As summer approaches, it’s time to get outside and bask in the warmth and sunshine. But it’s not easy to bare your body when you have eczema. Those with eczema-prone skin know the signs and symptoms — the itchiness, redness and dryness that indicates a flare-up. Nothing can be more irritating, especially during summer months when you want to get out and show a little more skin.
Eczema is more common than you may think. According to the National Eczema Association (NEA), around 31 million people in America live with eczema, and one in 10 will develop eczema during their lifetime. The NEA cites a recent study that surveyed adults with moderate to severe eczema and found that nearly 86% reported daily itching. These symptoms can affect your comfort during the day, interrupt your sleep at night and even have a negative impact on your mental well-being.
“While some find their eczema is less problematic in the summer, for others, high temps and outdoor activities can cause eczema flare-ups,” said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sheila Farhang. “Revamp your body care routine to adapt to the changing seasons. I recommend products made with dermatologist-recommend ingredients for long-lasting hydration to improve the look and feel of dry skin.”
Here are Dr. Sheila’s tips to help get you ready to bare that bod in time for summer.
1. Go easy on the showers
It’s natural to want to shower more frequently in the summertime. But if you’re not careful, over-showering can lead to dry, irritated skin. Take shorter, cooler showers — and avoid soap. Instead, choose a body wash that’s both gentle on your skin AND provides long-lasting hydration. Olay Body’s new Dermatologist Designed Collection is designed for people with sensitive skin. It’s made with dermatologist-recommended ingredients to address specific dry skin concerns, like Olay’s Soothing Body Wash with Oat Extract for eczema-prone skin, which delivers soothing hydration, leaving dry skin with long-lasting relief, and has been awarded the Seal of Acceptance™ from the National Eczema Association.
2. Protect your skin from the sun
Skin health experts agree that sunscreen is an essential tool in your summer body care arsenal. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that provides broad-spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB rays) for any exposed skin — even on cloudy days. The National Eczema Association further recommends choosing a sunscreen that is alcohol free with mineral-based ingredients like titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO). Remember to reapply as directed or as recommended by your dermatologist.
3. Keep it cool
Cooling towels, breathable, loose-fitting or moisture-wicking clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat can help keep you cool physically, but did you know keeping it cool mentally is important too? Stress is a common eczema trigger, so consider mindful meditation, deep breathing, a good night’s sleep or some self-care to help lower stress and the potential for a flare-up.
4. Moisturize your skin while it’s damp
I love this tip! Moisturize immediately after showering, or better yet, before you even leave the shower. Moisture can evaporate from skin’s surface within a few minutes of bathing, and managing moisture is key for eczema-prone skin. Look for rinse-off body conditioners made with the #1 dermatologist-recommended moisturizing ingredient, petrolatum, for long-lasting hydration.
5. Hydrate from the inside to nourish the outside
Whether you’re lounging in the shade with your sun-protective gear or you’re staying active with outdoor activities, be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Limit sugary and alcoholic beverages since these can be dehydrating.
Looking to refresh your body care routine for summer? Check out more ways to prepare to be bare at Olay.com.