Winter is typically considered the worst season for eczema flare-ups because cold temperatures and dry air cause skin to become dry, red, cracked, and itchy. But you may be surprised to learn that summer weather can also trigger eczema outbreaks among kids and adults. Increased heat, humidity, and sweat all contribute to skin aggravation and itchiness, especially in areas that trap moisture like the elbow creases, back of knees, and neck.
Additionally, chlorine in swimming pools, sunscreen ingredients, and increased allergens in the air could lead to an eczema flare. Luckily, there are proactive steps you can take to reduce your risk of a flare-up this summer. Keep reading to learn our recommendations.
Sweat is one of the biggest irritants to sensitive, eczema-prone skin. Stay cool this summer by staying in shady areas outside or avoiding being outdoors during the hottest times of day. If you are spending time in the heat, bring a small handheld fan and cold water and ice to help cool you down if you get hot. And dress in loose, cotton clothing that provides better ventilation. After outdoor activities, run a cool washcloth over your skin or take a shower to wipe away lingering sweat and prevent skin irritation.
Shower After Going Swimming
Chlorine is another irritating substance to eczema-prone skin. Shower, dry off, and put on fresh, dry clothes after spending a few hours swimming in the pool. If you don’t have a shower available, bring some bottled water to wipe yourself down or rinse off after pool time.
Shower or rinse off after a beach outing too. The combination of heat, sand, and salt water can dry out your skin and cause itchiness and irritation.
Buy a Non-Irritating Sunscreen
Chemical sunscreens might contain skin-irritating ingredients. Opt for a physical sunscreen (also called a mineral sunscreen) with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. Mineral sunscreens are gentle and non-irritating on sensitive skin.
Monitor Allergy Levels
Tree, grass, and ragweed pollens levels soar in the hot, humid summer months and could trigger an eczema flare-up. Check pollen levels before planning outdoor activities this summer and opt for indoor events if allergen levels are high. If you’re suffering from allergies that are triggering your eczema, talk to your doctor about getting an antihistamine prescription to control your allergy symptoms.
Keeping your skin moisturized is critical during summer. Apply a thick moisturizer to damp skin within a few minutes of getting out of the shower every day. And make sure to remoisturize during the day if you shower or rinse off after swimming or being outside.
Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers is here to help! With an expert team of physicians, APRNs, and PAs, FLDSCC diagnoses and treats skin cancers, as well as skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, dry skin, rashes, warts and more, with the latest technological options. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.