5 Tips For Treating Eczema In The Hot Summer Months
Eczema is one of the most common skin concerns, and if you don’t struggle with it I am sure you know someone who does. Unfortunately, if you suffer with Eczema, you know how it can pop up unexpectedly, but always has it’s same warning signs. A small itchy patch appears, then an inflamed patch of skin forms, only getting worse by scratching. During the summer, those who suffer with Eczema can see more flare-ups due to multiple factors like humidity, heat, and sweat.
Keep reading for some tips on treating Eczema when you’re out enjoying the summer heat.
There are three common forms of Eczema:
- Atopic dermatitis is the most common and is seen most often in children. One to three percent of adults compared to 10 to 20 percent of children have this long-term genetic disease, which causes itchy rashes in the crux of the elbows and behind the knees.
- Allergic contact dermatitis begins to show in adulthood and is caused by environmental factors such as cosmetic agents, fragrances, and metals in jewelry.
- Nummular dermatitis looks like red and flaky coin-shaped patches of skin and is due to dry skin. This can be very itchy.
- Stay hydrated – drink lots of water
In the summer it’s very important to drink plenty of water and be sure you stay hydrated. Hydration is important for many reasons, one being that it helps to keep Eczema away. Anyone with Eczema has inherently dry skin and is susceptible to weaker skin barrier function. Therefore, drinking water (especially around exercise) to keep the body and skin hydrated is recommended.
- Keep gels and lotions in the fridge to keep them cool
While room-temp skin-care products are still doing your complexion plenty of good, there are some items, in particular, that benefit from being refrigerated. And one of the biggest? Any sort of gel or lotion. This is a fun trick that I learned when I started dealing with Eczema flare-ups in the summertime. Keeping my topical gels and lotions in the fridge really helps to calm my skin and clear up the flare up quickly.
- Rinse off after swimming and moisturize right away
Chlorine is the most common disinfectant that gets added to the water in swimming pools. It can be irritating to some Eczema skin, but many find that swimming in a chlorinated pool has a soothing effect that’s similar to taking a bleach bath. If you’re in the former group, choose a fresh-water alternative. However, if chlorine sits well with you, enjoy your time in the pool. Remember to rinse off and moisturize before and after swimming in any body of water, whether natural or human-made. A hot shower or bath can be tempting after a vigorous swim. Your muscles may love that sensation, but if you have Eczema, your skin probably won’t agree. Opt for a cool shower to calm your skin.
- Wear loose-fitting, light clothing
Loose-fitting clothing is a must when it comes to summertime and Eczema. Wearing tight-fitting clothing will only irritate your skin more and cause you to itch, while loose-fitting and light clothing helps to keep you cool and comfortable. Opt for a loose-fitting cotton t-shirt and loose shorts. Tight-fitting clothing may be great for absorbing sweat but it’s not great for Eczema. Loose-fitting cotton will generally be more comfortable and less irritating overall.
- Keep the insides of elbows and backs of knees as dry as possible (sweat collects there especially in the summer)
The body sweats in order to regulate body temperature. When we get hot and sweaty, the moisture evaporates, cooling us down. As the sweat evaporates, the skin dries out and is left with a salty residue that can irritate Eczema skin and bring on the itch. It’s important to keep areas where Eczema usually flares up dry in the heat to avoid flare-ups.