Warm Weather "Managing Eczema - Guest Post
Spring and summer can bring out the worst in some eczema, while fall and winter can be harder on others. Regardless of which season affects you the most, here are some warm weather tips to help keep your eczema under control.
- Go to the Beach - Salt water has been known to work miracles on eczema. Like many mysteries sounding eczema, no one really understands why salt benefits eczema skin, but there are theories the magnesium in salt helps soothe dry skin. A word of caution, although therapeutic for some, salt can be painful to others with eczema, particularly if there are open wounds. If you're beach bound, test the waters and listen to your body.
- Spend Time at the Pool - At home chlorine baths are sometimes recommended by physicians to kill bacteria on the surface of eczema skin. Since the pool is essentially one big chlorine bath, it's no wonder that some eczema sufferers find much needed relief poolside.
- Time in the Sun - The sun is another natural wonder for eczema. For many, the sun seems to dry up their eczema and leave them flare free, most likely due to the body's spike in vitamin D production after time in the sun. What about sunscreen? This is a tricky one. Applying sunscreen is important to block the damaging UVA and UVB rays, but sunscreen can also reduce the amount of vitamin D the body produces. Although it will be tempting to soak up hours in the sun in hopes of banishing eczema, limit this time (15 minutes) if you don't apply sunscreens and stick to early morning or late afternoon hours when the sun's rays are weaker. For prolonged exposure in the sun, or during peak hours, find a good sunscreen and lather-up. Yes, eczema is a beast, but skin cancer is deadly.
- Choose Sunscreen with Caution - Many sunscreens can burn or sting delicate eczema skin. The best bet for choosing a gentle sunscreen is to look for one which creates a physical barrier on your skin, rather than a chemical sunscreen, which destroys the absorbed UVA/UVB rays. The barrier versions usually contain zinc, which is great in treating eczema. Also, read ingredient labels for any known allergies or triggers. And always stay away from fragrance or perfume. Natural, unscented, zinc based sunscreens with as few ingredients as possible, are safest.
- Wear SPF Clothing - If you're not the sunscreen type ? either can't be bothered or nervous about finding the best one for you, then SPF clothing is the answer. SPF protection is now available in all sorts of clothing ? hats, shirts, pants, socks, bathing suits. You name it. Look for clothing made from natural fibers when possible and be sure the SPF rating is from the tight thread weave and not from a chemical added to the fabric.
- Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize - Spring and summer bring humidity, which helps skin retain its moisture. However, don't be fooled as these months also bring more time under the sun, at the beach, and at the pool, which can all be very drying. So, stick to your daily moisturizing routine and keep an extra bottle of your favorite cream handy to apply after prolonged exposure to the sun, or after a dip in the sea or the pool.