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!
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What Does Eczema Look Like On White Black And Brown Skin
Eczema affects people of all skin tones and ethnicities and it can look different depending on your skin type. On lighter skin tones, affected areas usually appear inflamed and red in colour with dark pink patches, says Dr McClymont.
On darker skin tones, affected areas of skin may appear darker than the rest this is known as hyperpigmentation. Eczema patches tend to look purple, dark brown or ashen grey. As the skin heals, it may temporarily become lighter, known as hypopigmentation.
Black skin may be particularly susceptible to eczema, but the severity of flare-ups is often underestimated as the redness from inflammation may be difficult to see.
Outlook For People With Eczema
Eczema is a chronic disease, so you will likely always have flares. You can help control it by learning to avoid triggers, treating it as your healthcare provider recommends, and keeping your skin well-moisturized.
Eczema can make you more prone to skin damage, infections, or scars. It can also be harder to control if it started when you were very young, other people in your family have it, or it’s severe.
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Summer Eczema Issue #6
Some sunscreens can exacerbate eczema through chemical triggers, or even through the friction of being rubbed in repeatedly – but sun protection is really important.
Remember to reapply sunscreen well every two hours and after swimming, towelling yourself dry, or sweating. Apply it in smooth downward strokes to avoid causing irritation. Choose cool cotton clothing and wide brimmed hats, or shade, when you can instead of relying only on sunblock alone. The suns UV rays are fiercest and hottest from 10 am to 3 pm. If possible, stay in the shade or indoors during this time. Youre less likely to get a sunburn too! Experts recommend a five-day patch test to ensure your sunblock doesn’t trigger your eczema. Choose a Mineral Sunscreen that will provide a physical barrier – sunscreens like ours are less likely to irritate the skin, and are more moisturising than chemical sunblocks.
Eczema Coping Tips Diet
In most cases, eczema isnt caused or made worse by diet. If you notice that your eczema seems to get worse after eating a particular food, you may be an exception to this. See your doctor or dietitian for proper allergy testing and dietary advice.Never self-diagnose or you risk depriving yourself of enjoyable and nutritious foods for no good reason. Unnecessarily avoiding certain foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
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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.
How Weather Affects Your Skin
Healthy skin acts as a barrier to protect you — the way a good coat of paint guards your house from the summer heat and winter snow.
But when you have eczema, that barrier just doesnât work as well. It leaks moisture, so your skin can get dried out and gets more irritated by heat, cold, humidity, wind, and more.
Weather also can affect your eczema indirectly. For example, a warm, windy day can blow pollen into the air and onto your skin. If youâre allergic, that means an itchy flare-up. The weather can change your own behavior as well. If youâre outside more in the warmer months and huddled under a blanket in the winter, youâll be exposed to different eczema triggers in different seasons.
The key is to notice the types of weather that stir up your eczema — and scratching.
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Should You Change Your Diet To Calm Eczema
Its not out of line to think what you eat could impact eczema flare-ups. Theres some overlap in food allergies and atopic dermatitis: about 40 percent of children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis also have food allergies.
However, theres not much evidence that diet can improve eczema. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, avoiding foods that cause an allergic reaction rarely stops an eczema flare.
Experimenting with elimination diets to identify possible food triggers can backfire with children, leading to:
- vitamin and mineral deficiency
- malnutrition from lack of protein
If you have a diagnosed food allergy or sensitivity, absolutely avoid that food! Just dont expect cutting out certain foods to cure your eczema.
Eczema Coping Tips Beauty Products
Suggestions for using beauty products include:
- Remember that even hypoallergenic cosmetics can irritate your skin. Whenever possible, keep your face free of make-up.
- Avoid perfumes, fragranced skin lotions and strongly scented shampoos.
- When using a new cosmetic, try testing it first on a small, inconspicuous area of skin such as your forearm. If you experience a reaction, dont use the product again.
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Use An Air Purifier To Battle Environmental Triggers
Consider buying an air purifier for your home to help remove dust, pollen, and other allergens from the air, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. When inhaled, these air particles can drive allergic reactions in the skin, explains Dr. Zeichner, adding that more research is needed to prove that air purifiers truly benefit people who have eczema. Zeichner recommends opting for a HEPA purifier with a carbon filter for added protection.
Respond To Your Eczema During Exercise
Taking regular breaks during exercise isnt cheating its an opportunity to rest, rehydrate and cool down if youre sensing the start of a flare with your eczema. Being realistic around the state of your eczema when you want to exercise means choosing a level of intensity to match.
Cold compression wraps are most often used to treat soft-tissue swelling or injuries but make excellent aids for cooling the skin and calming the itch in eczema. There are also a variety of cooling towels available today. Dont wait until the escalation of a flare to use them build their use into a rest period or a water break.
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Eczema Putting A Damper On Summer
Arsalan K., who asked not to be identified by his full name, has pretty much always known a life with eczema.
He told Healthline that he first noticed milder symptoms back at the age of 6 that were more annoying than uncomfortable such as mild redness and itchiness.
These flares would generally subside and not impede his daily life. By the time he was around 11 to 12 years old, he noticed the condition manifesting itself in more uncomfortable ways, with redness, discoloration and large patches of puffy, cracked, sometimes bleeding skin.
For Arsalan, tennis and athletics were big parts of his childhood into his young adulthood he used to be a personal trainer but noticed that as his eczema symptoms got worse in his late teens into early 20s, he found it affecting his ability to enjoy the activities he loved.
When exercising outdoors, he said he had to strategize when he was out in the sun to keep cool so he wasnt out for too long in warm temperatures and risking a major flare.
I wasnt able to go out and do that kind of exercise, said Arsalan, who, along with Garcia, is publicly sharing his story through The Now Me, a public awareness campaign from Sanofi and Regeneron. I would have to do that exercise at very awkward times in the day, which would end up being very inconvenient, just to kind of overcome this issue.
Eczema And Uv Protection:
Whether you suffer from eczema or not, proper sun protection is necessary at all times. Unfortunately, sunscreen can be difficult to find for eczema-prone skin due to the chemical irritants and additives.
We recommend you protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays by wearing special clothing that soothes your symptoms while keeping the skin cool.
Remedywear clothing provides UPF 50+. Plus, the TENCEL and zinc-embedded fabric features moisture-wicking properties that protect the body from overheating and prevents uncomfortable chafing or sweaty irritation.
Here are some of our favorites:
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The Issue: Extreme Heat Exacerbates Friction And The Risk For Heat Rash
When heat is intense , it can quickly worsen eczema flare-ups due to factors like sweat and heat rashes, according to Adam Friedman, M.D., a dermatologist and associate faculty member at GW Medical in Washington, D.C. Irritation of body folds is also common in those with eczema during the summer because people are outside playing in the hot weather much more often, he adds. This constant skin-to-skin friction, combined with sweat that gets trapped underneath the skin, can lead to the skin getting raw, red, and chapped.
When To Get Medical Treatment
With most cases of heat rash, once you start cooling off, the rash will likely start to improve. But if it doesnt, you may want to contact your healthcare professional, especially if the rash is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- swollen lymph nodes
- redness, warmth and swelling in the affected area
With eczema, let your doctor or healthcare professional know if you think youre developing an infection. If you scratch an itchy patch and it starts bleeding, theres a chance that the open wound could get infected. If you notice pus oozing from a lesion, be sure to get it checked out by a doctor.
If your eczema develops in adulthood, consider making an appointment with a healthcare professional to get it checked out. They will examine the rash carefully and may do some tests to rule out other possible causes.
If youre a new parent, its helpful to know that newborns often develop a variety of different types of rashes. Seborrheic dermatitis is very common in babies, and heat rash can be, too. Most kinds of rashes can be easily dealt with at home. But if youre concerned and arent sure what to do, go ahead and contact your childs doctor to get some guidance.
Although heat rash and eczema arent always preventable, there are some steps you can take to lower your risk of these skin rashes.
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Doctors Tips For Managing Eczema Flare
- Wed, Aug 18, 2021
Dealing with eczema can be incredibly difficult and unpredictable. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that makes your skin red, dry, itchy, cracked and sore.
The condition is more common than you might think, affecting an estimated 1 in every 5 children and up to 3% of adults worldwide.
A flare-up occurs when eczema symptoms worsen, says Dr Rhianna McClymont, Lead GP at Livi. For some people, theres no apparent reason, but individual triggers may include soaps and detergents, cold and dry weather, allergies, or infections.
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.
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Summer Eczema Issue #5
Swimming in the ocean can be helpful for some people with eczema, as the combination of salt along with UV light can be really beneficial for eczema prone skin. Plus, at the beach you’re likely to be relaxing and happy, which is always good. But, if you leave the salt on your skin, it dehydrates the skin, absorbing moisture – and that moisture barrier is so key for sensitive skin.
An easy fix is to wash off the saltwater as soon as possible with fresh, and re-moisturise with kawakawa balm or body oil. The same applies to chlorinated water, so if your family is dealing with eczema, learn where the beaches and pools with fresh showers are, or get in the habit of bringing bottles of fresh water to rinse off with – then as always, gently pat the skin dry, and use your kawakawa balm to lock in moisture.
Shield Yourself From Uv Light
Yes, sunshine is glorious for your mood and vitamin D levels, but ultraviolet rays are rough on eczema. You can still exercise outside and soak up nature, just follow these tips, for your skins sake:
- Exercise outside in the early morning or evening to avoid the most intense UV rays of the day.
- Wear sunscreen.
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Summer Eczema Issue #1
When the air temperature is hot and our body works to cool off, our blood vessels dilate, which triggers movement of inflammatory cells. Inflammation can cause narrowing of your sweat glands which can trigger skin inflammation and the onset of that awful eczema itching.
Ways to prevent summer heat causing eczema flare ups include keeping your body temperature regulated by using fans , cool cotton clothing, and maybe even staying indoors or in the shade during the hottest part of the day. You can take chilled water with you to drink too – drinking plenty of water will help keep your body at a normal temperature, and has other benefits for eczema prone skin .
Eczema Coping Tips Reducing Skin Irritation
People with eczema have sensitive skin. Irritants such as heat or detergents can easily trigger a bout of eczema.Suggestions for reducing skin irritation include:
- Avoid overheating your skin. Wear several layers of clothing that you can remove, as required, instead of one heavy layer. Dont put too many blankets on your bed and avoid doonas.
- Dont use perfumed bubble bath or bath products labelled medicated.
- Wear soft, smooth materials next to your skin, preferably 100% cotton. Avoid scratchy materials, such as pure wool, polyester or acrylic. You could try a cotton and synthetic mix material this is fine for some people with eczema. Remove labels from clothing.
- Always wear protective gloves when using any type of chemical or detergent. You may want to wear cotton gloves inside rubber or PVC gloves.
- Avoid chlorinated pools. If you have to swim in a chlorinated pool, moisturise your skin well when you get out.
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True But Only In Small Doses
Those of you who have had eczema for several years know: with summer usually comes relief. Why? Because eczema is a type of inflammation, and the sun provides an anti-inflammatory effect.
More specifically, its ultra-violet rays may help improve eczema. This is the concept behind phototherapy, used to minimize flare-ups.
Be careful, however. We all know that high doses of UV rays can have harmful effects . You must maintain just the right balance to reap the benefits all while avoiding the suns harmful effects.
The sun, yes. But what about heat?
The UV rays are what makes the sun beneficial, not the infrared light, meaning heat is a no-no. At home, avoid cranking up the thermostat. This will only dry out your already fragile skin even more and cause itching if you sweat.
Wear The Right Clothing
Your workout gear needs to be light and breathable so sweat can evaporate off your body, and loose so it lets out heat and doesnÃ¢t rub against your skin.
Choose cotton. ItÃ¢s generally the softest on your skin.Get clothes one size larger, so theyÃ¢re not tight anywhere. You may even want to wear clothing inside out so the seams donÃ¢t rub against the skin. Cut off any tags.
Take care with synthetics. While some sports clothing is designed to wick away sweat, it may also be hot and rough against your skin. Try different types and see what works for you.
Wear layers. Strip them off as you warm up so you donÃ¢t overheat.
Always wash your clothes after you wear them. DonÃ¢t let them stink and fester in your gym bag and then put them back on.
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