Not every child with eczema suffers during the summer. Some find the warm weather and humidity brings relief. But, if your child finds that heat, sweat, and sun are a trigger for itching, scratching, inflammation, and irritation, then our experienced pediatrician Margaret Lubega, MD, of First Pediatric Care Center has some tips for you.
These strategies can help your child feel comfortable this summer so they can enjoy warm-weather activities without eczema flare-ups.
Sweating can be a problem for patients with eczema. It dries out the skin, and the salt that’s naturally present in sweat can make eczema patches sting. Sweat often pools inside the elbows and behind the knees, spots that are often affected by eczema.
To manage sweat, keep your child cool. Use cooling towels you find online if you’re out in hot weather. Carry a cooler with cold water and a washcloth to wipe any sweat away.
You may have to spend time indoors in the air conditioning on the hottest summer days. When you’re outside, make sure your child doesn’t do anything too strenuous in the heat of the day.
Dressing your child in soft, breathable clothing made of cotton or linen is also a way to help keep them cool. Light colors and a loose fit are also a good idea.
Make sure your child drinks lots of water to keep their skin hydrated. Your child’s eczema means their skin doesn’t have the compounds necessary to retain water effectively. Drinking water helps make their skin less prone to drying out and triggering eczema symptoms. Water-rich foods like ice pops, watermelon, and other fresh fruits and vegetables contribute to their overall hydration, too.
Store gels and lotion in the fridge so they help cool your child down when applied. A cold bath or shower can help soothe your child’s overheated eczema-prone skin..
Develop a relationship with the sun
For some kids with eczema, the sun is a welcome element. It’s like a natural ultraviolet treatment to heal eczema.
For others, though, the sun irritates. If that’s true for your child, make sure they stay out of the sun during the most intense hours of 10am-4pm. They should also wear clothes that cover their arms and legs as well as a hat to shield their face.
Sunscreen can be irritating, but it’s crucial to wear for protection from sunburn and skin cancer. Choose one that has the NEA Seal of Acceptance, as these are usually safe for people with eczema and don’t sting when applied.
Before applying a new sunscreen to your child’s sensitive skin, do test it in a small spot to see if they have a reaction before slathering it all over their body.
Eczema doesn’t mean that your child has to stay out of the pool. The chlorine may even feel good on your child’s skin, but for others it might be irritating. If it does irritate your child, apply lotion prior to getting in the pool to protect their skin.
Make sure your child rinses off immediately after swimming and applies moisturizer while their skin is still wet to prevent drying out too much afterward.
Eczema doesn’t have to put a damper on summer fun. If the heat and summer activities do cause a flare-up, contact us at First Pediatric Care Center for support. Dr. Lubega can adjust your child’s eczema treatment plan and help them find relief. Call our office in Gastonia, North Carolina, or use the online tool to schedule a visit.