Spring Gardening with Eczema

Spring Gardening with Eczema

Elizabeth Scott

It’s the beginning of Spring and here in Denver the trees and spring flowers are starting to bloom. What a welcome relief to see some color after a dry, brown, practically snowless winter. My skin has been so dry. I noticed many neighbors in their yards this weekend and wondered what it is like to garden when suffering with eczema. Do people with eczema shy away from yard work to avoid flare ups? I did a bit of research and have some tips for protection against eczema while enjoying spring gardening.

Many things can get in the way of a good spring gardening session. Drying dirt and potential allergens are all around. There is a saying “leaves of three, let it be,” referring to poisonous plants such as sumac and poison ivy with the telltale three leaves. But there are other seemingly harmless flowers such as chrysanthemums, tulips, and alstroemeria that can also be triggers for hand eczema and dermatitis. Another culprit can be the warm air as sweating in eczema prone areas can cause an eczema flareup. Below are some tips to help navigate these spring gardening eczema triggers.

Spring Gardening Tips with Eczema:

  • Take your usual allergy medicine if you have spring allergies.
  • Perform your regular skin maintenance routine which should include a good layer of barrier ointment.
  • As recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology add an ointment containing quaternium-18 bentonite which helps prevent urushiol from contacting the skin. Urushiol is an oily organic allergen found on the leaves of poisonous plants,
  • Wear sunscreen 30- 50+ on top of ointments to prevent sunburn.
  • Wear garden gloves made of breathable material with rubberized palms. Leather gloves may cause too much sweating..
  • Look for gloves with a longer cuff to keep dirt out. Wear liner gloves inside garden gloves and have extra liner and extra garden gloves on hand in case one pair gets wet or sweaty.
  • Protect your arms, legs, and neck by wearing lightweight and breathable clothing.
  • Add eczema wraps under your shirt to protect skin and wick away sweat in eczema prone areas like the inside of elbows.
  • Take a break from the sun when sweating in eczema prone areas becomes an issue.
  • Shower after gardening and apply barrier ointment or cream.

With a little advanced planning and preparation you can enjoy gardening even if you suffer with eczema. If you do have a bad flare up or you happen to meet a nasty nettle or poison ivy, don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor to get proper medication. Happy Spring and have fun creating your beautiful garden or the backyard of your dreams.

Please remember information on our blog is not designed or meant to replace a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.