How Does The Heat Affect Eczema, Seborrhoea, and Psoriasis?
Article written by Rachel Jules, Exclusively for Kamedis
Skin conditions are among the most common health concerns in the United States. According to the integrative health center NIH, up to one in three Americans may have at least one skin condition. This includes eczema and psoriasis which can eventually lead to seborrhea. While there are many possible triggers for these conditions, heat is one of the biggest ones. As such, it’s important to understand just what heat does to your skin in order to prevent and alleviate these conditions.
A term to describe dermatitis (or skin irritation), eczema is described by SymptomFind as a non-contagious dry skin condition. While the 31 million people with eczema experience different forms of it, a commonality is a reaction to heat. Because those with eczema are prone to dehydrated skin, being in the heat can exacerbate the loss of moisture. This can result in dry and itchy patches that can flake off. A specific form of eczema that’s particularly vulnerable to heat in the summer is called pompholyx eczema. This is because pompholyx eczema is a blistering condition sensitive to heat and sweating—both of which are typical in the summertime.
The CDC’s online resources describe psoriasis as an autoimmune disease. This means the body’s immune system becomes overactive and begins to attack its normal tissues. This manifests as thick red skin with silvery scales. In hot weather, psoriasis can either be calmed or irritated. This is because natural sunlight and UV radiation in the right amounts can induce phototherapy treatment. This helps soothe irritations. On the flip side, too much sun exposure and extreme heat changes can trigger flare-ups. For those with psoriasis who fall under the lighter end of the Fitzpatrick scale, heat may even cause scales to become larger. This is because the lack of melanin makes the skin more prone to damage.
Seborrhea is a recurring skin disease characterized by inflamed skin with large red or yellowish scales. In some cases, this condition may even itch, crust, and ooze. As a non-curable condition, it’s crucial for seborrheic dermatitis patients to avoid triggers. Interestingly, cold weather is actually more seborrhea than hot weather. This may be because colder seasons can have drier air. That said, especially dry days in hotter climates can still cause flare-ups. Once this happens, the skin’s patches may thicken and become more painful.
What can you do?
Similar to the tips we noted in our article about “How to Deal with Dry Skin and Eczema in the Winter”, you should prioritize protection and hydration. Remember to keep yourself hydrated with moisturizers and water. Drink at least eight glasses daily, and don’t hesitate to bring along a water jug while you’re out. Meanwhile, try to keep a rich moisturizer handy at all times, so you can regularly soothe your skin. Aside from this, don’t scrimp on sunscreen either. Sun protection is important since unprotected skin is not only prone to flare-ups but also deeper skin damage. Over time, this can cause serious illnesses like cancer. In an FDA consumer guide, they recommend using unscented sunscreens with at least SPF 30. With this, you can block out both harmful UV and UVB rays. As an added bonus, some sunscreens can add an extra layer of needed moisture.
Although none of these three conditions is totally curable, they are absolutely manageable. So much so, in fact, that many with these conditions can even suppress their symptoms altogether. To do so, it’s important to avoid triggers and follow a mindful holistic lifestyle. By observing a well-rounded skin care regimen, you can enjoy the summer without compromising your skin.