Summer is finally here and we can’t wait to lounge outside and catch some extra rays! If you suffer from eczema, then you’ll know that a change in weather can either be a great thing or the WORST thing for eczema.
To start the season off right, we wanted to share our Ultimate Summer Eczema Care Guide to prepare you for the hot weather ahead, while staying in control of your eczema flare-ups.
Please keep in mind that although these tips have worked for several eczema sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.
Now for our Summer Eczema Tips…..
Stay Cool & Sweat Free
Sweat is a big eczema trigger. To keep cool, wear 100% cotton or bamboo clothing. Carry a towel around with you to dry off any sweaty spots and always change out of sweaty clothes as soon as possible.
For sports, we love the idea of a good moisture-wicking fabric to help prevent sweat-induced flares. Another reason to cover up eczema prone spots like behind the knees and in elbow creases? To protect the skin from common outdoor irritants like pollen. My son’s skin gets super puffy, red and angry looking only behind the knees, when exposed to birch pollen which hits in spring. To prevent sweat and pollen induced flares, we cover up with Remedywear™ eczema sleeves. They work wonders!!!!
Spend Time in the Sun
You may be surprised, but the sun has been proven to reduce skin inflammation associated with eczema and other skin conditions (1). Sunshine helps the body produce more vitamin D, which can helps improve the symptoms of eczema. Vitamin D supplements have been proven to help those with cases of severe eczema during winter months (2), so why not get a dose of natural vitamin D from our glorious sun?
Read More about Vitamin D and Eczema.
But be careful! Just because the sun is good for eczema, doesn’t mean you should stay in it all day long. Be sure to limit your hours in the sun to 15 minutes at a time and let your skin relax in some shade every so often. For longer periods of time in the sun, it’s still important to cover up your eczema during summer with sunscreen in order to block out damaging UVA and UVB rays.
Use Natural Sunscreen or Sunblock
If you’ve read our blog in the past, you know that many eczema treatments include harsh and unsafe chemicals that can irritate the skin. Well, it’s equally important to use natural sunscreen if you have eczema in summer!
Some great choices for sunscreen are those that include zinc and as few ingredients as possible. As a general rule of thumb these are called sunblocks as they physically block the sun with minerals. Make sure to also stay away from products containing fragrance or perfume, and instead opt for natural and unscented sunblocks.
Check our recommendations for the Best All Natural Sunscreens for Eczema.
Head to the Beach
Spending time at the beach with your feet in the sand and listening to the surf roll in is so therapeutic and relaxing. And since stress is one of the most common eczema triggers, a day at the beach could actually help your summer eczema. So, tell your box you need a day off to head to the beach! Ha! Lowering your stress levels aren’t the only benefit you’ll find at the beach. The ocean’s salt water is also known to work miracles for many individuals with eczema in summer.
Many believe that minerals like magnesium in salt helps provide therapeutic relief and can help soothe dry skin too. In fact, Epson Salt and Dead Sea Salt baths can replicate the ocean experience in your own home!
Be careful though! If your eczema has any open wounds or cuts, salt will only make it more painful. Therefore, salt water treatments are not recommended for oozing or weeping eczema.
We recommend salt water based pools rather than chlorinated pools. Chlorine is very drying and is quite a toxic chemical. If you have your own pool, try moving to a salt water system. Sadly public salt water pools are less common and you’ll usually find chlorinated pools in public settings. And that’s ok! Don’t let chlorine stop your summer pool fun! Just take a few precautions to keep your skin safe.
Moisturize your skin really well the morning before you plan to swim. You can even apply it again just before diving in, to protect the skin, if you have a thick oil based balm like the Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream. Don’t soak in the pool for long periods of time. Always rinse off very well after any time in the pool. And apply your favorite moisturizer again afterwards.
After any type of sun, beach or chlorine exposure, you’ll want to make sure your eczema prone skin stays well hydrated. Our Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a soft and creamy oil based balm that is extremely soothing and perfect for dry skin and eczema during summer. I usually lather this cream on myself after sun exposure and it keeps my skin smooth and dry-free throughout the rest of the day!
Mosquitos and other pesky insects don’t shy away from eczema and can even be drawn to you more if your skincare has a scent they find interesting. Most bug sprays contain alcohol, which can burn open wounds, as well as toxic chemicals that are dangerous for all skin types and especially bad for those with eczema.
Lastly, know that what we eat, affects your entire body – especially your skin.
The above tips might help keep your eczema hydrated at the surface, but eating healthy and knowing which allergens to stay away from will also help wonders.
Eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as fish, nuts, healthy and more will definitely keep your skin looking great. It’s also important to drink water throughout the day, so as to keep skin nourished and fully hydrated.
Healing from within is critical for eczema. Learn more in Our Eczema Elimination Diet Success Story!
You shouldn’t have to worry about summer eczema flare-up! Try these tips above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
- Epidemiological studies of the influence of sunlight on the skin. Berg, M.
- Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation for winter-related atopic dermatitis in children. Camargo, Carlos.
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.