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How to take the heat Eczema when suffering from

Online since 4.10.2017 • Filed under Feature • From Issue Fifteen - October to December 2017 page(s) 26-28
How to take the heat Eczema when suffering from

Did you know that heat can trigger more eczema flare ups than cold weather? Eczema sufferers not only complain about rashes during hot weather, but also experience severe itching, skin reddening and dryness. With the summer months fast approaching, The Genop research team offers some tips to help you and your little one survive the warmer weather.

Why are eczema sufferers prone to breakouts when the weather fluctuates?

Winter months are tough because the dry air, cold temperature and low humidity make our skin susceptible to breakouts and flares. Hot temperatures can aggravate eczema through heat, sweating and drying out the skin.

How does heat trigger eczema?

Hot temperatures cause water loss that dries out the skin. Water loss in the skin cells compromises the skin’s natural barrier, which then struggles to protect us from irritants and toxins. Hot temperatures also cause us to sweat, which brings irritants to the surface where they can trigger itching, redness and inflammation. Did you know that there are trace amounts of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, lactic acid, urea, copper, zinc, nickel, iron, chromium and lead in sweat? These chemicals can irritate the skin, especially when the humidity is high and sweat cannot easily evaporate. That is why flare-ups are often seen in areas where sweat accumulates such as the inner elbows and neck area.

How can you prevent heat-induced eczema?

1. Clothing

Daytime: Choose loose fitting cotton clothing in soft fabrics for you and your little one during the warmer months. Layering is another way to help your little one to stay comfortable as the temperature changes throughout the day – especially if you are travelling in the car; dress your children for the trip and not the destination. Avoid synthetic fabrics because these are usually heavy and do not promote proper airflow to help the skin stay cool.

Also avoid wool as it may irritate the skin.

Night-time: Heat can build up under the covers so stay with cottons and avoid thick pyjamas that trap heat. Try to use cotton sheets and blankets.

2. Skin Care

Bathing can help to keep the skin cool and removes irritants, but remember to avoid hot baths.

Use bathing as an opportunity to put moisture back into the skin by using a suitable bath oil (such as Epi-max Bathe) that will act as a barrier to trap moisture, keeping the skin from drying out and feeling itchy.

Moisturise immediately after a bath while the skin is still damp as this will lock more moisture into the skin (try Epi-max Lotion). Moisturising can also reduce the temperature of the skin, which helps to prevent it from drying out. Moisturising remains the foundation of all skin conditions and a good emollient moisturiser may be all that is required – so moisturise your skin adequately with a reputable product as frequently as possible. If the humidity is very high, opt for a lotion formula instead of a cream as it will be less greasy.

3. Temperature Control

You may not be able to control the weather outdoors, but try to keep your house cool during hot months with air conditioning or cool mist humidifiers. You can also lower your little one’s temperature by using a cold compress. Simply soak a washcloth in cold water and rest it on the skin for a few minutes; repeat until the skin has cooled down.

What else can I do to prevent eczema?

• Keep the temperature as cool and comfortable as possible when you are indoors.

• Avoid the sun between 10:00 and 14:00 – the hottest time of the day.

• Stay in the shade as much as possible and keep hydrated by drinking plenty of cold water.

• Use gentle paper wipes to wipe away sweat as sweat is a main cause of irritation.

• Switch to physical sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for UV protection. Eczema sufferers have sensitive skin and ingredients in a chemical sunscreen can lead to an allergic reaction.

• Shower or rinse immediately after swimming in a chlorinated pool and apply a moisturiser over the whole body as quickly as possible.

• Avoid antibacterial skin products as they can kill bacteria, which is required to maintain a healthy skin barrier.

A little bit of sun can be good

Keep in mind that sun exposure can sometimes help eczema. It may seem like a paradox, but while hot temperatures can trigger eczema, the increased production of vitamin D in the skin (promoted by sun exposure) can relieve eczema. A shortage in vitamin D is common among eczema sufferers, so make sure your little one gets a little bit of sun on the skin, but keep it to less than an hour a day during nonpeak hours. Vitamin D improves eczema thanks to its antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

What is an emollient moisturiser and how does it treat eczema?

An emollient is a type of body moisturiser formulated with very specific ingredients to add moisture to the skin, strengthen the skin barrier to keep the moisture in, and restore any weak patches to stop irritants from penetrating the surface.


Epi-max is a range of emollient moisturisers that has been proven to reduce and combat eczema in a gentle and harmless way. Epi-max Baby & Junior is a range of gentle all-purpose moisturisers for babies and children. It can be used as a soap substitute that doubles up as a moisturiser and is gentle and mild enough to use from birth. The Epi-max Baby & Junior range won Product of the Year 2017 in the Baby Care category. Epi-max is available at Clicks, Dis-Chem and selected pharmacies.

Issue Fifteen - October to December 2017

Issue Fifteen - October to December 2017

This article was featured on page 26-28 of Babys and Beyond Issue Fifteen - October to December 2017 .

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Meg Faure
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