Summer can be a tricky time for people who suffer from eczema or "atopic dermatitis," as sunny weather can lead to major flare-ups due to sweating or photoallergic reactions.
Specialists from the French Eczema Association (Association française de l'eczéma) have a few tips to help eczema sufferers through the summer months.
Stay out of the sea when experiencing flare-ups
"Salty seawater has multiple benefits for atopic skin, but each dip in the sea should be followed by a shower in clean water, careful drying and sunscreen application to hydrate skin," say the experts. However, swimming in the sea isn't recommended for patients experiencing severe flare-ups, as patches that are very inflamed and/or weeping can "burn" the skin.
Dips in the pool aren't out of bounds, but take care with hygiene to avoid fungal infections and verrucas.
Don't give up on treatments
Keep on treating patches of eczema by applying cortisone creams in the evening after showering. Even if stress levels tend to drop on vacation and symptoms may seem to improve, you should continue applying your emollients every day, as well as moisturising lotions.
Moisturise skin every day
To minimize sweating, dermatologists recommend wearing clothing made from cotton or linen. In summer, you should continue to moisturize skin very regularly every day. Showers should be short and cool.
Slather on factor 50
It's important to use a maximum protection sunscreen, such as factor 50 or higher, especially for young children. Avoid getting too much sun exposure during the hottest part of the day, between 12pm and 4pm.