24 May Eczema Getting Worse in the Summer?
There is no cure for eczema, but there are many treatment options for this common skin condition. It is one of the most common complaints at Spectrum Dermatology, particularly for those who struggle with chronic eczema. The severity of your eczema may ebb and flow over the years, and you might find that what worked for you years ago no longer seems effective. The skin is the largest organ we have, and it (and its needs) can change quite a bit over the years. Whether your childhood eczema never went away or you developed eczema as an adult, let’s take a look at how you can manage your eczema as we enter the summer months.
For a lot of people with eczema, the summer months are the toughest. This is due to a number of reasons, from the fact that the sun and heat can be triggers for eczema to the possibility that your summer skin care might be irritating it. Even though we should be using sunscreen or sun block year-round, a lot of people don’t really dedicate themselves to sun protection until the summer months. There’s a chance your sunscreen might be exacerbating your eczema, and a medical-grade sunscreen or sunscreen with dermatologist-recommended ingredients can help keep your eczema in check.
Navigating the Summer with Eczema
For those who love to swim or partake in other outdoor summer activities, you might notice your eczema flares up at this time of year. Swimming in pools can be especially troublesome due to the chemicals in the water. It is often recommended not to coat your skin with petroleum jelly, although this so-called “trick” remains prevalent. This can actually make your eczema worse. Instead, if you must swim in a pool rather than non-treated water, thoroughly rinsing the skin before and immediately after swimming is a must. Follow up your second rinse with a dermatologist-recommended moisturizer or prescribed eczema cream.
Your eczema might be reacting to a number of factors associated to swimming pools, whether it’s the chemicals themselves, the sun (for outdoor pools), or the dryness that can result from these chemicals. If you have eczema, you don’t need to avoid pools entirely. However, you might need to change and enhance your skin care rituals surrounding your pool time.
Trapping Heat on the Skin’s Surface
Using petroleum jelly can be troublesome for those with eczema because it creates a physical barrier on the skin’s surface. This can trap heat and moisture (including sweat), which can make eczema worse. The same can happen with other types of topicals, such as sun block. There are so many skin care products on the market, many of which might be targeted towards eczema, and it can be overwhelming to figure out what works for you. A dermatologist can work with you to determine the right products for your eczema right now. However, topicals aren’t the only option for eczema management.
There are a number of in-office treatments that can help reduce eczema flare-ups. A variety of lasers and energy-based devices have been shown to be highly effective for many patients with eczema. Routine office treatments can be part of your summer skin care, and you can often enjoy much quicker and more dramatic results with this approach rather than depending on topical skin creams and lotions alone.
Identifying Your Triggers
One of the most important factors in eczema management is knowing and avoiding your triggers. These triggers can change season to season. From types of foods to heat or chemicals, a dermatologist is your best resource for finding out which triggers are worsening your eczema. An allergy test can also help, and keep in mind that you can develop (and even “lose”) allergies throughout your lifetime.
If you have eczema, you can manage it better with the help of a dermatologist. Even though this condition isn’t dangerous or contagious, it can still be frustrating, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. You don’t need to hide under long sleeves this summer. Connect with Spectrum Dermatology today and schedule your appointment for eczema management and treatment.