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Summer : Tips to avoid atopic dermatitis flare-ups

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By : Vik

5 months ago

The skin naturally generates a protective barrier against external aggressions. Atopic dermatitis is a disease that damages this barrier. It causes an inflammation aggravated by environmental factors such as heat. When it’s hot, we sweat. The sweat irritates the skin, which becomes even more sensitive when exposed to the sun. How do you manage your atopic dermatitis when it's very hot outside?    

Although atopic dermatitis can be aggravated by hot climates, there are a few things you can do to avoid flare-ups and limit symptoms.   

 

 1. Protect yourself from the heat and sun  

 
To allow your skin to breathe and be less irritated by tissues, you can choose clothes made of 100% cotton, bamboo, or silk. These materials are soft on the skin and absorb sweat. With these materials, you can choose loose-fitting, lightweight clothes that allow your skin to breathe.    

When you are exposed to the sun, wear a hat and sunglasses that will protect your face, especially your eyelids, which are sensitive areas for atopic dermatitis.   

To complete this protection, it is strongly recommended to use sunscreen. But be sure to read the ingredients: silicone-based products are better for sensitive skin but make sure to check if you are not allergic to them.   

You can also cool down and moisturize your skin with thermal water creams and sprays. Of course, hydrating by drinking water is still very important!

2. Hydrate the skin before and after contact with water  


Swimming, in a pool or in the sea, is possible when you have atopic dermatitis. But you must protect your skin and moisturize it well. The chlorine in the pool affects the skin and can cause irritations. To avoid this, you can apply emollient 30 minutes before swimming. Emollient is a cream that softens, relaxes, and protects the skin: it is a product that soothes the skin, damaged by atopic dermatitis, covering it with a protective film to trap moisture and keep it hydrated. After swimming, wash off any irritants and then reapply the emollient. If you already have lesions, I advise against swimming until they have healed.   

To eliminate perspiration (source of irritation), I suggest short and cold showers. To dry the skin, you can pat it dry instead of rubbing it: this action will avoid irritation.   

If your child has atopic dermatitis and is playing in the sand at the beach, it is better to apply emollient before the activity, clean the skin well when the child has finished playing, and reapply emollient. 

3. Avoid aggressive substances 

When you live with atopic dermatitis, many substances (pollution, pollens, etc.) can be aggressive and irritating for the skin. To limit contact with these substances, you can take some precautions:   

  • Limit exposure to pollen and pollution  
  • Rinse your hair properly at night before going to bed  
  • Avoid drying your clothes outside   


4. Relax to sleep better 
 
 

The irritations of atopic dermatitis can be aggravated by stress and excitement. To avoid itching, especially at night, I recommend reducing stimulations after 6pm, such as sports or video games. To sleep more peacefully, meditating before bed can help.   

For dinner, you can avoid stimulating drinks and heavy meals.   

If you want to know more about atopic dermatitis, you can ask me all your questions in the chat on Vik Atopic Dermatitis!   

I hope I have been helpful,

Vik 

Sources:   

- https://eczema.org/wp-content/uploads/Childhood-Atopic-Eczema-booklet-2021.pdf   

- https://www.healthline.com/health/severe-eczema/questions-ask-dermatologist   

- https://www.fondationeczema.org/en/be-acompanied/useful-advice/sun-good-atopic-eczema   

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