The Sneeze

Tips to avoid Eczema outbreaks during hot summer months

July 30, 2021

Written By:

Written by Benjamin Boerner, CNP

Optimizing skin hygiene is the first step in eczema management.

This includes daily bathing, patting the skin dry, then immediate application of an occlusive topical emollient cream or ointment (e.g. Aquaphor, CeraVe cream). This traps moisture in the skin and promotes flexibility of the skin without cracking. Moisturizing ointments and creams should be applied 3-4 times a day or whenever the skin feels dry. Bathing should be completed every night before bed.

Make sure to use “sensitive skin” soaps to clean skin. Avoid dryer sheets and use “sensitive skin” laundry detergent that is dye and scent free (Dreft for infants/toddlers).

With environmental allergies being a major trigger for eczema outbreaks, avoidance measures should be exercised including, bathing pets to reduce dander levels, monitoring pollen counts, daily evening shower to flush off allergens, use of long sleeve clothing while hiking, mowing, camping or anytime your skin is likely to come in close contact with pollen, frequent dusting/vacuuming, use of dust-mite proof bed and pillow sheets, maintaining humidity <50%, fixing any leaks in the home, cleaning air ducts, changing air duct filters quarterly (at the minimum), use of HEPA air purifiers in bedrooms and any well-trafficked rooms in the house.

If outbreak occurs, we recommend wet wrap therapy at nighttime: Start by applying an emollient/medicated ointment such as Aquaphor to the skin. Then moisten a clean tube sock or other cloth for wrapping. Next apply moistened wrap around extremity and finally, wrap a dry clean wrap/cloth over the wet wrap (can use long sleeve clothing for instance as the dry cloth).​

Ultimately, if these tips don’t help control your eczema, it may be time to see a board-certified allergist to review options. We always tell our patients that knowing is half the battle so a visit with an allergist who specializes in eczema and allergy skin testing can help determine what you or your child are allergies to. Once we identify your allergy triggers, then we can help develop a customized allergy treatment plan that will help minimize your eczema symptoms.