When it comes to eczema it seems there are two types of people – those who find relief and soothing from the dry, light air, and those who find aggravation of their eczema symptoms due to sweating and heat. This can complicate things when it comes to finding a good all-around summer treatment for kids who deal with eczema because it’s hard to know what treatments and lifestyle changes to apply to which cases. The good news is that’s it’s relatively easy to figure out which camp your child is in and which methods of treatment during hot weather may be best for them.
For those who find relief in the summer, a lot of things are happening. First, the air may be more dry or more humid depending on location and this can help calm eczema irritation which leads to less itching, scratching, inflammation, and infection. Dry air can act as a sterilizing agent to moist eczema situations leading to a sense of relief for some people. For others, warm humidity moisturizes the skin and helps it stay supple and nourished.
Extra light may also play a role in getting relief from eczema. The sun’s rays may have a type of antiseptic effect that keeps the skin clean and free from bacteria and infection. Not to mention the extra Vitamin D! The downside is that long term exposure to the sun can lead to burns and other issues.
For those who have their eczema problems worsen in the summer, there are many things that could be taking place.
Sweating. First, more heat means more sweating. Sweat sitting on the skin can be a breeding ground for bacteria, not to mention the irritation sweat can cause to eczema breakout zones. It’s important that sweating be kept under control by taking breaks in the shade, staying close to air conditioning and/or fans, wearing natural fiber clothing that wicks sweat from the skin, and by avoiding play in direct sunlight. Indoor play areas are great for summer play days.
Air Environment. Humidifiers or vaporizers can combat the dry skin that summer brings, which removes moisture from the air. Keeping moisture in the air is essential to keeping itchy skin at bay. Using one of the two during sleeping hours can help moisturize the skin alongside a skin regimen designed for itchy skin.
Sun Protection. Another issue that comes up during the summer is sun protection products. The wrong sunscreen or sunburn cream can lead to a severe reaction from eczema hot spots, so extra care has to be taken all season long when it comes to applying any products to the skin. Natural is the way to go, if you aren’t comfortable with a DIY version, take a look at this Sunscreen Cheat Sheet that SafeMama provides, here.
H2O. Water is a favorite for kids during the hot months, and it’s a great way to get play time in while staying cool. Pools, water fights, and water parks are all popular ways to have fun and stay soothed – but they can also pose an issue. The chlorine in pool water has proven to help some with eczema. The chlorine kills skin bacteria, allowing the eczema to heal faster. For some, the same pool water could cause problems, leaving sensitive skin irritated and prone to more breakouts as the chemical can overly dry out the skin. Many people find that pools maintained with saline instead of chlorine or bromine can actually be helpful for many skin conditions – so that’s something to consider also.
No matter which side of the fence your child’s eczema falls on, there are things you can do to help make this the best summer ever! Consider the individual needs of your child and keep notes on when and where irritation occurs. This can help you figure out which products, weather types, or even types of play may irritate eczema conditions.
When itching and scratching during hot summer nights are keeping your child awake and causing injury and infection, consider adding ScratchMeNot mittens to your healing process. These soft and cool mittens stay in place and allow your child total freedom of movement without letting them scratch and scrape. See the full line <here>.