As the weather warms and the temperatures begin to climb, you might find yourself chomping at the bit to get outside.
However, if you’re among the 17 million adults in the world who suffers from atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, the idea of spending any amount of time out in the sun might make your skin crawl.
Not to worry – relief is possible.
Let’s look at what eczema is and how you can avoid a flare up when the temperature flares this summer.
What is Eczema?
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a skin condition that presents itself as an extremely itchy rash. While not contagious, eczema can affect your quality of life, as flare-ups can hinder the ability to sleep and to focus on mundane tasks.
The rash associated with eczema can sometimes be accompanied by weeping blisters and the skin of the rash site can either become dry, cracked, or toughened. But the worst part is the itching. The itching associated with eczema can sometimes prove intolerable.
Eczema is extremely common in children. In fact, upwards of 20% of children worldwide suffer from skin disease. While children can be affected anywhere on their body – the arms, legs, cheek, and stomach – adults are most commonly affected on their hands, backs of the knees, back of the neck, and insides of their elbows.
The skin’s outer layer, known as the epidermis, is made up of three layers – the basal layer, the spinous layer, and the corneal layer. The corneal layer is the outermost layer of the skin, and in people with eczema, it does not provide adequate protection due to the fact that it’s been damaged by the skin’s inflammatory response.
Another cause could be a mutated gene that influences the body’s ability to make the protein filaggrin, which is essential to the production of the corneal layer. When there isn’t enough filaggrin, the skin becomes dry and loses the ability to ward off infections.
What Can Trigger an Eczema Flare-up?
Eczema occurs in waves, or flare-ups, and there are a number of things that can trigger a flare-up, including:
- Sweat: Whether you’re working out, working in the garden, or just standing still, sweating is an unavoidable byproduct of summer. Sadly, too much heat or sweating can trigger an eczema flare-up. This is typically caused by the residue of salt left on the skin once the sweat evaporates.
- Air-conditioning: Where would we be without air conditioning during the dog days of summer? Air conditioning can dry out the skin, and since those with eczema already have skin veering on the dry side, the potential for a flare-up is exponentially higher.
- Allergies: The majority of those affected by eczema experience a flare-up due to some sort of allergic reaction, whether that be an allergy to food, pollen, or dust. The immune system goes into overdrive and can exacerbate the symptoms associated with eczema.
How to Keep Eczema at Bay
Summer doesn’t have to equate to misery and pain when it comes to eczema. Here’s what you can do to enjoy the warmer months the same as anyone else:
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is crucial to keeping eczema at bay. Moisturize immediately after showering or swimming – this will keep the skin hydrated, too.
- Avoid allergens and irritants. This one seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes, avoiding things that trigger an eczema flare-up can prove difficult. Opt for low-impact outdoor activities, choose a sunscreen approved by the National Eczema Association, and avoid things like processed foods, sugar, and alcohol.
- Shower immediately after a sweat session. Things like lactic acid, iron, zinc, copper, calcium, and magnesium can all settle in your sweat, which then settles on your skin and leaves a residue that can prove irritating. Rinse off immediately to avoid a flare-up.
- Hit the beach, not the pool. Pool water is generally loaded with harsh chemicals like chlorine, which can dry out or irritate the skin. The ocean, on the other hand, is chemical free in addition to having anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties that can actually soothe eczema-affected skin.
- Wear loose-fitting, breathable fabrics. Wool and other synthetic fabrics like spandex can be irritating to anyone’s skin. Someone with eczema should avoid wearing these fabrics at all costs, especially if they’re on the tighter side. Instead, opt for a breathable fabric like cotton or linen, and choose clothes that aren’t too form-fitting – again, allowing your skin to breathe.
- Invest in a humidifier. Air conditioning can create a dry environment, which can trigger an eczema flare-up. A humidifier is an excellent way to bring a little moisture into the air.
- Also invest in an air purifier. Air-conditioners draw air in from the outside, which means allergens could be coming in with it, thus, triggering a flare-up. Be sure to check and change the filter on your air conditioner frequently, as well as invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
How CBDMEDIC™ Helps Relieve Eczema
Eczema is a disease that causes red, itchy, flaky skin, so the number one priority is to reduce the painful symptoms associated with it. Topical creams and ointments made of high-quality, all-natural ingredients can help. CBDMEDIC Eczema Therapy Medicated Ointment is loaded with colloidal oatmeal (Active Ingredient), peppermint and eucalyptus oils to soothe and hydrate dry, irritated skin. Since oatmeal is rich in skin-enhancing vitamins, minerals, lipids, and proteins, it can improve red, dry, and rough skin for those with eczema. Meanwhile, the emollients like jojoba seed oil, beeswax, and CBD hemp oil help replenish your skin’s natural moisture so you can feel relief.
Step into the Sunlight
Summer shouldn’t trigger stress in addition to an eczema flare-up. You deserve to feel good this summer. Do so by staying hydrated, moisturizing, avoiding irritants, and applying natural remedies to keep eczema at bay and your quality of going strong.