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Why Does Eczema Flare Up In Summer

Bathe Or Shower Daily To Keep Skin Clean

A Doctor Explains Why Your Eczema Flares Up in the Winter

Taking a bath or shower each day can help clear the skin of bacteria as well as sweat and dust that may have accumulated over the course of the day. A study published in Asia Pacific Allergy found that children with eczema saw their symptoms improve as a result of bathing daily plus moisturizing immediately afterward in the summer months. Always be sure to wash with a mild soap that doesnt include dyes or fragrance, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Why Do I Get Eczema At Certain Times Of The Year

Personally speaking, why do I only get eczema in the spring and summer? My husband and teen-aged son also have an onset of eczema at the same exact time as me, yet two of my younger sons only get eczema in the winter. But why?

I decided to go to the experts for answers because I can’t imagine I’m the only one plagued with wondering why spring sets off two seasons of itchy bumps taking up residence on my elbows, inner corners of my arms and my hands – and the more I scratch, the more it spreads.

It was only in the last few years that I suddenly began to have eczema flare-ups and once the summer is over, my skin returns to normal… like it never even happened. Does this happen to you?

“In some ways, eczema is a bit of a mystery. It can pop up in all seasons for many reasons. Causes run the gamut from genetic to an auto-immune issue. In general terms, eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a non-contagious, recurrent inflammation of the skin. It is different from a true allergy, but eczema can get worse if a person is exposed to irritations.” says Dr. Barney Kenet.

Fayne L. Frey, MD, FAAD of Dermatology & Dermatological Surgery tells me that to date, there is no cure Eczema is often found in individuals with asthma and hay fever. The exact cause of seasonal outbreaks is also unknown.

However, there seem to be many “triggers” that cause eczema to flare. According to Dr. Frey, they are:

Eczema In Hot Humid Weather

For some people with eczema, warm, sunny, and humid weather brings relief. Others find that the hot weather triggers prickly heat and a frenzy of scratching. To ease symptoms, try these tips:

Donât get too sweaty. Sweating dries out your skin, and the salt in sweat can sting and irritate it. So try to stay cool. Take it easy on hot days and stick to indoor activities. Use air conditioning or a fan if you need one.

Wear soft, breathable clothing. Keep your skin cool by staying away from nylon, wool, rough linen, or any fabric thatâs stiff or itchy. Generally, cotton is best.

Know how the sun affects you. Sunlight can be a salve for eczema. In fact, people with severe cases can benefit from ultraviolet ray treatments. But others find that sunlight is a trigger. If youâre one of them, shield yourself with clothes and a hat.

Prepare before you swim. Chlorine in pools or the salt in seawater can be irritating for some people with eczema. Apply a layer of lotion before you dive in to see if it helps.

Rinse off possible triggers. Take a quick, cool shower to soothe your skin and wash away sweat, chlorine, salt water, pollen, or other triggers. Gently pat yourself dry and apply lotion right away.

Watch the sprays and lotions. Sunscreens and bug sprays can have chemicals that trigger symptoms. Opt for sunscreens that physically block the ultraviolet rays with the minerals zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Test a sample on your arm before you slather it all over your body.

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Preventing The Spread Of Eczema

Preventing the spread of eczema depends on the type of eczema a person has. For example, contact dermatitis will stop spreading once a person removes the source of irritation. Eczema that has become infected may require topical or oral antibiotic treatment.

One of the main ways people can prevent eczema from becoming more inflamed and itchy is to avoid scratching. Treating flare-ups as quickly as possible can remove the temptation to scratch. It may also help if people keep fingernails trimmed or wear cotton gloves to bed.

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How Weather Affects Your Skin

Eczema and Psoriasis

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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Tips For Avoiding A Summer Eczema Flare

As the days get warmer and we move into the summer months, we know that a lot of people will be eager to get out and enjoy some much-needed relaxation in the sun. However, if you have a skin condition such as dermatitis or eczema, it is possible that your symptoms may be aggravated by the warmer weather. If your flare-ups are triggered by sunlight, and are stopping you from going outdoors we are here to help. We have created this helpful guide in order to help you avoid a summer eczema flare-up in Redditch, Middlesbrough & Wirral.

Tips For Managing Your Eczema

Being diagnosed with eczema does not mean you have to dread certain times of year for the rest of your life. There are many ways to reduce your symptoms by being mindful of your personal triggers and environment. Through trial and error, finding out what substances or temperatures induce eczema flare-ups is a great way to identify situations you should avoid. Documenting your triggers and doing your best to create a trigger-free environment whenever possible can greatly help in the management of eczema flare-ups, no matter the time of year.

In addition to trigger monitoring, here are some other helpful tips for betting controlling eczema:

  • Buy a humidifier During the cold winter months, the air both inside and outside becomes exceptionally dry. Capable of drying out the outer layer of our skin, this dry weather can cause significant discomfort and irritation for someone living with eczema. Because of this, it is highly recommended that eczema patients use a humidifier in their homes to add some extra moisture into their air and skin. Research has shown that regular use of humidifiers during dry times of the year has had an overall positive impact on eczema flare-ups.

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When Infections Cause Eczema Blisters

People with eczema are more prone to infections because burst blisters or damaged, raw skin can be a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, or viruses, says Amy Kassouf, MD, a dermatologist with the Cleveland Clinic in Twinsburg, Ohio.

One particularly dangerous infection is called eczema herpeticum the result of atopic dermatitis and contact with the herpes simplex 1 virus , the virus that causes cold sores and some cases of genital herpes, according to the NEA. The infection can occur when someone with even mild eczema has skin-to-skin contact with HSV-1. Many watery eczema blisters break out and are very itchy. The infection spreads fast, leading to fever and flu-like symptoms, and the fluid inside the blisters turns to yellow pus.

If the infection is untreated, it can eventually affect vital organs and ultimately lead to death, although thats rare, the NEA says. Treatment for eczema herpeticum consists of antiviral medications and painkillers as needed.

Infections from the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can also cause pus-filled blisters and honey-colored crusting over the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Treatment of a staph infection includes antibiotics and drainage of blisters or wounds.

Signs an eczema blister has become infected include red color, warmth to the touch, whitish liquid drainage, and swelling, Rieder says.

Be Diligent About Managing Your Allergies

Eczema flare-ups in summer

Eczema flare-ups are common when youre around allergens, whether they are dust, mites, mold, pollen, or something else. Make sure youre allergen-free all year-round, including in the summer.

If youre traveling, you may want to consider taking along your bedding and bath towels to help control allergies. You never know if youll be allergic to the detergent the hotel uses, for example. Your doctor may suggest an antihistamine as a preventive because you may encounter different types of allergens, such as pollen, while youre traveling.

To discuss your specific situation and to learn about additional measures you can take to fully enjoy the summer season, book an appointment online or call us at Doctors First PC.

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Avoid Going Outside During Certain Times

If you are planning any activities, try to schedule them in the early morning or late evening when its cooler and the suns rays arent as strong. Going out during peak hours, or between 10am and 3pm, will expose your skin when the sun is at its strongest, making you more vulnerable to UV radiation and sunburn.

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Stay Cool And Monitor Your Baby Outdoors

Staying outside in the heat can make your baby sweat. Sweating is natural, but as we mentioned above, it can actually irritate your little ones eczema.

Keep a close eye on your child during the summer, especially if youre planning for outdoor activities. Watch for lethargy and changes in the pigmentation of their skin. These are signs that your baby is too hot and may be dehydrated.

Applying a cold compress such as an ice pack and as we mentioned above, drinking lots of water, are two ways to keep your baby cool outside.

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References And Further Information


  • Fitzpatrick TB. The validity and practicality of sun-reactive skin types I through VI. Arch Dermatol. 1988 Jun 124:869-71.
  • Ben-Gashir B, Hay R. Reliance on erythema scores may mask severe atopic dermatitis in black children compared with their white counterparts. British Journal of Dermatology 2002 147:920-925.
  • Further information:

    Skin Deep is a website that contains images of people with different skin tones to help patients and doctors better understand and describe symptoms of different skin conditions: .

    The PDF document below shows what eczema can look like on different skin tones.

    How Do I Stop Eczema Flare

    Why does my eczema flare

    You can do various things to manage your eczema flares when the weather is hot. Here are some tips that may help.

    • Wear loose-fitting clothing in natural, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Avoid clothes with rough, scratchy fibers.
    • Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated. Stay cool.
    • Keep your lotions and gels in the fridge to help keep your skin cool.
    • Shower and moisturize your skin after swimming.
    • Use cooling towels or a cold washcloth to wipe away sweat periodically.
    • Keep places like the bends of the elbows and backs of the knees dry .
    • Take cold showers .
    • Avoid harsh soaps and cleansers.
    • Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it after a shower.
    • Use a moisturizer every day to protect your skin. This acts as a barrier against environmental triggers.
    • Avoid doing strenuous activities outdoors during the daytime. Stick to going outdoors in the early mornings and evenings when its cooler.
    • Avoid rapid changes in temperature.
    • Use sunscreen every day, preferably mineral sunscreen.
    • Try to identify allergic triggers for your eczema and avoid them.

    If lifestyle modifications and home treatments are not working and you are suffering from severe eczema flares in the summer season, its a good idea to consult a dermatologist. They can help you figure out allergens and give you tips on how best to protect your skin.

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    Maintain A Good Skin Care Routine

    Summertime is for relaxation and kicking your feet back. But dont kick your babys skin care routine to the curb just because its summer. Stick to a routine every day to provide comfort and relief for your little one.


    Mustelas Stelatopia Emollient Cream is perfect for everyday maintenance and care for extremely dry and eczema-prone skin. This light-textured, fragrance-free product moisturizes, nourishes, and soothes your little ones eczema-prone skin.

    Apply the emollient cream all over your babys body, but give special attention to delicate areas of their skin, including their face, the back of the ears, elbows, knees, and chest. Gently massage an extra layer of the emollient cream on these areas upon waking to prepare your childs skin for the day.

    Below is a breakdown of specific areas where eczema flare-ups are most likely to show up based upon age:

    • Birth to twelve months: Plumper areas like cheeks, forehead, arms, and belly will show signs of eczema first.
    • Twelve months to three years: Your babys skin folds elbows, back of the knees, even behind the ears will be more prone to eczema flare-ups.
    • Three years to six years: At this age, eczema likes to settle on the hands and face, particularly around the mouth and on the eyelids.


    For the best results, use Stelatopia Emollient Cream and Stelatopia Emollient Balm interchangeably throughout the day. Each product may be applied to your baby twice per day to relieve any skin discomfort.

    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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    What Causes Eczema Flare

    Eczema flare-ups occur when the immune system is overloaded and unable to fight off the things that trigger inflammation for an individual and results in the red, itchy, and dry skin.

    A number of factors can contribute to an eczema flare-up, from environmental factors, to internal stresses and reactions.

    Does Your Child Need To See A Doctor About Eczema

    Eczema Flare Up Update Why does my skin flare up on a healthy diet?

    Yes. Take your child to see your GP if your child:

    • might have eczema for the first time
    • is very itchy and uncomfortable
    • has eczema thats weeping or bleeding
    • has eczema that hasnt improved much after a few days, even though youve been treating it as usual
    • is having trouble sleeping because the rash is so itchy
    • has painful or eczema that has developed pus
    • has eczema and is generally unwell for example, has a fever and/or is sweating, feeding poorly or tired.

    You should also take your child to the GP if youre not sure whether the rash is eczema.

    If your childs eczema doesnt improve with a combination of medical treatment and management at home, your GP might refer your child to a dermatologist. If the GP thinks your childs eczema might be from allergies, they might also refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist.

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    Warmer Spring Months Can Trigger Eczema Flare

    It is officially spring! Warmer temperatures and flowers in bloom across Texas are certainly welcome. However, this time of year can create dread for those who suffer from eczema.

    Eczema is an inflamed, itchy, red skin rash that tends to occur on the inner part of the elbows, behind the knees, back of the hands, eyelids and face. According to the National Eczema Association, this skin condition is very common, with over 30 million Americans estimated to have some form of it. The cause of eczema is not known, but those who have it tend to have a overactive immune system.

    As the seasons change, your skin can become very dry causing it to crack. The warm weather also causes us to perspire more, which aggravates the itching and swelling of eczema. Fortunately, there are a few things to do this spring to minimize triggers.

    • Drink plenty of water to help keep your skin hydrated.
    • Avoid prolonged exposure to hot or chlorinated water.
    • Use a gentle skin cleanser.
    • Keep your skin moisturized.
    • Wear loose, cotton clothing.

    While there is no cure for eczema, treatment includes over-the-counter moisturizers, topical corticosteroid creams, topical prescription creams and oral antihistamines. When skin appears to be infected, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics to clear the secondary skin infection.

    The issues that the warmer spring months can trigger for eczema sufferers may continue even into summer. Talk to your doctor or medical provider for help managing your seasonal eczema symptoms.

    Keep Your Skincare Routine

    Aside from these tips, nothing beats the skincare routine that works for you and the pieces of advice that your dermatologist gave towards eczema relief. It’s highly important that you remain consistent in managing your eczema.

    Just because it doesn’t flare-up, it doesn’t entirely mean it won’t be triggered in the coming days, so always be proactive to reduce your risk for more serious skin infection or eczema-related skin damage.

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    Eczema Coping Tips Avoid Changes In Temperature

    Abrupt temperature and humidity changes can sometimes irritate the skin for example, going in and out of air-conditioned buildings on hot days or heated buildings on cold days.Hard physical activity or exercise that makes you sweat heavily can also trigger the itch of eczema.Suggestions include:

    • In winter, dont overheat your house. Dress warmly when going outdoors and remove the extra layers as soon as you return.
    • In summer, dont over cool your house. Air conditioners can dry out the air and irritate your skin.
    • Avoid hard physical activity in hot weather. For example, do your gardening first thing in the morning, or in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.


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