Summer can be a fantastically kind season for eczema: there’s plenty of sunshine, the central heating is off, clothes are light and cotton rather than hot and bothersome. But even so, it’s not all plain sailing for itchy skin!
Here are some triggers to avoid in the summer:
Pollen, grasses, and itchy environmental allergens
Take these little blighters seriously: protect eyes and nose with a fine layer of Skin Salvation; wash particles out of your hair and off clothes as soon as you come indoors, find an antihistamine that works for you (they vary in effectiveness from person to person and from pollen to pollen.)
Take a look at our Hayfever Hacks here.
Layer up with balm before you dip in the pool, and shower thoroughly then moisturise again afterwards.
Patch test sunscreen or insect repellent at least a week before you go on holiday! Find unfragranced natural creams that works for you; sunscreen is likely to be more white and full of zinc than regular brands but you need one that keeps you from itching as well as burning!
Not an easy one to avoid but feeling hassled at work or at home can affect eczema even in summertime. See if you can find strategies to relax, whether it’s a lie-in, a walk in cool woods, sea swimming or meditation.
You need to keep your skin hydrated from drinking plenty of water as well topically.
Be Aware Of Dietary Triggers
Avoid food and drink you know will flare you up; hard to do if you’re wanting to enjoy the summer, but be aware that alcohol, sugar and some spices might cause itchiness the next day. Some times of course, the cocktails and ice lollies all worth it! Others, not so much...
Moisturise at night
...especially if you’re in air conditioned buildings. Now’s the time to slather on the natural balms or creams and let them work their magic overnight. Daily Moisturising Cream is an ideal light but nourishing cream for summer nights.
Regulate Your Temperature
Sweat and overheating can trigger a flare-up so if you’re experiencing high temperatures do take it slow. Change your workout down to a slower form of exercise; have a fan next to you; drink plenty of water; wear moisture-wicking clothes; invest in ice packs or those really rather remarkable ice towels; take cool showers when you can.
Go Light & Loose
Loose, light, breathable layers that you can put on and take off easily are key to keeping your skin cool and protected this summer. While Vitamin D and sunshine can be brilliant for your body’s immune system and therefore for your eczema, getting burnt or overheated is not.
Make Your Environment Eczema-Friendly
Keep dust and allergens to a minimum at home (and at work if you can); you could consider air purifiers, humidifiers and HEPA-filter vacuums to keep your environment free from triggers.
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If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.