Managing Eczema in Summer

10 Jan 2018

Summer is our favourite time of year. The sun is out, the weather is warm; however it can be a tricky time when it comes to managing eczema.

If you or a loved one struggle with eczema, you’ll know that summer heat, sweat and exposure to environmental factors like sand, chlorine and sunscreen can exacerbate symptoms. This is because in people with eczema the skin barrier does not work as well. With less water retaining properties, moisture is easily lost from the skin causing it to dry out and become vulnerable to irritants and allergens. Pollen allergy can also trigger a worsening of eczema symptoms, in Spring and Summer.

However, there’s no need to stay indoors all summer long. You can manage your eczema during the warmer months with these simple tips:

  • As always, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
  • If you’re planning to swim in the pool, we recommend using a good emollient before going in, then after rinsing off apply again to protect the skin.
  • Keep your emollient in the fridge it will feel extra soothing to apply when it’s warm outside.
  • Wear loose, light clothing and avoid synthetic fabrics that trap heat and moisture close to the body.
  • Although a broad spectrum sunscreen is critical in the harsh Summer sun, it can sting and irritate sensitive skin. It is a good idea to trial a few and find one that suits you best. Ego SunSense, Cetaphil Suntivity, and La Roche Posay have ranges worth trying.
  • Although seawater can sting broken skin it can be healing for sore and inflamed skin.
  • On very hot days stay cool with airconditioning at home or better yet, go shopping or see a movie.
  • High stress levels can exacerbate eczema symptoms. Gentle exercise such as yoga can help keep you relaxed and calm.
  • Good vitamin D levels are important in helping to manage eczema. The best source of vitamin D is UVB radiation from the sun. UV radiation levels vary depending on location, time of year, time of day, cloud coverage and the environment. 
  • Apply cool compresses to soothe the skin and help with the urge to scratch.
  • Soaking in a bath of lukewarm (not hot) water can help your skin better absorb moisture. Add non-fragranced bath oil,  or mild bleach to reduce bacteria and prevent infection. Remember not to soak longer than 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Apply wet wrap therapy to calm and re-hydrate the skin.
  • Visit our Eczema Clinic for a full assessment and an individual care plan.

It’s important to note that if your eczema isn’t getting better, you might have an infection. If skin is broken, red and weepy it may need a topical antibiotic cream or oral antibiotics. You may be exposed to allergens that you aren’t aware of that are causing your eczema. If this is the case, make an appointment to visit our Eczema Clinic, and find out how we can help you with personalised care plan that will have you back at the beach in no time.

What is Eczema?
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