Whether it’s hot days at the pool or the beach, warm nights by the campfire, or travel with family and friends, summertime is full of fun activities. But if you have atopic dermatitis, these beloved pastimes can trigger an eczema flare. Here’s what you need to know about common seasonal triggers and what you can do to keep your skin happy this summer.
Why do I get eczema in summer?
If your eczema flares in the summertime, it may be due to warm weather and exposure to triggers, including:
1. Getting hot and sweaty
For many of us, heat makes eczema worse. When we sweat, it leaves behind a salty residue that dries out the skin. Sweat can also cause a histamine reaction that makes us itchy. To avoid eczema from sweat and eczema heat rash, do your best to stay cool. If you’re spending time outside, seek shade and take breaks to cool down. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Wearing loose clothing in eczema-friendly fabrics like cotton or linen can also help you beat the heat.
If the weather’s scorching, it can be helpful to spend time indoors in air conditioning. No air conditioning at home? Consider heading to an air-conditioned public place, such as a library, mall, or movie theater, to cool down.
2. Spending time outside in the sun
While moderate sun exposure can be helpful for some people’s eczema, too much time in the sun can make your skin worse. Sunburn causes inflammation and damages the skin barrier, which can exacerbate existing eczema. Some eczema medications, including antibiotics and topical calcineurin inhibitors, can cause photosensitivity—increased sensitivity to sunlight.
That means sun protection is critical for people with eczema. Be sure to wear a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that won’t irritate your skin. Say yes to hats, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing and limit sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm—that’s when the sun is strongest.
3. Exposure to triggers
Sitting around a campfire? Lounging in the grass? Diving into a chlorine pool? Sleeping outside? All these summer activities expose you to triggers that could cause a flare. The good news: with modifications, you can enjoy these activities without making your skin worse.
If you’re planning to go to a campfire or sit outside in the grass, make sure your skin is covered up and well-moisturized so your skin barrier is protected. Bring along any asthma, allergy, or eczema medications you may need, and rinse off afterwards to remove any irritating pollen or smoke smell. If you’re camping overnight, try to pick a campsite that’s free from too much vegetation. Keep your tent and sleeping bag clean, and consider using a cotton or silk sleeping bag liner to regulate your body temperature.
Headed to the pool this summer? Swimming in chlorine can be helpful to some people with eczema, but for others, it can make things worse. Rinsing off and moisturizing as soon as you get out of the water can help keep your skin from getting too dry. For more tips on swimming with eczema, check out our blog post.
Summer is a great time to explore a new city, get together with family, attend a friend’s wedding, or vacation in nature. But travel is full of potential triggers—dry airplane air, hotel linens washed in an irritating laundry detergent, and new foods, just to name a few.
If you’re traveling this summer, be prepared for the unexpected when it comes to your skin. Bring your own skincare and bath products instead of using the products that hotels supply. Inquire about the detergent hotels use, and consider bringing your own linens. Make sure to pack allergy-friendly snacks that you and your family can enjoy on the go. Check out these additional tips for managing eczema flare-ups while traveling.
Eczema and Summer Activities with Kiddos
Eczema flares happen at inconvenient times, which means it’s important for you and your family to be prepared. If your child is participating in summer camps or programs, or spending time with another family, it’s important to let the staff or parents know about your child’s eczema. You’ll want to inform them of any allergies or sensitivities your child has. Make sure they have your child’s go-to skincare products and medications on hand and know how to use them properly.
Enjoy Summer with Gladskin
Your skin doesn’t have to stop you or your family from enjoying summer fun.
Summer is a great time to try a new, lightweight lotion that doesn’t feel greasy. Our Body Lotion is formulated with squalane and ceramides to moisturize, replenish skin lipids, and provide lasting relief from dry, dehydrated skin.
We recommend using the Body Lotion together with Gladskin Eczema Cream with Micreobalance®, which restores bacterial balance to your skin microbiome.