Eczema can be a challenge at any time of the year, but it’s especially problematic during summer months when temperatures rise. Just as colder times of the year often present a challenge, you can take steps to avoid and manage summer eczema flare-ups.
Warmer months bring the beauty of flowers in bloom and longer-lasting rays of sunshine, but summertime isn’t all roses for the 15 million Americans with eczema. Spending time outdoors may seem harmless. However, time in the sun can trigger an eczema flare.
The good news is you don’t have to vow to stay inside this summer. You can enjoy warm-weather activities and keep your eczema in check with some practical tips.
Riviera Allergy Medical Center allergy and immunology specialist Ulrike Ziegner, MD, helps patients in and near Redondo Beach, California, live well with conditions that affect the immune system. Having a difference in your immune system doesn’t mean you have to abandon a good quality of life.
Take a moment as our experts share some easy-to-implement tips for managing eczema during warmer times of the year.
Eczema includes a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, inflamed, dry, and itchy, and sometimes weepy blisters develop. Researchers haven’t uncovered the exact cause of eczema, but most types involve an overactive immune response.
Adults and children with eczema have a weak or damaged protective barrier on the top layer of skin. Without a strong barrier, eczema makes your skin more sensitive and vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and environmental changes in weather and humidity.
Additionally, skin with a dysfunctional top layer has trouble retaining moisture, making your skin susceptible to dryness and irritation.
Eczema causes the skin to appear scaly, dry, brittle, and irritated. Intense itching is common. A number of things can trigger a flare-up, including:
- Hot temperatures
- Cold temperatures
- High humidity
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Irritants (soaps, fragrances)
Managing eczema year-round involves knowing how to care for your sensitive skin, along with limiting your exposure to triggers. Here are the best ways to combat eczema flare-ups during warmer months.
Adults and children with eczema often have allergies. If you have known allergies, keeping them well-controlled will go a long way toward avoiding eczema flares all year long. If you aren’t sure about your allergy status, talk to Dr. Ziegner about screening for allergens, which often include mold, dander, and pollen.
Check your sunscreen
Spending long hours in the sun is a major eczema trigger for some people. To make matters worse, some sunscreens contain substances that aggravate sensitive skin and can trigger or worsen eczema flares.
It’s always best to protect your skin while out in the sun, but it’s important to ensure that your sunblock isn’t doing more harm than good. A sunblock specifically formulated for sensitive skin is a wise choice.
Balance the scales of moisture
A healthy outer layer of skin regulates how much moisture the skin loses and absorbs. Because your skin is less able to do so, you must pay special care to moisturize your skin during summer months when higher temperatures can rob the skin of moisture.
Keep in mind that a delicate balance is necessary because too much moisture can trigger an eczema flare-up. If you sweat during higher temperatures, it’s important to avoid allowing the sweat to sit on your skin. The excess moisture is a recipe for an eczema flare-up.
A good rule of thumb is to regularly use a moisturizer that is safe for sensitive skin, so your skin is better able to retain moisture and limit dryness without having your skin wet.
Drinking plenty of water and other clear, unsweetened beverages keep your body. Staying well-hydrated on the inside keeps you hydrated on the outside.
After all, your skin must contend with heat, sunlight, contaminants, irritants, and many more factors. The summertime sun and hot temperatures can sap the body of moisture, making it easier to become dehydrated.
Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water each day. It’s wise to carry a water bottle with you when you’re outdoors in warmer months. Sipping water throughout the day replaces fluids lost in the heat.
Losing as little as 10% of your fluids can have a significant impact on your skin’s ability to retain moisture.
If you have eczema, Dr. Ziegner and our team can help you keep flare-ups at bay so you can enjoy your favorite activities and lead an active lifestyle year-round.
To learn more, book an appointment online or call our Redondo Beach, California, office at 310-504-3242 today. You can also send a message to Dr. Ziegner and the team here at Riviera Allergy Medical Center today.