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Spring Skin Tips
Spring is here again with lighter nights and warmer days. Springtime makes us feel better in general and can be more pleasant for eczema sufferers too with the temperatures being favourable – not too hot, not too cold.
Although eczema generally improves in the spring, for some people the it’s the opposite. Seasonal pollen can be a trigger, causing eczema flare-ups alongside hay fever.
Many eczema sufferers find that their eczema flares up more in Spring due to the added allergens in the air and the rise in temperature. The heat is an important factor because people with eczema get hotter than anyone else. The warmer weather also causes us to perspire more, which can aggravate the itching and swelling of eczema.
Eczema suffers will know all too well that the itch is very real. From the moment you wake up in the morning to putting out the lights at night, it’s a constant struggle to fight the urge to itch your inflammation away. The constants itch causes scratching which can result in a secondary infection.
When you’re affected by flora and fauna, the eczema reaction can often be accompanied by allergic rhinitis (hay fever) – runny noses, watery eyes and itchy skin, a very unpleasant combination.
Following are our tips for managing eczema in the Spring:
- Visit your Doctor or Dermatologist and obtain a topical steroid cream to help reduce inflammation and help manage itchiness – by reducing the inflammation of the skin you can lower your chances of getting a secondary infection that can be caused by scratching
- Visit your Pharmacist for advice on anti-histamines if you are a hay fever sufferer – they can also be useful for helping with itchy skin
- Take a daily probiotic – these can help boost your immune system to more effectively fight off infection caused by scratching
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise and make sure you have plenty of your favourite on hand
- Change up your products – if you have been using an ointment for moisturising during the winter this may now heat up the skin too much – change to a cream or lotion and apply more often
- Pop your skin moisturiser in the refrigerator so it is very cooling to numb itchy skin quickly
- Review your skin routine – make sure your cleansing products and shampoo are suitable for sensitive skin – it may be time to try something new
- Distraction is key, especially when you’re trying to control children scratching their skin – try putting a tub of moisturiser in front of them and encourage them to rub it on or have a competition – you cream their skin while they cream a toy and see who finishes first
- Keep cool – it’s helpful to pop a damp face washer in the freezer and put on or wrap around a really itchy skin patch to numb it and stop scratching
- Stay away from open windows to reduce exposure to allergens and keep your car windows up
- When you have been out and about in the environment, particularly parks and gardens, have a quick rinse off back at home and reapply your moisturiser
- Drink plenty of water to help keep your skin hydrated
- Try an ioniser/ air purifier to remove allergens such as pollen and spores from the air, particularly in your bedroom but also other rooms where a lot of time is spent
- Review your bedding – take some layers off you had on for winter – eczema sufferers do most of their scratching at night – this might also be a great time to invest in some dust mite protective bedding to reduce contact with dust mite droppings
- Wear cotton gloves (mittens for babies) to bed to reduce the effect of scratching on the skin
- Wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth every day – this will pick up the dust and pollen that has settled
- Heat and cold both play havoc with eczema skin so even though the weather can still be cool morning and night, the days will be warmer – dress in loose breathable layers made of cotton or bamboo
- Use a sunscreen of at least 30+ SPF on any skin that will be exposed when you go outside and be sure it is a sunscreen for sensitive skin – check the label for any ingredients your skin may be sensitive to
- Wash clothes in a detergent that is specifically designed for sensitive skin that doesn’t contain chemical fillers and additives and only use a hypoallergenic softener
- Most important of all – don’t panic when you experience a flare – back to basics!
The information in this article was obtained from The National Eczema Society, www.scratchsleeves.co.uk & www.comvita.com.au
This Information Sheet is provided as a service by the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc to give up-to-date, practical help on certain types of eczema or a particular aspect of its treatment. These Sheets are part of our membership package
It is not the policy of the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc to recommend or endorse any product or treatment.
It is part of the role of the Association to provide information on a wide range of products and treatments to keep those involved with eczema as fully informed as possible as to all options available. For medical advice, consult your health professional.