ATLANTA - It's been a long, busy summer for dermatologists like Dr. Heather Hensley with Goodman Dermatology.
"We've seen definitely the usual culprits there -- poison ivy, poison oak," Hensley says. "But, I've also seen a uptick in severe eczema cases or atopic dermatitis."
That is when the skin becomes dry, itchy and inflamed.
Dr. Hensley says high mold levels can aggravate our skin. So can being in chlorinated pools and in the sun and heat.
And, starting around the age of 50, Hensley says women may experience menopause-related hormonal changes that can irritate their skin and leave it more sensitive.
"Some women, their oil glands get overactive, so you can actually get hormonal acne,' Hensley explains.
If you are dealing with menopause-related breakouts, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends you switch to a skin cleanser that contains salicylic acid, which can help unclog pores, and avoid drying acne products that can worsen acne.
"A lot of times as we age, you get increased so called trans-epidermal water loss," Dr. Hensley says. "So, your skin can actually dry out more, and you can get more issues like eczema where you're feeling very itchy."
There are several things that can be driving that itchiness.
"It can be something systemically, including gallbladder issues or liver or kidney issues," Hensley says. "It could also be just a new development of eczema or psoriasis. And, that's something you would need to talk to your physician about if you're developing consistent itchiness."
If your skin is dry or irritated, Dr. Hensley says, try drinking more water.
"To try to just increase the amount of water that's in the skin," she says. "Other things would be to apply a good emollient moisturizer after you bathe within 5 minutes to try to lock in that moisture."
You can also have the opposite problem, where areas of your body constantly feel sweaty or moist.
"Make sure that when you get out of the shower, you can kind of blow dry those areas and make sure they're completely dry before you go about your day," Hensley says.