If you live in the Northern Hemisphere and have eczema (or any skin condition for that matter), it’s officially that anxiety-inducing time of year! For some, Spring and Summer do wonders for your ultra-sensitive skin. If you’re in this category, congrats, but this post is for the others. The ones that tend to hibernate because they’re so self-conscious about their skin. This is for the ones that cover up in long sleeves and pants in 95 degrees hot, humid weather (super guilty). The ones that can’t fathom the world staring at their inflamed, flaky, oozing, pus-filled skin.
So I thought I’d come up with a bucket list of things that hold us back. Mental health is so crucial and often overlooked, which leads to trouble.
Spring / Summer Bucket List –
(Remember these are suggestions and will not appeal to everyone, and that’s perfectly fine.)
- Daily Positive Affirmation – You’ve probably heard this slogan a lot lately, but it works. Gratitude is EVERYTHING! Try saying something nice about yourself for once! While our skin can be extremely debilitating at times, we are still capable of accomplishing many things. *I’m thankful for my eczema because it helps me tape into my humorous personality.
- Splurge on Quality Bedsheets – Stop suffering sleepless nights on low-quality bedsheets. With companies such as Aizome Bedding –
and DermaTherapy sheets that cater to skin conditions, there’s no excuse. One of the biggest eczema triggers is non-breathable fabrics. Last time I checked hot, sweaty, itchy nights were not fun!
- Go For a Hike – Any form of exercise is beneficial for your health. However, scientists prove that a walk through nature can really lead to measurable changes in your brain. As little as a 50-minute walk can boost your energy level, decrease anxiety, and improve your memory. Remember to wear bug spray (deer ticks are no joke), stay hydrated and pick a cooler day to hike.
- Test Out Anti-Inflammatory / Eczema Friendly Recipes – There is an endless stream of cookbooks dedicated to skin ailments, such as eczema. I’m personally obsessed with Karen Fischer’s gorgeous and drool-worthy recipes from her new cookbook The Eczema Detox
- Invest in a Quality Sunscreen/Sunblock – Sunblock guards UVB rays. Sunscreen guards your skin against UVA. To get the best protection, its best to get a sunscreen that does both. The hard part is finding one that works well with your skin. This is where you should really take the time to research reviews and go through trial and error. While it may be tempting to buy the cheap store brand version, it may wreak havoc on your skin. Personally, I can’t buy the store brand, and it leaves my skin feeling chalky and with large unblended streaks. Due to this, I’ve opted for the spray. It feels much better on my skin and doesn’t leave me with a rash from rubbing it in too much.
- Enjoy an Outdoor Event at Night – Whether that means attending a baseball game, watching an outdoor movie, attending a BBQ/Party bonfire etc.. Afterall, this is what summer is all about! I listed this because some of us tend to shy away from these type of events. We usually have a million and one excuses. From the awful insect bites that would completely ruin our already sensitive skin to overheating because of the humidity, or because we just don’t feel like it. All valid excuses of course. But you should at least try something different if you find yourself stuck in a rut. (Remember this is for those of us that aren’t already attending events at night). It’s time to stop letting your skin define you.
- Admire and/or Swim in a Body of Water – Ocean, lake, river, sea, waterfall, waterpark, pond, pool bathtub, and so on. Personally, I believe this is the most avoided summer activities for people with skin conditions. The fear of exposing your skin to chemicals from a pool, insecurities of showing your rough rashy skin, while every flaunts their perfectly smooth skin, not wanting to deal with your skin drying up and becoming inflamed as soon as it touches the towel, and then speeding to place all your creams and lotions on and so much more. If you find yourself avoiding swimming, then just get out there and admire a fresh body of water.
- Expand Your Wardrobe Choices – If you’re that person that wears ALWAYS wears long sleeves, pants, sweaters etc. when its blazing hot out, maybe try something else. I know when your skin is inflamed you tend to want to cover up in your staple go-tos. But I’m a firm believer in the quote ‘if you look good, you feel good.’ So try something new and venture outside the box a little. Wear something that will keep your skin cool and breathable, while looking stylish.
and for men (you can always swap the sweater for a nice chambray shirt)
- Travel – To a place you’ve never been to before. It doesn’t have to be far or expensive. Often we travel to the same places, summer and summer because it’s within our comfort zone or traditional. Sometimes its ok to be spontaneous, even with your eczema…
- Remain Inquisitive About Eczema – Eczema is a problem and in order to solve a problem, you need to come up with a solution. Since there’s no cure (for those of us with atopic dermatitis), we should always stay informed on the latest discoveries. As humans, we are always students learning how to best navigate our lives.