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The summer months are something we’ve been looking forward to for many reasons. Summer is typically a time of social gathering, something many have been craving for weeks. Summer is a time to get out into the sunshine and let it warm the body through the skin. For many, the mere idea of this sounds luxurious. For a person with eczema, summertime can bring with it a fair amount of uncertainty. Will that backyard barbeque cause a flare-up of redness and itching? It very well may. Here, we discuss some ways that you can decrease the risk of this happening.

Reducing Summertime Eczema Flare-Ups

The factor that might contribute to eczema flare-ups the most a person’s own sweat. This could be because the sweat is salty and has minerals like zinc and iron, as well as copper, nickel, lead, cadmium, chloride, and manganese. These can build up on the epidermis and cause irritation. This is most likely to happen where sweat and moisture get trapped, like the backs of the knees or the creases of the elbows.

Obviously, we can’t advise a person to stop sweating as a way to prevent eczema flare-ups. However, some strategies can decrease the effects of hot summer weather. These include:

  • Stay cool when possible. Especially now, we would not tell a person that they must stay inside to avoid getting hot and sweaty. We know how important it is to be out and about! While engaging in outdoor activities, though, it is beneficial to seek out shade and to drink plenty of water. The more hydrated you are, the more your body temperature stays cooler.
  • Avoid chemical sunscreens. Chemicals can irritate the skin. Therefore, when you must wear sunscreen, it is best to wear a physical, mineral product that is made with zinc or titanium oxide. These products used to be known for leaving a thick white coating on the skin. Newer products may be thinner or less viscous and easier to spread.
  • Rinse after swimming. This is necessary whether you swim in a chlorinated pool or saltwater. Both salt and chlorine can cause skin irritation if left to sit and absorb. If you don’t have a shower nearby, use a water bottle to rinse off.
  • Use ceramides on the skin. At least once a day, especially after showering, it is helpful to apply a ceramide lotion like CeraVe to the skin. This type of product contains lipids that fortify the skin’s natural barrier.

Dr. Futoryan and our staff are here to support you in a healthy, beautiful summer. If you need treatment for eczema or any other dermatologic concern, contact our Westport office at (203) 226-3600.

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