Eczema in the Tropics

I had to question if I had enough Prescribed Cortizone cream before I moved to Brazil. I remember begging my Stepfather for his cream, and he didn’t have any. I just knew my skin would probably be a pain in the ass like it is in the USA all year around.

My eczema appears during the winter when it’s most dry and in the summer when I perspire too much. Little did i know, that I actually really wouldn’t need it. During my six month stay in Brazil, the first 3 months were the absolute WORST. My skin was scaly and dry. I also got heat rash (which is a form of eczema) really bad. However, once I went to the local Brazilian pharmacy, all they suggested was Pasta de agua (Zinc paste) and it actually got rid of it. Months went by and my eczema was gone, and my heat rash settled down and was maintained. I wondered what was so different about here (USA) and there (Brazil). Now of course there is pollution in Rio de Janeiro, but not like New York City. I took note of the fact that the food was fresher and also that there is a beach literally nearby. I also realized that they don’t have the same trees that we have. The pollen from our trees in the USA can be problematic. I know first-hand because I am an annual allergy sufferer, and the trees aren’t my friends. I met a couple of American Expats who have eczema, and I was curious to how they also maintain and survive. 

I was eating differently,

I was less stressed,

and the air was a lot cleaner.

Abo Shemane is a 27-year-old California expat who resides in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. A city that is little further south of Rio de Janeiro state. Eczema is not a stranger to Abo. Abo has suffered for some time in the USA and out.

@Abobaile

Abo is a professional dancer and English Abroad Teacher that relocated to Brazil in August 2018. Abo expressed that the differences in eczema living in Brazil was limited in the amount of quality body care products nor access. In the USA and Brazil Abo experiences flares when it is extremely hot. One could not only imagine the heat causing perspiration, but also that Abo is a professional dancer, which any dancer in hot or cold climate is bound to sweat. So how did Abo maintain eczema flares when sweating and being in the heat. Abo mentioned that carrying Shea butter or lotion to keep the skin hydrated was a ‘go-to’. Vaseline, oils, Shea butter from the USA was in Abo’s travel bag daily to and from rehearsal, and jobs. São Paulo’s weather is inconsistent, it can either be hot or really cold. But overall Abo has expressed that eczema is not as much of a threat and in the pictures you can see that clearly. 

Nikki Allspice Has been living abroad since 2004 all over Latin America. Nikki’s occupation is of a freelancer. Nikki has battled eczema since young. Thinking that by 12 it would disappear or grow out; Nikki was sadly mistaken. Nikki Allspice has seen dermatologist, specialist, herbalist, you name it they tried it. When Nikki moved to the Caribbean that was the first eczema experience in the tropics. Nikki experienced flares while there in the Caribbean and went to a specialist who prescribed a lotion that consisted of Aloe Vera, powdered milk and water and to do a daily a prescribed oatmeal soap bar. Doing this ritual Nikki’s eczema cleared up. Fast forward to South America, Nikki feels like being in the tropics has helped with eczema flares. Nikki feels it’s not 100% clear, but the environment of the tropics helps so much. 

Do you have experience with Eczema in the tropics, write below your thoughts and even some tips. 

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