Splashing in the neighborhood pool, racing through the backyard sprinklers, and spending hours under out in the sun are summer traditions for many kids. But for kids with eczema, the hot weather can make them itchy and rashy.
Managing eczema in hot weather can be frustrating. The heat can cause them to sweat, which further dries out their skin. Sweaty, sticky clothing can rub against their skin and irritate it. The humidity can make their rash itchier. Chlorine can dry out their skin. (It’s kind of making that dry winter air look appealing, isn’t it?)
If your child’s eczema seems to be worse in the warmer months, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Never skip the sunscreen — even though we totally get that finding a sunscreen that doesn’t irritate your child’s skin can be like finding yourself a bathing suit that’s flattering, stylish, and looks better with each piece of pizza you eat. Always check the ingredients carefully before making a sunscreen purchase, and do a patch test before applying it everywhere.
- Even though the dry winter air is (temporarily) long gone, continue to moisturize daily
- If the heat has them feeling extra-itchy, encourage them to stand in front of a fan to cool off — and keep them from scratching
- If environmental allergies seem to trigger your child’s eczema, keep an eye on pollen counts
- Dress your child in loose, soft, cotton outfits to keep them cool — nothing that will get sweaty and rub against their skin
- Keep your home as cool as possible, with about 50 percent humidity — cool kids don’t sweat, which helps keep their eczema symptoms at bay
- If their skin seems irritated — maybe from salt water, chlorine, or sweat — rinse them off with cool water and moisturize immediately. You can also try wet wraps.
But! That’s not all. While some children are more prone to eczema flare-ups during the warmer months, others get some relief from their symptoms.
Sometimes the extra sunlight and moisture in the air clears up a child’s rashes. That’s because controlled doses of UVB light (phototherapy) is sometimes recommended as a treatment for eczema. This seems to be especially true for little babies, who are getting their first “dose” of the summer sun.
If your child’s eczema seems to be better during the warmer months, that’s awesome. Just remember to keep applying sunscreen, stick to your usual moisturizing routine, and doing what you can to keep them cool and comfortable.
H/T to Everyday Health