frigid humidity-free weather in the winter tends to wreak havoc on eczema because theres so little moisture in the air. The low humidity and wind, coupled with heat being on, allows the skin barrier to get rigid, dry, and cracked, explains Dr. Friedman. He says these cracks in the epidermis allow more irritants to get into the skin, which sends the immune system into a tizzy and makes eczema worse.
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How Eczema Affects Sweat
Eczema weakens the skin’s structure and sweating ability, therefore inhibiting the good moisturising action of sweat. When eczema is exposed to allergens , it triggers chemical reactions in the skin which can cause the sweat glands to leak below the surface. This can cause a tingling itch when sweat is produced. As well as being itchy, this below-surface sweat is not able to act as a cooling or moisturising agent.
Eczema will cause poor sweat function and impact the skin’s ability to withstand heat and as well as making it drier and itchier. Heat intolerance and skin conditions such as eczema can develop or worsen later in life. Skin becomes thinner as it ages, affecting the sweat pore structure. Eczema can worsen if we don’t get enough sleep and for many other reasons which you can read about here. Bacterial colonies live on the skin and are harmless, if not beneficial. However, it’s estimated that up to 90% of people with eczema have specific bacteria that may form a biofilm blocking the skin’s sweat pores. The sweat of some people with eczema has also been found to contain higher levels of glucose which can slow the healing of the skin and potentially promote infection and itching.
Managing Eczema In Hot And Humid Weather
Weather does not affect every person having eczema in the same way. For some, the warm, sunny, and humid weather can also come as a relief. While others find that this hot and humid weather triggers a prickly sensation on their skin, sweating aggravates their condition, and everything together leads to a frenzy of scratching.
While many people get irritated with sweating, it is important to know that sweating is actually your bodys natural defense mechanism against hot temperatures. Yet, for people suffering from eczema, sweating is nothing less than a curse as it worsens eczema. Sweat has trace amounts of minerals such as magnesium, lead, nickel, and sodium. It is these chemicals which actually irritate the skin. Furthermore, when the sweat collects in skin folds such as the inner part of your elbow or armpits, or the back of your knees, then due to the skin fold, the sweat is unable to dry well and thus causes skin irritation. Hot temperatures also trigger off the itching relax in most people, making the eczema flare-up much worse.
Here are some tips to managing in a hot and humid weather.
Wear loose and breathable clothes. You need to keep your skin cool by protecting against any kind of direct exposure to sunlight. So wear long sleeved clothes as much as possible. Avoid wool, nylon, rough linen, or any fabric that is bound to make your skin feel itchy. Cotton clothes are the best option to go with in the heat.
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The Fix: Invest In A Humidifier
Since youre spending so much time inside during the winter anyway, it only makes sense to get a humidifier to increase hydration in your home and help alleviate some of your eczema symptoms. According to the Environmental Protection Agency , you shouldnt exceed humidity levels past 50%, as this can increase the risk of issues like mold and bacteria growth. Friedman recommends sleeping with a humidifier on as this can help to re-moisturize the skin while you snooze, which is when the skin is in repair mode.
Atopic Dermatitis & Sunlight
The most common type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, has been related to hay fever and asthma. It is so common because it is hereditary. This basically means that anyone with a family history is at risk. Typically diagnosed in childhood and infancy, atopic dermatitis is known to affect the face, feet, hands, back of the knees and inner elbows.
Irritants, such as those found in soaps, laundry detergents and dishwashing liquids, have shown to cause atopic dermatitis. Other factors include rough clothing, foods and dust mites. With so many treatments available, people with atopic dermatitis can relieve their symptoms, while reducing outbreaks. One of the most commonly prescribed treatments for atopic dermatitis is steroidal creams. Non-steroidal creams are also prescribed to treat this form of eczema.
Individuals looking for a more natural treatment should consider light therapy. Unlike other skin conditions, atopic dermatitis can be treated effectively with ultraviolet light. Medical experts believe that sun exposure can enhance vitamin D production, which in turn can help ease the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
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Increased Stress Is Triggering Eczema Flares Too
Theres no denying it: Stress is the root of many of our health problems, and eczema is no exception. When we are stressed, our body releases a hormone called cortisol, Skyler Stein, president of the skincare brand Gladskin USA, tells Verywell. When we are under long periods of stresslike we are now during the pandemicwe release an excessive amount of cortisol that can cause too much inflammation in the body.
The result, he says, often triggers an itchy and uncomfortable eczema flare up.
One study also suggests stress makes it harder for the skin to recover from irritation and skin damage, making eczema outbreaks last longer in a seemingly endless stressful cycle.
The anxiety that comes along with the uncertainty of the pandemic has created a stressful mental environment for many people. Stress and worry can cause someone with eczema to have a reaction either inside or outside the body, says Chelsea Lewis, founder of My Mommy Wisdom, a Black-owned baby goods company. My Mommy Wisdom makes an eczema relief moisturizer designed specifically for Black women and children, who tend to have more severe eczema because it is harder to detect on darker pigmented skin.
Right now, Lewis suspects many eczema sufferers are in that situation: stressing about how their life and finances will be impacted by COVID-19 and seeing their body flaring up because of the stress.
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Triggers Of Eczema Flare
- Soaps. Never use bubble bath. It can cause a major flare-up.
- Pollens. Keep your child from lying on the grass during grass pollen season.
- Animals. Avoid any animals that make the rash worse.
- Foods. If certain foods cause severe itching , avoid them.
- Wool. Avoid wool fibers and clothes made of other scratchy, rough materials.
- Dry Air. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
- Herpes Virus Infection . Keep your child away from anyone with fever blisters . The herpes virus can cause a serious skin infection in children with eczema.
- Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.
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How To Minimize The Risk Of Eczema Flare
- For those living with eczema, the heat of the summer can cause itchy, uncomfortable skin flare-ups.
- Medical experts stress that people living with eczema need to be vigilant about managing flares, especially when spending time in the sun on hot, dry days.
- For people living with eczema, sunburns can not only further damage the delicate skin barrier, but also cause an acute worsening of inflammation in the skin as the body tries to heal itself from sun-induced injury.
The middle of the summer is a time for barbecues, picnics, family reunions, and beachside vacations.
For those with chronic skin condition eczema, this season might be marked less by fun in the sun, and instead by itchy, uncomfortable skin flare-ups.
Why might people with eczema be particularly prone to flares during the summertime? Eczema is highly variable by person, and a range of factors from geography to environmental changes can play a role in just how it might affect you during the summer.
As with any chronic condition, experts stress being vigilant about managing flares, especially if you plan on spending time in the sun on hot, dry days.