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Summertime Tips for Eczema

Eczema, also known aa atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis, describes a chronic, incurable skin condition that causes an itchy, red, inflamed, sometimes flaky rash. You may notice dry or thickened skin, patches of small red bumps, and swollen, tender areas. Eczema symptoms tend to come and go — some people experience worse symptoms at night, others report a link between their eczema symptoms and food allergies.

Whatever the culprit, most people agree that heat makes eczema worse. That’s why our team here at Chappell Rosso Dermatology and Laser & Aesthetic Center in Odessa, Texas, has compiled a list of practical tips for managing your eczema in the summer.

How to handle eczema in the hot summer months

The key to calming your eczema is understanding what triggers it to flare up. This differs from person-to-person, so there’s no single way to approach it. But if you know, for example, that certain perfumes or dyes irritate your skin, avoid them. Heat is one of the most common eczema triggers, and that’s tough to avoid in Texas. Here are a few strategies.

Stay cool

Hang out in an air conditioned room, seek shade, take a cool shower — do whatever it takes to keep your body temperature down. Try this: Soak a t-shirt in cold water, wring it out, and wear it around the house to stay cool. Just make sure to remove it and dry off thoroughly once it’s done its job.

Don’t get sweaty

If you have eczema, your skin is compromised and no longer provides a reliable protective barrier. When you sweat, the salts and minerals irritate your skin and worsen your symptoms.

Sweat also gets trapped in creases, such as your elbows, knees, and neck. If you do sweat, rinse it off as quickly as possible, and dry the area thoroughly.

Hydrate

Drink plenty of water every day to keep your body hydrated and your body temperature well regulated.

Use a mineral sunscreen

Sunscreen is important for everyone, especially those who have eczema. But many sunscreens contain chemicals that irritate the skin and trigger eczema flare-ups. It’s best to stick with a mineral product (sometimes called a physical sunscreen) like zinc.

Stay dry

Damp skin in the heat of summer is a perfect recipe for an eczema flare-up. Whether you’re dealing with sweaty clothes or a wet bathing suit, change into dry duds as soon as possible.

Shower or bathe at least once a day

Don’t skip a day of cleansing when you have eczema. The bacteria that builds up on your skin exacerbate your condition. Some people find that a cool bath or shower twice a day is in order.

Be sure to moisturize all over, preferably with a lotion that contains ceramides to support your skin’s barrier.

Dress appropriately

Your wardrobe choices can either help or hinder your eczema. To give yourself the best chance of staying cool and dry, wear breathable fabrics that allow air to flow through and moisture to dry quickly. Cotton is your best bet.

Help for stubborn summer eczema

Despite your best efforts, eczema flare-ups can quickly spin out of control in Texas. We see it all the time. If you’re struggling to keep your symptoms at bay, we can help.

Often, either over-the-counter or prescription-strength creams and lotions can quell the itching.

In some cases, a corticosteroid is the most effective treatment to address the inflammation and persistent rashes.

We also offer laser therapy to target the skin tissues with controlled doses of light, which may reduce your symptoms.

If your eczema is keeping you up at night, causing embarrassing rashes, or becoming infected, it’s time to get professional help from the team at Chappell Rosso Dermatology and Laser & Aesthetics Center. To schedule an appointment, request one using our online booking tool, or call us today.

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