Why your eczema gets worse during spring

It’s been a chilly winter, and most of us can’t wait for spring to get here so we can enjoy our magical Queensland sunshine. Most of us, except for the eczema sufferers.

If you count yourself in this group you’ll be all too familiar with that extra itchy feeling you get every time September 1 rolls around. It’s a time eczema sufferers dread.

So why does eczema flare up in the spring? According to the Eczema Association of Australasia there are three simple reasons:

  • Increase of allergens in the air, such as grass and flower pollens. 
  • Increase in temperature exacerbates already hot and inflamed skin.
  • Increase in temperature means more sweating which can inflame eczema-affected skin.

All of these factors are classic triggers for an eczema flare-up, and while there is, as yet, no cure, there are ways to manage the condition at the onset of spring:

  • Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise with an anti-inflammatory moisturiser. And when you’ve finished moisturising, moisturise some more.
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton or other soft natural fibres to avoid scratching or irritating the skin.
  • Use only hypoallergenic products that do not contain perfumes.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Try to keep cool to avoid raising too much of a sweat, which can irritate the skin.
  • Wear cotton gloves at night to prevent yourself from scratching while you’re asleep.

See your doctor about new creams and medications now available that may provide some relief.

However the advent of spring is not all bad news for eczema sufferers. In fact the increase in sunshine could have it’s benefits.

A recent study by the University of Edinburgh has found increased exposure to sunlight may help reduce the itchy inflammation. Researchers found that when exposed to UV light, skin releases a nitric oxide molecule that ‘dampens’ inflammation in eczema-affected skin.

New treatments may be just around the corner….