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Let’s Talk About Summertime Eczema Management

Let’s Talk About Summertime Eczema Management

Even though sun damage doesn’t directly cause eczema, ultraviolet (UV) radiation can worsen symptoms and trigger flare-ups. While protective clothing, shade, and other forms of sun protection might be enough for some, others with eczema must choose sunscreen and other products carefully. Here are some tips to help you make it through this summer. 

Douglass Forsha, MD, and his team of specialists at Jordan Valley Dermatology Center in South Jordan, Utah,  can help you find solutions for managing your eczema as the weather turns warmer and outbreaks get worse. 

Managing eczema in the summer 

Sun exposure is problematic in both winter and summer. You can get burned on a cold day in midwinter just as severely as on a hot summer afternoon — not even the clouds completely block UV light. 

If your eczema often flares up due to sun exposure, you’re likely already using a daily sunscreen. If you don’t, picking one out should be your first step. Beyond sun protection, you should practice gentle self-care on your skin. If your eczema does flare up, you’ll need to manage the symptoms and protect against any sun damage. 

Preventing breakouts 

Eczema tends to break out during extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Frigid winter weather leaves skin dry and prone to breakage, while hot temperatures aggravate the condition by creating excess sweat.

Perspiration is designed to cool the body down, but it leaves trace minerals behind as it dries. This can irritate the skin and cause eczema flare-ups. It’s common in body areas that collect sweat, such as the underarms, inner elbows, backs of the knees, and groin. 

The best way to avoid inflammation from the heat is to limit friction and perspiration. Choose loose, breathable fabrics that don’t remain wet and rub against sensitive areas. If your body is sensitive to heat or humidity, take regular breaks to cool down, rinse off, and reapply your sunscreen. 

Soothing sun damage 

Depending on what type of sun protection you’re using, you’ll need to apply sunscreen differently. Generally, reapplying every 80 minutes is recommended.  A low-SPF sunscreen should be applied more often, especially if you’re participating in activities that might cause you to sweat or wash it off. 

Even if you have a high-quality, long-lasting sunscreen designed for extended use, you’ll still need to reapply it several times during the day. This is where many people fail to follow directions, and end up with a sunburn despite their investment in sunscreen. 

Sun exposure is a known trigger for eczema flare-ups,  worsening the condition. Fortunately, sun burns respond to many home remedies, including: 

If your skin is sensitive to the sun, burning should be a concern whenever you leave the house. Keep up with your sunscreen routine, and consider carrying a travel bottle with you on the go. The best way to avoid eczema flare-ups is to avoid sun damage, and that requires foresight, like packing (and wearing) a broad-brimmed hat and using a coverup to protect your back, arms, and shoulders.

When to consult a specialist

Eczema can be unsightly and difficult to manage. Large red patches, cracks, scales, and oozing bumps are common in patients with moderate to severe eczema. While there is currently no cure, Dr. Forsha can help you learn to manage your condition.

At Jordan Valley Dermatology Center, Dr. Forsha and his team will diagnose your condition and begin building a treatment plan. Your plan might include any or all of the following: 

To learn more about eczema and discuss your condition, schedule a consultation by calling 801-335-6728 or visit the contact page for more information.

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