What are some quick tips for helping eczema in the heat?
- by Petra Jelinkova
Trying to manage our children’s eczema during the heat can be challenging because heat is a common trigger that can aggravate intense eczema flare-ups. It is so hard emotionally to see our children distressed and also difficult practically when we are constantly doing our best to manage their eczema. Here are some ways to control the symptoms caused by heat and make our children more comfortable. Using a moisturiser and a sunscreen with SPF50 will help protect your little one’s skin in summer and manage those nasty flare ups!
How does the heat affect eczema?
Healthy skin acts as a barrier to protect the skin from coming into contact with bacteria or any other microbes in the environment. However, when your child has eczema, the barrier doesn’t work as well and is more prone to have bacteria living on and inflaming the skin.
During warm weather, our children sweat to try and regulate their body temperature. Sweat contains trace amounts of chemicals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron, which may be irritating to the skin. In high humidity, sweat cannot evaporate easily, leading to a build-up of these chemicals and causing itching and irritation.
Sweat is made up mostly of water. When water sits on the skin it causes evaporation on the skin’s surface which takes away hydration from the skin. The makes the skin dry and more itchy.
Heat stimulates the itch reflex, so it is important to make sure your child is kept in a cool environment and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Managing eczema in the heat
- Wear soft, breathable clothing
Loose fitting clothing is least likely to trap heat in the body and allow your child to stay cool. Stay away from nylon, wool or any rough fabric that may cause itchiness and irritation. Breathable cotton is best as it absorbs perspiration and is more comfortable for your little one’s skin.
- Stay away from the sun during the hottest part of the day
Avoid be outside during the hottest part of the day to minimise flare-ups and have better control of your child’s body temperature.
- Keep up the fluids
Making sure your child is drinking plenty of water will help to keep the body’s core temperature from rising. Ice blocks are another great way to increase fluid intake and also cool down the body down.
- Using cool compresses or wearing a dampened singlet
Applying a cool compress to the skin or wearing a dampened singlet will immediately start taking the heat out of the skin and the edge off itching. Apply the wet compress for a few minutes, or until you can feel it warming up and then repeat until the skin cools down. When you have finished, moisturise the skin to stop hydration leaving the skin.
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Make sure to keep your child’s regular moisturiser with you at all times. If you are at home, keeping your moisturiser in the fridge will cool down the skin when you apply it. Moisturisers act as a barrier on the skin to keep away from unwanted bacteria and prevent infection. The best time to moisturise is within two minutes of taking your little one out of the water while the skin is still damp – this is when the skin can absorb the most amount of hydration from moisturising.
- Regular bath time routine
Regular bathing is important in managing eczema because it helps to wash any irritants that may be sitting on the skin’s surface and allows a greater opportunity to absorb moisture using a moisturising and protecting bath soak. It helps to also wash away sweat or pollen from the environment to soothe your child’s skin.
This blog post was brought to you and your baby with love from 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.