Eczema's Relationship with the Weather
In a nutshell, when the skin is healthy, it acts as a barrier that protects the rest of your body from the elements.
But with eczema, that barrier can’t lock in moisture as well, leaving the skin dry, flaky, and prone to irritation. Depending on the weather, one’s eczema may manifest itself in different ways.
And even if the Philippines only has two seasons (wet and dry), you can almost expect your eczema to make its presence known as the weather changes.
Eczema and the Heat
For the most part, the Philippines is bathed by the sun’s rays all year round. This means constant perspiration, humidity, and different coping mechanisms for cooling down.
Because our kind of heat involves humidity rather than the dry kind, that's why sweat stays on the skin instead of dissipate. It's this collection (or even pooling) of sweat on the skin that can cause irritation.
How to Manage Eczema in the Heat
One way is to wear loose-fitting clothes made out of cotton. Not only does it help air circulate throughout the body, but it’s also effective in absorbing body moisture. If engaging in physical activities, like workouts or if your kids go to the park, choose to do so at cooler times of the day. And if need be, resort to a change of clothing several times in a day.
In the hottest months of the year (traditionally known as our summertime), it’s also a good idea to take a shower more than once a day, just to help the body cool itself. That way, you can also cleanse your skin of any potential irritants; ideally, take a bath with cool water, but if need be, keep hot showers to a few minutes only as this can dry out the skin as well.
Eczema and Cooler Weather
It's during cooler months (here in the Philippines, this usually means rainy season and when it transitions to the Holiday months) that the air can turn dryer and retain less moisture.
This is also what causes people to prefer taking warm baths, as opposed to showering in room-temperature water, causing the skin to dry out faster.
How to Manage Eczema in Cooler Weather
Because the main manifestation of eczema in this season is dry skin, moisturizing is of utmost importance. Right after a shower, ensure that you (or your child) moisturize especially the areas of the skin that are exposed to the elements.
It also might be tempting to step out of the house in “cold weather clothing” like knit sweaters. However, it's usually these kinds of clothes (such as wool and fleece) that are rough on the skin and can cause irritation. You can still dress fashionably by choosing to layer more comfortable kinds of clothing instead.
Aside from this, there's a good chance that most people stay home during this time, especially when the country goes through its monsoons, tropical depressions, and typhoons. This is when you or your child may be most exposed to indoor allergens, which could trigger eczema flare-ups. You can read our article on Eczema Tips You Might've Missed to get an idea of how to work around your allergens.
Eczema and Moisturizing
With eczema, it’s important to keep your skin moisturized, no matter the season, since it already has a weakened barrier.
Mometasone furoate (Elica®) products help stop itching, reduce redness, ease swelling, and provide relief within 24 hours. Mometasone furoate (Elica®) cream is applied on thin skin (like on the face) and moist lesions while Mometasone furoate (Elica®) ointment is applied on dry lesions and thickened skin. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
If you’re a fan of the summer, you can definitely enjoy the outdoors; and if you prefer cozier snuggle weather, savor every bit of it! With these few tips to keep in mind, you can manage your skin and prepare for the transition to the next season.