Many of us associate the dry skin of eczema and the painful, itchy flare ups with the cold of winter. Yet, for many eczema sufferers, the summer can be a troubling time too, with heat, sun, and sand contributing to uncomfortable itching and frustrating flares.

Here are some tips to help you get through the summer in comfort:

Swimming can be good for eczema – It’s true. With the right precautions, swimming can be an enjoyable activity, and taking a few extra steps after you dive in could actually help improve your summer skin. After swimming, be sure to shower with fresh water. Immediately after rinsing, slather on a rich moisturizer to protect and hydrate your skin.

Stay cool – Try to avoid overheating by staying in the shade, avoiding the hottest mid-day and afternoon sun, and using fans and air conditioning whenever possible.

Layer to avoid overheating – Wear breathable cotton or silk layers which can be removed or added as your body temperature changes. This is especially important when dressing a baby. Overheating can cause a flare up on already delicate skin. Dress babies in light layers, and try to keep cool.

Choose a suitable sunscreen – Sunscreen is important for skin protection, but it can be a potential irritant for sensitive skin. While no sunscreens have earned the ESC Seal of Acceptance as of yet, look for products that have been formulated for sensitive skin and are fragrance free. Aerosol spray sunscreens can be irritating to sensitive skin as well.   You can also look for physical block sunscreens instead of chemical blocks. Physical block sunscreen ingredients to look for are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.