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Tips for Managing Eczema This Summer 

Dermatology Institute & Skin Center

When you’re among the 31.6 million women, men, and children in the United States with eczema, you may find that each season brings challenges to your skin and comfort.

The tips for staying comfortable year-round, such as using scent-free body care and laundry products, should be maintained during summer. But the heat and humidity require new habits and adjustments.

At Dermatology Institute & Skin Care Center, our dermatologist, Paul Yamauchi, MD, PhD, diagnoses and treats the various forms of eczema at our office in Santa Monica, California. In addition to seeking medical aid with your skin condition, the following tips help your skin stay comfortable all summer.

Carry towels and cooling cloths

The biggest challenge for summer heat is keeping your skin cool and dry. Sweat irritates your skin and can cause an eczema outbreak.

When you’re outdoors or in a space that doesn’t have air conditioning, it’s difficult to stay cool and sweat-free. Carry small towels to wipe away sweat.

Consider portable cooling towels. Many have cooling beads activated by cold water, wringing, or snapping. Some even stay dry while they keep you cool. They can maintain their coolness for hours.

Store sunscreens and lotion in the fridge

Wear sunscreen daily and reapply every two hours and after sweating or swimming. Keep your favorite toners, moisturizers, and sunscreen in the fridge so they feel cool when you apply them. 

Remember to apply moisturizers while you’re still damp after a shower. Pat yourself with a towel rather than rubbing, which can irritate your skin. 

Consider bringing a small cooler with you to keep your sunscreen cool. Also, store cooling towels and beverages for easy access.

Dress to minimize sweat

Billowy and loose-fitting clothing allows air to circulate around your body. Choose natural fabrics, such as cotton or linen.

Loose clothing has another bonus: If you keep your sleeves and pant legs or skirts on the long side, they also protect your skin from the sun. Be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face and sunglasses to protect your eyes.

At night, turn down the air conditioner to 65 degrees to keep your bedroom cool (which also aids sleep). Wear loose silk or satin pajamas and use cotton or linen sheets. Natural fabrics allow more air circulation and are less irritating to your skin.

Stay hydrated and sugar-free

What you eat and drink also influences how your skin feels. Stay hydrated, especially on hot days, by drinking plenty of water and other healthy beverages.

Keep salty or sugary foods to a minimum (or cut them out altogether). Choose whole foods with a high water content, such as watermelons, cucumbers, and other fruits and vegetables.

Find your ideal swimming source

Some people with eczema find chlorine irritating. Others find it soothing. Although chlorine can dry out your skin, it can kill excess bacteria. 

The same goes for ocean water. Even though salt water can help clear up eczema, some people find ocean water irritating. For others, the saline makes their skin feel moisturized and comfortable.

Once you find the best swimming source for your particular type of eczema, stick with it. Swimming is a great way to exercise during the summer without getting sweaty. You can also apply a barrier cream with ceramides and lipids before taking your dip.

Be sure to rinse with a fresh-water shower after swimming in a pool or the ocean. Pat yourself dry with a towel and apply a moisturizer.

Take cold baths and showers

If you get sweaty and itchy, a cold bath or shower can help. You can add colloidal oatmeal to your bath for its soothing properties. Pat yourself dry and moisturize your skin while it's still damp.

Get help with your eczema flares by phoning our friendly staff. You can also send us a message online to schedule an appointment.

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