As many of us embark on exciting adventures and create lasting memories with loved ones on our summer holidays, for those living with eczema, the holiday season can bring about many unique challenges.
Eczema is a skin condition that causes the skin to become itchy, dry, and cracked. According to the National Eczema Society, the condition is thought to impact 1 in 10 adults in the UK1. As temperatures and humidity rise during the summer, eczema flare-ups and worsening of existing symptoms can be triggered.
Sweating and excessive heat can irritate the skin, leading to itchiness, redness, and dryness. Additionally, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause photosensitivity reactions in some eczema sufferers. Research has suggested that areas with warm, humid, and high sun exposure climates are associated with poorly controlled eczema2.
Taking a refreshing dip in a pool or the ocean may seem like a perfect way to beat the summer heat while on holiday, however, chlorinated water in swimming pools and the high salt content in seawater can aggravate eczema-prone skin, causing it to become drier and more irritated; the combination of chemicals and minerals can strip the skin’s natural oils, leading to an eczema flare-up.
If you’re heading to the pool or beach while on holiday, make sure you rinse off in fresh water before and after swimming, as well as promptly applying moisturiser.
It is recommended that we all take protection from the sun’s UV rays in the form of suncream all year round, but sun damage can be particularly harmful during the summer and when visiting countries closer to the equator; the sun’s rays have a shorter distance to travel through the atmosphere, and therefore less of the harmful UV radiation can be absorbed. For those living with eczema, however, certain suncreams include ingredients that can trigger allergies and exacerbate symptoms.
When picking an eczema-friendly suncream, opt for ones that are formulated for sensitive skin with physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are usually found in mineral suncreams, as opposed to chemical suncreams which could cause irritation.
As we travel, it naturally causes disruptions to our daily routines, leading to stress and inadequate sleep, both of which can cause eczema flare-ups. When able to, those living with eczema should incorporate stress-relieving practices into travel routines such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and physical exercises such as yoga.
Living with eczema doesn’t mean having to miss out on the fun and joys of summer or the excitement of holidays. By understanding the challenges that summer and travel may pose, individuals with eczema can take proactive steps to manage their condition effectively.
Here at MAC Clinical Research, we are committed to improving the quality of life for those living with health conditions through clinical trials, and we actively work to help in the development of potential new treatment options.
To be the first to find out about new clinical trials for eczema, visit our future studies research page.
If eligible for a future eczema study, you’ll receive travel expenses to and from our clinics.
All of our clinical trials are free to take part in, and you’ll receive a full health check-up from one of our trained medical professionals as part of the trial.
With your help, we can advance healthcare.
1 National Eczema Society – What is eczema?