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How to soothe eczema flare-ups


New Zealand summer holidays can be fun - water, sun, sand...and for people with eczema that can spell TROUBLE - salt water stings cracked skin, the heat makes eczema worse, pool chlorine dries and aggravates skin and grasses and pollens trigger allergies. What we find works best for our young kids with eczema is using emulsifying barrier crème before they swim and keeping a bottle of fresh water on hand to rinse skin immediately after they get out.  We protect skin with sensitive crème before applying sunblock and make sure they wear light cotton clothing.  A bed side fan is a staple to help keep cool during the hot sticky summer nights - and a cool shower just before bed to reduce overall body temperature.

In the Northern Hemisphere the cold and dry winter air is particularly harsh on eczema prone skin and the cold weather makes us want to wrap up warm and turn up the heat.  Too many layers, hot showers, baths or overheated rooms can make eczema even worse. 

Our best advice for eczema prone, dry or irritated skin:

  1. Keep your skin hydrated.  Drink plenty of water and keep your skin moisturized
  2. Avoid skin irritants (perfumes, chemicals) in moisturizers, cleaning products, shampoos, soaps, shaving cream
  3. Wear clothing that doesn’t irritate skin (cotton underneath wool or merino can prevent irritation)
  4. Don’t overheat – keep showers and baths warm (not hot) and be careful that your heating isn’t too much that it drys out your skin
  5. Avoid your triggers – certain foods, animals, dust….