1. Stay safe in the sun
Many people with eczema find that they are particularly sensitive to the sun. Children and babies in particular need very high sun protection, but many suncream formulas available on the high street contain ingredients that can irritate eczema-prone skin and even cause flare-ups. Triggers vary between individuals and it may be a matter of trial and error, but by opting for an organic suncream or one based around natural ingredients you may reduce the risk of a reaction.
Browse our Sun Care section for a selection of gentle products, carefully selected for their suitability for the allergy market.
Sun protection isn’t just about suncream. Staying covered up with sensible clothing (organic cotton is ideal as it is cool and comfortable), wearing a big floppy hat and keeping in the shade under a parasol can also go a long way towards helping you stay safe in the sun.
2. Watch out for chlorine and sand
Public swimming pools can be very drying on the skin due to high concentrations of chlorine.
Chlorine is a disinfectant and is added to water to make it safe and hygienic to use. Not everyone with eczema will find that chlorine irritates their skin, but it can be harsh and drying.
It is very important that children learn to swim, and children with eczema shouldn’t be excluded from this activity. However if you do find it is a trigger, it makes sense to take practical steps to reduce the impact that chlorine has on your skin. These steps can include avoiding swimming on ‘flare-up’ days, and using a gentle shampoo and nourishing body wash after swimming to remove chlorine. After your swim, you could shower using a dechlorinating shower filter to wash away chlorine residues on your skin (we offer some portable versions).
The National Eczema Society offers very informative online factsheets including one regarding eczema and swimming.
Sand can be abrasive so take care to cover up any severely eczematous areas with cool, cotton clothing (or wet wraps) before hitting the beach.
If you’re staying in a hotel, it is advisable to bring your own tried and tested moisturisers and bath toiletries, as the hotel’s own versions may trigger a reaction.
3. Minimise sweating
Perspiration can collect in the folds of your skin. This can cause irritation and eczema flare ups. During hot weather, take care to dab/wipe these areas with a clean, soft wet flannel and thoroughly pat dry to reduce chance of irritation.
Consider trying specialist clothing if your eczema is severe. The tiny fibres in certain fabrics can be rough and irritating to very sensitive skin. If your children find their school uniform too itchy, this range from Totally Cool Clothing is a gentler alternative. The DermaSilk range of eczema clothing is also a good option - protective layers are available which can be worn underneath work clothing discreetly.
4. Seasonal allergies
As the temperature rises, so can levels of airborne allergens such as pollen and dust mite faeces. These have been linked to eczema in some cases. If they are triggers for you or your child, minimising exposure to the allergen may help you to reduce symptoms.
Simple practical tips such as washing hair and showering before bed to remove pollen, minimising time outdoors on days with a high pollen count and investing in dust mite proof barrier cases can really help.
5. Cool down
Heat is a common eczema trigger. Take care to stay in the shade and in air conditioned areas to keep your body temperature down. If your indoor air is dry, a cool mist humidifier may help to restore moisture to parched skin without adding heat.
If your, or your child’s, eczema is severe, wet wrap therapy can help cool and soothe sore skin. Bathe the affected area, gently pat dry, rub in an emollient, apply cool damp bandages and put dry clothes (preferably cotton or a similarly breathable material) on top.
Refrigerating your emollient creams can be very soothing for angry, irritated skin due to the cooling effect on the skin.
Please note: Information included in this website is not to be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical practitioner.