A guide to Sunscreen for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Sunscreens help prevent ultraviolet (UV) rays from reaching the skin and producing alterations to the skin. Certain sunscreens might not be appropriate for eczema sufferers.

Healthcare experts use the general term "eczema" to describe skin disorders that cause skin inflammation, itching, and irritation.

This article examines the relationship between Eczema and sunscreen and the best sunscreens for this skin problem.

Eczema- What is it?

It is also known as Atopic Dermatitis. Eczema patients are more likely to have a defective skin barrier, which may be inherited. Dry skin results from the skin barrier's inability to hold moisture in the skin. The skin may become more vulnerable to infections as a result of eczema.

When irritants and allergens come into touch with a person's skin, an overactive immune system may also contribute to eczema.

What are the different kinds of Eczema?

Atopic Dermatitis − It is a persistent skin problem that causes the skin to swell, get red, and itch. A person may have itchy skin, and continuous scratching may cause the skin to crack and leak clear fluid.

Contact Dermatitis − When a material irritates someone's skin or triggers an allergic skin reaction, Contact Dermatitis develops.

Dyshidrotic Eczema − On the hands or feet, this type causes little, terribly irritating blisters. These blisters could not go away for three to four weeks.

Hand Eczema − The hands of people who have this type of eczema develop dry, thick, and scaly skin. Hands may develop deep, uncomfortable fissures that can bleed.

Neurodermatitis − It begins as an itch and escalates to itchy skin patches that may thicken if scratched frequently.

Nummular Eczema − Typically, the forearms, legs, or backs of the hands will develop this kind of eczema. Little blister-like bumps and sores as well as elevated, coin-shaped patches are signs of the condition.

Stasis Dermatitis − Those with inadequate blood flow are more likely to get this type of eczema. Although it can occur everywhere, it usually happens in the lower legs, particularly close to the ankles.

Sunscreen-what it is?

Topical medications called sunscreens are crucial for shielding the skin from UV radiation. They contain substances that either absorb ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation or reflect and disperse it.

UV light emitted by the sun can penetrate the outer layer of your skin and can alter the skin. UVB light can burn the skin, while UVA light may cause the skin to age.

Physical components and chemical ingredients are the two categories of sunscreen compounds that offer UV protection.

Minerals that block and scatter UV rays include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as physical constituents. Octisalate and avobenzone are chemical components that absorb UV radiation.

Typically, sunscreens have an SPF (sun protection factor) rating. This figure represents the difference between how long it would take the UVB rays to cause the skin to get reddened if a person used sunscreen and how long it would take if they did not. A sunscreen with an SPF of 50 suggests that it would take 50 times longer for skin to become reddened than if the person did not apply sunscreen.

Regular sunscreen usage with an SPF of at least 15 may reduce the risk of melanoma development by 50% and squamous cell carcinoma development by about 40%.

What kind of sunscreen is ideal for people with Eczema?

Fragrance − free sunscreen- A fragrance-free sunscreen is ideal for people with skin problems like Atopic dermatitis to help avoid irritability or an allergic reaction.

Check the list of ingredients − To ensure they are not allergic to any ingredients of the sunscreen a person should also review the sunscreen's ingredient list and speak with a medical practitioner.

Water and sweat-resistant sunscreen − One approach to keep the skin comfortable and flare-up-free is choosing a sweat and water-resistant sunscreen. It guarantees the safety of your skin, especially when participating in outdoor activities.

Choose broad-spectrum sunscreen − The various UV radiation that your sunscreen shields you against is called as broad-spectrum. Both the UVA and UVB rays that the sun generates are dangerous and can have distinct effects on your skin. While both UVA and UVB radiation have the potential to cause skin cancer, UVA rays have the propensity to accelerate aging, and UVB rays are primarily responsible for sunburn.

It is crucial to shield your skin from these types of radiation because they are both harmful in high amounts. Broad-spectrum sunscreens are helpful in this situation. You get protection from UVA and UVB rays, not just one or the other, with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

You only need to ensure that the box bears the broad-spectrum designation. Moreover, it should contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and have an SPF of 30 or higher.

Natural ingredients − Look for products that contain natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, Calendula, Jojoba, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Sunflower Oil, Macadamia Oil, Chamomile flower extract, and so on.

Mineral active ingredients − Mineral sunscreen offers a more organic method of UV protection. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are popular active ingredients in mineral sunscreen because they provide the best protection without using any unidentified chemicals.

One or both of these mineral components are found in sunscreens. Stay clear of sunscreen that has chemical and mineral active components.

In actuality, zinc oxide has a more positive impact on your body than a neutral one.

This natural substance aids healing by calming, relaxing, and hydrating the skin. It helps treat numerous skin disorders including Atopic Dermatitis, acne, and burn wounds.

Does sunscreen help people with Atopic Dermatitis?

Eczema might start as sunburn. Hence, for someone with this skin problem, sun protection is essential.

Eczema sufferers must choose a sunscreen that will not aggravate their condition while offering appropriate sun protection.

Some types of eczema, such as atopic dermatitis, worsen when exposed to UV rays from the sun. Suitable sunscreens with moisturizing qualities may offer sufficient sun protection and help ease eczema itching and inflammation.


As one might have read in this article, constant exposure to the sun might trigger Eczema. Hence it is a wise decision to use sunscreens that reduce Eczema triggers. If an individual is not confident enough to purchase sunscreens, they can consult a medical practitioner who will guide them properly.

Updated on: 23-Feb-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started