Sun and Eczema: How To Maximize The Advantages of Sun This Summer

Sun shinning in sky - sun and eczema

By Laura Dolgy (see bio below)

During the summer months, sun can be damaging to all skin types, but the sun and eczema have a unique relationship.

Some sun exposure can help eczema flare ups, but generally those suffering from eczema need to take protective measures to prevent flare-ups. Read on to learn how sun can help eczema and discover some protective items that can keep skin dry and cool.

As is the case with many eczema treatments, scientists and doctors are unsure why sunlight benefits eczema sufferers. But there are a few theories.

A 2017 study suggests that UV rays from the sun or from a UV lamp encourage skin to release the compound nitrogen oxide. Increased levels of nitrogen oxide in both children and adults has been tied with a decrease in eczema flare-ups. [1]

Nitrogen oxide helps reduce the inflammation in the body. When inflammation is reduced, the severity of a flare-up is reduced.

In a 2019 article, Dr. Daniel More suggests that Vitamin D is another important benefit of sunlight exposure. When skin is exposed to light, Vitamin D production increases. Vitamin D, in turn, increases the production of a protein that fights against skin infections. [2]

To learn more about Vitamin D and eczema, check out the blog post: The Truth About Vitamin D and Eczema.

Low levels of that protein are associated with eczema sufferers. If the amount of the protein increases, it fights off bacteria and inflammation.

While some sun exposure can help, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Generally physicians recommend that eczema-prone skin or flare-ups are not exposed to the sun for longer than an hour or two at a time.

UV Protection

As mentioned, sun for eczema can be beneficial, but proper protection is key.

Sunscreen can be difficult to find for eczema prone skin because of chemical irritants and additives. Our favorites are Baby Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen and Sport Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen. Both sunscreens have zinc as the active ingredient, which is great for soothing inflamed skin and reducing redness. Which means that these sunscreens not only protect the skin, but heal it as well.  

Another way to prevent UV damage is simply to stay in the shade. Brief exposure to sunlight is beneficial, but after that exposure, enjoy the sunny outdoors from a shady spot.

UV Eczema Clothing

Eczema clothing is all made from material that is soft and soothing, such as bamboo or cotton. But the Remedywear clothing line from Yoro Naturals is made from TENCEL fabric with zinc-embedded fibers, which soothes irritated skin. Its composition means that it actually helps heal a flare up while you wear it.  

Remedywear is also a sun eczema treatment, as it provides UV protection for sensitive skin. The garments come in three different colors: teal, white, and black. The white material provides UPF 35+ while the teal and black furnish a UPF 50+.Another advantage of TENCEL fabric is that it is wonderfully breathable, so you or your little one can enjoy the sun without getting overheated.

For full body coverage in little ones, we suggest the Remedywear Long Pants for Kids and Remedywear Long Sleeve Shirt for Kids are perfect. We also suggest the Remedywear Pants for Adults and Remedywear Long Sleeve Shirt for Adults. These garments are wonderful for keeping skin protected by the sun and scratching.

Lastly, our Remedywear Eczema Sleeves for all ages provide relief to the places on the body most prone to chafing in the heat, such as the insides of elbows and backs of knees. The sleeves will protect sensitive skin from UV rays while providing moisture-wicking properties. In other words – it eliminates the bad parts of time in the sun!

Moisturizing

After a long day in the sun, as well as dryness caused by the sun or sand, you’ll want to keep skin moisturized with a natural emollient. This Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a wonderfully nourishing and soothing cream with only six natural ingredients: manuka honey, manuka oil, grapeseed oil, beeswax, filtered water and olive oil.

Not only does it help relieve itchy, inflamed skin, but its manuka honey and oil components provide anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

References

  1. Nitric oxide induces human CLA+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells with skin-homing potential. https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(17)30924-7/fulltext
  2. Does Sun Exposure Help Eczema? https://www.verywellhealth.com/does-sun-exposure-help-eczema-82721