eczema and swimming

  • by Petra Jelinkova

The thought of getting my eczema baby into a swimming pool used to fill me with anxiety. I started swimming lessons just before he turned one but during and after every lesson his skin would flare up and while I was driving home he would scratch his itchy and irritated skin until it bled. I stopped his swimming lessons because I couldn’t cope with doing this to him every week. I wish I knew what I know now about cleansing the skin with bath soaks after and using an eczema moisturiser, so that his skin would be protected! 

I waited far too long to try him in the swimming pool again and during this time feeling guilty that I wasn’t teaching my little boy water safety and how to swim. What I should have done sooner was find ways to help his eczema skin cope better when he was exposed to chlorinated water.


So here are some helpful things to know for when you take your eczema baby swimming:

  • Chlorine can help eczema and most pools are are chlorinated. Chlorine can aggravate baby eczema but it’s also important to know that eczema can also benefit from being exposed to chlorine. Chlorine helps to reduce the bacteria which causes infections in eczema skin.
  • Avoid the warmer water temperature of baby pools. Most swimming lessons for babies are taught in really warm pools. Eczema skin often won’t respond well to the increased temperature and this can lead to a flare up. Look for swimming lessons which are taught in adult pools where the water temperature is generally cooler.
  • Moisturise before swimming. To help lessen the irritation which chlorine can trigger for eczema babies moisturise with a thick moisturiser half an hour before swimming. This will provide a barrier on the skin so it’s less affected by chlorine.
  • Shower and moisturise immediately after the pool. A lukewarm shower will remove the chlorine from the skin, and the sooner you do it after taking your eczema baby out of the pool the less contact the skin has with it. Gently dab the skin with a soft towel and apply a thick moisturiser again while the skin is still damp.

Keep your regular eczema routine going. Putting the most moisture and hydration into eczema skin is the key to managing eczema well. Continue with your bathtime and moisturising routine, especially on swimming days.

This blog post was brought to you and your bub with love and care by Julia and the itchy baby co. team x

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only and you should always consult your medical professional.

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