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The Summertime Woes of Eczema

EczemaThe end of winter tends to be a time of great celebration for the person with eczema. The dry air is left behind and months of warm weather lie ahead. What could disrupt all the pleasures of summer! A flare-up, that’s what.

Whether eczema is a problem or not, environmental changes of any kind, even a change of season, provokes changes in the skin. Some of the climate variances are good for eczema, but it is important to recognize where hazards may be hiding. Triggers may be disguised as:

  • A refreshing pool. Chlorinated water can be drying to the skin.
  • Warm weather and humidity. Eczema-prone skin hates being dry, but too much moisture, especially in the form of sweat, can spell trouble. Warmth also increases body temperature, which heightens the itch reflex, creating a risk of aggressive scratching and causes skin-thickening.
  • Sun protection. Sunscreen ingredients may be irritating to some people with eczema.

Summertime Tips to Manage Eczema

It is possible that the summer months will be the best time of year for your eczema! If you notice unwelcomed changes, remember a few simple management tips:

  • Your skin needs extra exfoliation during the summer months. Keep it gentle!
  • Lighten up on the type of moisturizer you use. Stow away the heavy emollient cream for Fall, when the air starts to dry.
  • Keep showers shorter and cooler as much as possible, and apply lotion while skin is damp.
  • Maintain indoor temperatures at a comfortable level for your skin.
  • Add moisture to indoor air when needed, using a cool-air humidifier.
  • Choosing SPF 30 products with a “sensitive skin” formulation may help you avoid the rash.
  • Showering after swimming washes away chlorine that increases dryness. Remember to moisturize, too.

Eczema affects people of all ages and poses significant concerns for comfort and dermatologic health. If you or a loved one aren’t sure why rashes develop periodically and worsen under certain circumstances, schedule a consultation with us to determine if it could be eczema. Our experienced staff can develop a management plan to help you. Call the Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center at 610-594-6660.


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