Summertime Skincare Tips for Eczema
About 18 million Americans suffer from eczema, including about 3.2 million adults and kids with moderate-to-severe symptoms. Although cold, dry winter weather is commonly associated with eczema flare-ups, plenty of people find their symptoms are worse in the heat of the summer.
Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes patches of red, flaky, itchy skin, most commonly on the face, hands, feet, and behind the knees. Eczema is more common among people with a personal or family history of asthma and allergies, and researchers believe the condition may be related to specific genes, too.
People with eczema typically have flare-ups — periods when their symptoms are worse than normal. In addition to changes in weather or temperature, other triggers include:
- Laundry detergents
- Soaps and personal care products
- Some types of clothing
- Emotional stress
Like most other skin conditions, eczema requires tailored treatment focused on each patient’s unique symptoms and needs. As dedicated primary care providers, the team at Medical Access offers patient-centered care for eczema, including customized care plans for both adults and kids.
If you find your eczema symptoms flaring up this summer, here’s what you can do to soothe your skin and stay comfortable.
Keep your cool
Since sweating is a trigger for eczema symptoms, preventing perspiration can help you feel a lot more comfortable. When you’re outdoors, stick to the shade, and wear clothing designed to wick away moisture. Or avoid the outdoors during the hottest hours, and stick to an air-conditioned area instead.
Drink plenty of fluids
Your skin needs plenty of fluid to maintain its own moisture and its natural protective barrier. Drinking water gives your skin the fluid it needs, and it can also help you stay cool.
Use the right sunscreen
Sunscreens with lots of chemicals can wind up irritating sensitive skin. Instead, look for products that use zinc oxide or titanium oxide, two minerals that block the sun’s harmful rays.
Rinse your skin after swimming
Chlorine, salt water, and even lake water can irritate sensitive skin. If you can, head for the showers right after your swim, or carry a spray bottle so you can rinse off on the spot. Be sure to change out of your wet clothes right away, and reapply sunscreen and moisturizer, too.
Dry off gently
After swimming or showering, you want to make sure your skin is completely dry before dressing. But instead of rubbing your skin dry, dab it gently with your towel, taking care to dry behind your knees and inside your elbows — areas where dampness can cause irritation, along with eczema flare-ups.
Moisturizing your skin is important in the heat of the summer, just as it in the dry months of winter. Choose a moisturizer with ceramides, natural “waxy” lipids that help skin maintain its protective barrier and prevent moisture evaporation. Apply moisturizer after your shower and after swimming.
Map out a treatment plan
Eczema flare-ups can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. But the good news is, there are plenty of treatment options to help you enjoy clearer skin. To learn how we can help you manage your eczema symptoms — in the summer and all year long — call the office, or schedule an appointment online.
With offices in Germantown, Rockville, and Beltsville, Maryland, and Alexandria, Woodbridge, and McLean, Virginia, Medical Access makes it easy to get the care you need, even during the busy months of summer.