How to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Summer

When you experience an eczema flare-up, it can feel like the condition consumes your entire day. You long to calm your itchy, dry skin or prevent the uncomfortable rashes. Depending on the location of your eczema, you may also be self-conscious about the appearance of your red, scaly, or bumpy skin. Although eczema is more prevalent in children, many people deal with flare-ups well into their adolescent and adult years.

Winter is typically the season most associated with eczema flare-ups; the combination of dry air and indoor, artificial heat can leave your skin parched and irritated. This is true for many people, but summer presents its own unique set of potential triggers. Time spent in the sun or cooling off in the pool can both start a flare-up. Additionally, sweat and seasonal allergies are possible catalysts. Luckily, there are also ways to prevent any flare-ups and make your summer eczema-free.

Though eczema is never pleasant, having a great dermatologist on your team can certainly makes things easier. At Apex Dermatology, Dr. Karin Harp, Kristin Rupert PA-C, Eva Hurst PA-C, Dr. Jan Smogorzewski, and the rest of our team can help you get a handle on this condition. We’ll make sure you get the optimal skin health you deserve.

Eczema Basics

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a condition that makes your skin red, itchy, and scaly. The condition is usually present before the age of five and may or may not continue into adulthood.  Eczema is recently recognized as something that can present newly even in adult years.  For some people, it flares periodically and then clears up for a time, even for several years. Symptoms include:

Swollen and sensitive skin may be a secondary symptom that develops from excessive itching.

Summertime triggers: the pool

Anyone who’s ever opened their eyes in the pool knows the harsh nature of chlorinated water. Pool water can dry out your skin and leave you open to a flare-up. This doesn’t mean you have to spend the summer playing lifeguard.

Before jumping in, dab some Vaseline or Aquaphor on your common rash spots. When you’re done swimming, thoroughly rinse off the chlorinated water. Use only gentle, non-soap cleansers on eczema-prone skin.  If you plan on staying outdoors, reapply sunblock. If headed indoors, apply moisturizer.

Summertime triggers: the sun

Many eczema sufferers are sun-sensitive. To make matters worse, many chemical sunscreens can also irritate sensitive skin. In turn, the solutions are two-fold. Wear wide-brimmed hats and loose clothing to keep you cool and get a good airflow. Wear white as well; it reflects the sun. Also, be sure to stay hydrated as dry skin burns more easily. When looking for sunblock, invest in hypoallergenic brands. Moisturizers with built-in SPF also provide valuable coverage.

Summertime triggers: sweat

Sweat pools in your inner elbows and the back of your knees. When it’s allowed to sit in these areas, it can irritate your skin and worsen eczema symptoms. If you do happen to work up a sweat, rinse as soon as you can, and put on a change of clothes as soon as possible.

Summertime triggers: seasonal allergies

Eczema is perhaps most associated with allergies. Many who have the condition also deal with asthma and hay fever. During the summer, try to stick to a routine of taking antihistamines on a daily basis. Although you can’t make the outside air clean, there are ways to make your home more pleasant. Use an air purifier to keep get rid of dust and allergens. Additionally, some people use a humidifier to stop the artificial air of the A/C from drying you out.

Apex Dermatology can help you control your eczema. Call or message our Westlake Village office today.

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