Eczema patients each experience flare-ups differently. While dry air may cause one person’s eczema to surface, someone with the same condition could have an eczema-free experience in the same environment.
Even though eczema affects each patient in unique ways, many people experience worse bouts of the condition in the warmer summer months. There are a few reasons why, which is why we are diving into summertime eczema, what can trigger it, and what can help soothe it.
What Causes Eczema in the First Place?
Before we talk about eczema in the summer, let’s look at this condition in general. Eczema is an itchy, rash-inducing skin condition that people can develop at any age. While some may experience the symptoms of eczema from infancy, others may develop it far into adulthood.
There are 4 significant factors that can cause eczema to surface:
Over-Reactive Immune System
Eczema is a side effect of your immune system overreacting to irritants and allergens.
Many eczema patients find eczema, additional skin-related issues, or conditions like asthma or allergies in their family history.
Environment and External Factors
The environment around some people can cause eczema to surface. These environments can include smoky atmospheres, dry air, or high temperatures.
High levels of stress can manifest in an eczema flare-up over time.
What Makes Eczema Flare Up in the Summer?
As mentioned in “Environment and External Factors” earlier, high outdoor temperatures can cause eczema to surface. Not everyone with eczema is affected by high temperatures, but there are a couple of reasons warmer weather can cause irritation.
Hot temperatures lead to sweat.
Warmer weather activates sweat glands and dries out the skin. The combination of dry skin and sweat residue can then cause patches of eczema to surface in reaction to the irritation.
Warmer weather increases exposure to outdoor allergens.
Sunny weather calls for more time outside to enjoy the warmth of the season. However, more time outside means more exposure to eczema-inducing grasses, pollen, or other external warm-weather allergens.
How Can I Treat My Summertime Eczema?
To help soothe any eczema flare-ups in the spring or summer, here are a few tips to consider:
Keep your skin moist.
Try taking 5- to 10-minute showers in lukewarm water, and shower only once a day.
Apply moisturizer right after a shower.
Lock in moisture after a shower with a fragrance-free, cream or petroleum-based moisturizer.
Do not use soaps, detergents, or moisturizers with essential oils.
Because essential oils can cause skin irritation, avoid them in items that directly or indirectly affect your skin. Choose gentle products designed for sensitive skin instead.
Reach for the zinc.
Choose topical ointments with zinc to help soothe and protect any itchy areas. For sunscreen, use products with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.