UV Safety Awareness Month: 8 Easy Tips for Managing Summer Eczema Flareups with Mountain Ice Eczema Cream
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) takes careful management to treat skin irritation and prevent flare-ups. Adapting your lifestyle to avoid triggers can seem daunting, but changes as simple as minor substitutions in household products can be massively beneficial to your health and comfort. Read on to learn about easy, everyday changes you can make to soothe your skin and manage your eczema!
1. Keep Your Environment Comfortable and Clean
Heat and dry air are persistent eczema triggers. Make sure the temperature in your home is comfortable, especially during the hot summer months where sweating is common. For winter months, you may want to consider buying a humidifier to counteract the cold, dry air that can impede your skin's ability to absorb moisture.
During certain months, especially summer, the air is full of potential irritants, like dust, pollen, and other allergens. Consider getting a HEPA purifier with a carbon filter in your home or workspace to reduce the concentration of irritants in the air, especially if you spend a lot of time in one room.
2. Avoid Scratching
Itching, scratching, or rubbing irritated skin can exacerbate flare-ups. Avoid scratching and instead use a quality moisturizer or eczema cream. A cold washcloth can also be soothing: keep one in your refrigerator or freezer, and put it on a site of irritation (with a towel between the washcloth and skin) to cool and numb the redness, swelling, and itchiness. Also, make sure to keep your nails short for those moments when you do itch, in order to prevent scratches or cuts.
3. Use Comfortable Fabrics
Certain fabrics can be irritating to sensitive skin, especially rough, heavy fabrics like wool. Synthetic fabrics with limited breathability like nylon, polyester, and rayon can cause overheating and sweating, which can trigger an eczema flare-up. Light, natural fabrics are your best option, especially in loose-fitting cuts. Cotton, especially 100% with no synthetics blended in, is the most popular choice, but other natural fabrics like silk, hemp, cashmere, and linen are viable alternatives.
Fabric concerns aren't limited to clothing! 100% cotton bedsheets will help you stay comfortable at night, and higher thread count sheets will retain their softness better over a long period of time. Keep soft towels or blankets handy for furniture with rougher or scratchier upholstery.
Other fabric tips:
- Cut off irritating tags or labels from your clothing, and cover seams with strips of silk.
- Loose-fitting clothing rubs against your skin less. Make sure elastic bands are covered in fabric. Avoid wearing anything overly tight or constrictive.
4. Wash New Clothes
Clothing production and packing makes use of potentially irritating chemicals like formaldehyde, so make sure you wash new clothing before wearing it. A mild, unscented detergent is the safest option for your skin, but you may want to consider an extra rinse cycle to remove any soap residue.
5. Use Sunscreen
Sunburns are major eczema triggers. Use a quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, and reapply every two hours during continued sun exposure or every 60-80 minutes if swimming or sweating.
Sunscreen's not just for summer months, though! You may want to consider sunscreen if you spend a lot of time outdoors during the winter months. The sunlight can reflect a large dose of UV radiation off the snow, especially at the high altitudes necessary for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.
If sunscreen is irritating for your skin, try a sensitive skin or children's variety. Look for a sunscreen with the words "mineral" or "physical" printed on the bottle as well as ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
6. Know and Avoid Your Irritants
Different substances can be irritating to different people with eczema. Knowing your triggers and avoiding them helps stop flare-ups before they start. Common irritants include:
- Certain soaps and detergents
- Perfumes and fragrances
- Industrial chemicals (Formaldehyde is a common irritant, largely due to its use in making fabrics wrinkle-resistant)
- Antibacterial ointments (Neomycin, bacitracin)
- Cigarette smoke
- Certain metals, most commonly nickel
- Certain dyes (Paraphenylene-diamine in hair dye is a common irritant)
7. Gentle Skin Care Products and Routines
Soaps can be an irritant, so make sure you use brands free of alcohol, retinoids, and alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), which dry out your skin. Avoid soaps with fragrances.
Moisturize regularly. At night you may want to take a brief shower in lukewarm water right before moisturizing, as your skin will seal in the moisture and keep you comfortable all night.
Mountain Ice Eczema Cream is an advanced formula that hydrates, restores, and rebalances the lipid layer of the skin. These epidermal lipids play an essential role in the skin's barrier, retaining moisture and protecting against dryness and inflammation. Our formula contains a unique lipid concentrate that moisturizes the skin while repairing the damage caused by harmful irritants. The skin's barrier is vital for healthy skin. Mountain Ice Eczema Cream replenishes and strengthens that barrier.