Summer is right around the corner and we all want to look great in our flip-flops and tank tops.
We want to show off our healthy glowing skin with clothing that will display it in all its glory.
Those of us plagued by summertime eczema have special concerns when it comes to that bikini or sundress. A flare-up can cause us to feel very insecure about our appearance and lead to uncomfortable situations when choosing what to show and what not to show on the beach.
So, lets focus on preventing a flare-up before it begins and make this summer blissfully free of the long sleeves!
What is Eczema Anyway?
It is just sensitive skin!
Some people are allergic or sensitive to dyes and fragrances in their skin care products, clothing and other things that we use day to day. Some seem to have more flare-ups in the summer because they react more to the salt in their sweat or even chlorine from the swimming pool.
Others have more problems in the wintertime due to the drying effects of the wind, central heating, and some fabrics such as wool.
Eczema can be “atopic” or “chronic.”
Atopic dermatitis comes and goes repeatedly and chronic dermatitis can last for months or years. It presents itself as patchy, dry skin that is extremely itchy and irritated.
It is thought to be caused by a genetic defect that causes the immune system to overreact to skin irritants.
Eczema is not caused by a bacteria or virus and it is not contagious. Many sufferers tend to also have asthma, hay fever or food allergies.
What Triggers Eczema?
Here are a few things that can trigger your eczema in the summer:
- Extreme Temperature Fluctuations – Going outside into the elements after being inside with central heating or air-conditioning.
- Sweat – Sweat is salty and salt is not a friend of eczema
- The Sun – Use sun block without preservatives and fragrances
- Bug Bites – Treat bites with products made from natural ingredients.
Avoid A Flare-Up!
There are lots of things we can do to avoid flare-ups altogether. Here are a few tips to keep your skin looking great:
- Avoid skin irritants like perfumes and harsh detergents, solvents, sweat and hot water. Use only products with natural ingredients.
- Don’t wear clothing that is not comfortable to your skin. Instead of wool, try layering up in cotton fabrics.
- Take short baths in warm water without a wash cloth.
- Apply a moisturizer that is specifically for sensitive skin after a bath and again 2 or 3 times each day.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- For severely dry skin, use petroleum jelly to ward off a flare-up.
If You Do Have A Flare-Up
Let’s face it, if you have sensitive skin, at some point you will have a flare-up. Be sure to see your doctor right away if you have open sores, drainage, or if it just isn’t getting better as quickly as it should.
You will likely be given a prescription for a steroid cream or ointment to help heal and clear it up. Complications of eczema include blisters, infections, difficulty sleeping and irritability.
Depending on the type of eczema you have, you can expect symptoms to subside after a week or two or they could persist for years.
Natural Home Remedies
Eczema sufferers have tried almost everything to relieve the dry skin that is associated with this condition. Remember, what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another. These are a few that you may want to try:
- Coconut Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Have a look at Mothership Magazine for more on home remedies and a great recipe for natural oatmeal body soap.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us what you do to tame your eczema.