Eczema: Tips on how to manage atopic dermatitis in spring and summer
- Eczema is a chronic skin condition. People with eczema can experience flare-ups where symptoms get worse and other times have no symptoms.
- People with eczema can experience flare-ups because of certain triggers, including those in the environment.
- Seasonal changes can trigger eczema flare-ups, so people may need to take extra care to manage eczema at certain times of the year.
Eczema is a common skin condition that causes dry, itchy, and cracked skin.
Managing the condition can be stressful and irritating.
People with eczema can work with their doctors and dermatologists to manage their symptoms and reduce their chances of having flare-ups.
People with eczema should also know how weather and temperature changes can impact their symptoms.
From here, they can take steps to manage their symptoms, including taking special care to manage symptoms in the spring and summer.
Common eczema symptoms
While there are different types of eczema, the most common type is atopic dermatitis.
People with atopic dermatitis may experience the following symptoms:
- Dry and itchy skin
- Red patches of inflamed areas
- Thickening of the skin in affected areas
Eczema can affect any area of the body, but certain age demographics are more likely to have certain areas affected.
For example, infants and toddlers will likely have their scalps and faces affected.
When people scratch the affected areas, the areas may ooze, bleed, or crust. These areas are then at a higher risk for infection, worsening the person’s skin condition.
People with eczema will have times when eczema symptoms get worse. These flares are when symptoms can be the most irritating.
There may be other times when symptoms go away altogether.
Seasonal changes with eczema
People with eczema can experience flare-ups because of many triggers.
Learning to avoid triggers or modify certain behaviors can be helpful in the management of eczema.
Eczema triggers related to seasons can include the following:
- Fast temperature changes
- Pollen, which may be more common in the spring
- Dry air
- Sweating and humidity
- Hot or cold weather
- Sunburn or overheating
Depending on someone’s specific triggers, they may experience exacerbations of symptoms during the spring and summer months.
Dr. Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet, an allergy and immunology specialist who is the telehealth medical director for the Allergy & Asthma Network, explained to Medical News Today how eczema can worsen based on seasonal influence.
A main reason for the seasonal change is exposure to certain allergens that are more present at certain times of the year.
“Tree and grass pollens in the spring, weed and mold in the fall can trigger eczema in patients that are sensitive to these allergens. Some will get nasal or lung symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma along with their eczema flare. Dust mite exposure tends to be more impactful in the winter and this too can certainly lead to eczema flare.”
Dr. Jacqueline Eghari-Sabet
The other reason for seasonal differences has to do with weather and temperature changes.
“The change in seasons in terms of weather and temperature can impact eczema. Cold and wind will make eczema worse. Heat and sweating can also affect some patients and trigger eczema. Sunshine however, and UV light exposure however is a “treatment” for eczema. Lack of sun exposure in the winter months is when we see eczema worsen.”
Dr. Jacqueline Eghari-Sabet
Ksenia Sobchack, a dermatologist in London, further explained the issue with Medical News Today.
“Seasonal changes can significantly impact eczema symptoms, particularly during the spring and summer months. As temperatures rise, humidity levels increase, and allergens are more prevalent. Perspiration aggravates already irritated areas.”
Ksenia Sobchack, dermatologist
Eczema management in the spring and summer
Treatment for eczema involves action steps to minimize symptoms and avoid triggers.
Avoiding triggers can help reduce flare-ups and the severity of symptoms.
People can work with their doctors to develop treatment plans based on their unique needs.
Sometimes, the use of medication is necessary to help with symptom management, including the use of topical and systemic medications.
Some treatment for eczema will remain constant, as noted by pediatrician Dr. Nivedita More with Bayside Medical Group at Standford Medicine Children’s Health in California.
“Recognizing your child’s triggers for eczema, implementing a regular bathing and moisturizing routine and treating the problem areas with over-the-counter or prescribed medications consistently are the mainstay of management of eczema.”
Dr. Nivedita More
People who know their eczema worsens in the spring and summer can take proactive steps to be ready.
Eghrari-Sabet offered the following tips for people seeking to manage eczema in the spring and summer:
1. Get tested for environmental aller[gies]. Know if you are reacting to the spring pollen. AIT (allergy immunotherapy) may be a helpful therapy.
2. Avoid your environmental triggers, at least the ones you can control. If you are allergic to dust mites, it is best for the eczema patient to use avoidance methods to decrease exposure.
3. Stay cool and dry. Sweating can make eczema flare.
4. Use sunscreen. Eczema skin is quite sensitive and can burn easily.
Sobchak further provided a list of helpful tips for eczema treatment during the spring and summer months:
1. Hydrate regularly.
2. Wear breathable clothing such as cotton.
3. Use sunscreen appropriately: However, avoid products containing fragrances that might further aggravate existing inflammation.
4. Reduce stress levels: High stress levels can cause hormonal changes, leading to inflammatory reactions that may worsen the symptoms.
5. Keep your skin clean and moisturized.
Ultimately, people can stay on top of eczema management by planning ahead for the spring and summer and staying consistent with eczema treatment.
Source: Read Full Article