Summer is officially right around the corner. With warmer temperatures come all your favorite outdoor activities, from hiking and biking at local parks to relaxing on the beach with a good book.
But if you’re one of an estimated 15 million Americans with eczema, summer weather might mean dealing with bothersome flare-ups.
If you have eczema, you’re familiar with the inflamed, itchy patches of skin. Flare-ups can happen at any time of the year, but hot temperatures and sun exposure could make your eczema worse.
If you have eczema, you don’t have to stay inside when the sun is shining. The team at Orange Coast Dermatology, specializes in dermatology procedures, including those that offer relief from eczema.
Here, our team shares our best tips for protecting your skin and minimizing eczema symptoms this summer.
Because hot temperatures and sun exposure can worsen eczema, you should wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day to protect your skin. And take steps to limit your sun exposure during the hottest part of the day.
The sun is generally strongest between 10am and 3pm. Stay in the shade during these hours to minimize skin irritation. If shade isn’t available, wear long sleeves and long pants, as well as a wide-brimmed hat to protect your neck and face.
Your body sweats as a means of cooling, but sweat can irritate your skin and trigger eczema flare-ups. If you’re planning to be outside or active for any period of time, pack a washcloth or paper towels to wipe sweat away.
Focus on areas that often get sweaty, like the backs of your knees and the inner corners of your elbows. By soaking up excess sweat, you remove potential irritants from your skin and reduce your risk of eczema patches developing.
Your body loses moisture when you sweat, and dry skin can make eczema symptoms worse.
To keep your skin and your body hydrated, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Choose water whenever possible, but sports drinks with electrolytes may be a good choice if you’re participating in vigorous physical activity.
Keeping your skin clean and moisturized should be part of your eczema treatment plan no matter the season, but it’s particularly important in the summer. Whether you’ve been sweating or swimming, remember to shower or rinse your skin when you’re done.
Washing with a gentle cleanser removes sweat, salt, chlorine, and other chemicals that collect on skin. After your shower, dry your skin thoroughly. Choose a gentle moisturizer and apply it all over to help restore moisture to your skin.
You can enjoy your favorite summertime activities without triggering eczema flare-ups. For more skin care tips or to learn more about your eczema treatment options, contact us at our office in Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo, California.