Controlling Eczema Flare-Ups in the Summer – Allergic Living

Posted: July 18, 2017 at 3:45 am


Published: July 17, 2017

Q. Im a 26-year-old with atopic dermatitis thats reasonably controlled in cool weather. But last summer l struggled with rashy, itchy outbreaks, especially on the hotter days. Any suggestions to prevent flare-ups this summer? And would swimming in my neighborschlorinated pool help my eczema or make it worse?

Many patients with atopic dermatitis find they are worse in the summer. Overheating can release histamine, and sweat can irritate the skin, causing flare-ups. I suggest you try your best to keep your body temperature down with central air conditioning.

Sunscreens are another potential irritant. I recommend mineral-based sunscreens, where the active ingredient is titanium or zinc (or both) as they are less irritating. And while we usually do our best to avoid sun in the summer, a limited amount each day can be beneficial. In fact, ultraviolet light treatment is often used in dermatologists offices to treat skin inflammation. Everything in moderation: Fifteen minutes of natural sunlight, midday, without sunscreen, can be a useful treatment for dermatitis.

As for the pool the chlorine could definitely flare your eczema. But you dont have to stay out of the water altogether. Swim for a short time, to cool off. When you get out, towel off or, better yet, rinse off in a shower. If you have active dermatitis patches, you could apply a moisturizer, like Cetaphil, CeraVe or Lipikar Baume, to these areas before you swim to act as a barrier to the chlorinated water.

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Controlling Eczema Flare-Ups in the Summer - Allergic Living

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