6 tips to avoid an eczema flare-up in hot weather
Disclaimer: This article provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.
Hot days may be great for some but it can spell trouble for eczema sufferers as the dry air and increased temperatures can take a toll on your skin often causing a vicious flare-up.
The hot air can easily irritate and dry out your epidermis, resulting in sensitive skin that’s more prone to redness, flaking and inflammation. Hence, it is important to take care of your eczema-prone skin in hot weather. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the weather while preventing a flare-up.
- Stay hydrated
Dehydration is not good news for any of your bodily functions including your skin. Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins from your body. If you do not consume an adequate supply of water, these toxins will linger which can upset and irritate your delicate skin. Also keep in mind you will be more prone to sweating on a hot day which can cause you to lose valuable electrolytes such as zinc and vitamin D, which are crucial for the health of your skin. Try to keep a bottle of water on you at all times and, if you are going to be drinking alcohol, always order water so you can keep yourself hydrated.
- Avoid going outside at certain times
Schedule your activities in the early mornings or late evenings when the sun isn’t hot. Going out between 10am and 3pm when the sun is at its peak will expose your skin to UV radiation and sunburn.
- Moisturize your skin
Skin that’s dry and prone to cracking and flaking, such as eczema-prone skin, needs plenty of hydration and one way you can do that is by picking an ultra-nourishing moisturizer and applying it to your skin throughout the day. Opt for organic moisturizers such as aloe vera gel, coconut oil or Aveeno moisturizing lotion that are completely free from artificial fragrances and chemicals.
- Wear loose clothing
Tight clothing can agitate your skin so its important to wear loose clothing on a hot day. Tight clothing can sometimes increase your body temperature, making you more prone to flare-ups. Instead, wear breathable fabrics and avoid dark colors and synthetic material – not only will synthetic material irritate your skin, dark clothing can also attract more sunlight making you more susceptible to UV radiation.
- Keep your skin cool
Keep your skin cool to prevent irritation and inflammation. You can store your lotions and gels for your skin in the fridge so they are cool when applied to your skin. You can also make your own cold compress using a towel dipped in cool water, or infused with cucumber, to help ease any itchiness or discomfort – just make sure you don’t apply this compress to broken skin.
- Choose a natural or organic sunscreen
If you are going to be in the sun, ensure you apply sunscreen to protect your skin against UV radiation. However, just like your moisturizer, the type of sunscreen you choose can go a long way towards influencing your symptoms. Some sunscreens can contain harmful ingredients that could potentially upset your skin as well as your endocrine system, with chemicals like oxybenzone being particular culprits to watch out for. Neutrogena SPF 60 Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion and Aveeno Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Baby Sunscreen are among some of the best sunscreens for eczema prone skin.
In cases where you do experience an eczema flare-up, here are a few natural remedies to help ease up your symptoms.
-Take an oatmeal bath
-Add apple cider vinegar to your warm bath water
-Apply virgin coconut oil or eucalyptus essential oil or tea tree oil (ensure you dilute both before applying) or sunflower oil to skin
-Aloe vera can be applied to help soothe and heal skin
- Use calendula cream or oil on the skin