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sun for eczema

Is sun good or bad for eczema?

Summer is a lovely time of year – swimming, picnics, days at the beach and long, balmy evenings. However, for those of us with children who suffer from eczema, it can be a stressful season.

There are a lot of varying opinions on whether the sun is good or bad for eczema, and there are no simple answers!

Some people find that their eczema improves with exposure to sunlight (this is particularly true of the contact and discoid types), while others experience a worsening of their condition in the sun.

Some types of eczema are even directly caused or made worse by exposure to the sun, although this is rare. The term for this is photosensitive eczema.

Once you work out what triggers your child’s (or your own) eczema, you can start to put a management plan in place for the coming warmer weather.

There is a lot of new research that says exposure to sunlight is beneficial for eczema sufferers. Vitamin D is great for lots of things, and some people do find a little sunlight can really help clear their skin. As well as Vitamin D, sunlight also triggers the release of compounds (regulatory T cells and nitric oxide) which dampen the problematic immune system response in people with eczema.

As with any outdoor activities in Summer, you need to follow the normal Sun Smart recommendations:

  • Cover up with loose, cotton or UV protection clothing
  • Use sunscreen (more below about which types to look for)
  • Wear a hat and sunnies
  • Seek shade
  • Don’t go out in the peak UV hours

Try planning some nice outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon sun when it’s not too warm. Dress your child in light, cotton layers to keep them cool. Don’t let your child get too hot or sweaty, as this can then become a trigger for a flare up. Stick to semi-shaded areas and always use sunscreen (sunburn can also cause skin inflammation and make eczema worse). Use your judgement when exposing them to a bit of sunshine – you want them to soak up those lovely rays, but to stay safe and cool!

When it comes to choosing your child’s sunscreen, try and find a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These types of sunscreen create a physical block meant to keep UV rays from penetrating the skin. They’re non irritative but effective – unlike some sunscreen with chemical blockers which can cause irritation, burning, and itching for those with sensitive skin.

Top Tip! Keep your sunscreen in the fridge in Summer for a super refreshing and cooling application!

 

In conclusion, sunlight is a good thing for most people with eczema. A little exposure to some light morning sunshine is something that can help manage flare-ups and improve the condition of sensitive skin, so long as you’re careful not to overdo it.

Spending more time outdoors this Summer? Check out our post about Spring remedies where you can find lots of tips for managing your child’s eczema in the great outdoors.

This blog post was brought to you and your family 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.

spring remedies

Spring remedies for eczema

Spring is just around the corner, and whilst most of us are glad to see the warmer weather return, it can affect those with sensitive skin.

Heat can be a big trigger for those with sensitive skin and eczema, meaning flare ups can be more common in Spring and Summer. Hotter days also mean we have the air con on more, and that can be really drying – another thing that can exacerbate eczema symptoms.

With Spring also comes the release of pollen and other allergies from grass and flowers into the air which can irritate those prone to reactions. So, before the warm weather kicks in, we thought we’d give you a few tips to help cope with the change in season.

  1. Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise again

The key to keeping eczema under control is moisturising the skin regularly. Don’t wait until the skin becomes red and itchy, make it part of your daily routine to moisturise your child so their skin stays soft and hydrated. Keep some cream or ointment close-by or in your handbag too so you can keep them nice and moisturised throughout the day if you’re out and about.

  1. Pick your playtime’s 

Try to organise your day so you’re out and about in the early morning and later in the afternoon. Avoiding the hottest parts of the day can really help manage those eczema symptoms. Another great way to beat the heat is to set up some water play in a shaded part of your backyard so the kids can still get outside and stay nice and cool.

  1. Be Sun Smart

We’d recommend being Sun Smart to anyone who’s out in the Aussie sun, but those extra layers of rashies, hats and sunnies do a really great job of protecting those with sensitive skin. If your child gets too hot and irritated, a cold compress is a nice way to cool them down and relive the itch.

  1. Swimming

We all love a dip to cool off in the warmer months, especially little ones! Sea water is a great natural remedy for eczema, so a splash in the ocean is always a good thing. If you go to your local pool, try to choose one that is saltwater based as chlorine can trigger eczema. If this isn’t possible, just take some simple steps to reduce the chances of a flare up. Make sure you shower your child straight after their swim using an oatmeal based, soap-free wash and cover them in moisturiser to protect their sensitive skin.

  1. Comfort at night

In Spring the nights can start to get warm, so make sure your child’s room is a nice cool temperature. Dress them in light cotton clothing (this is a great idea during the day too) so the skin can breathe and pop a fan on if it is feeling a bit stuffy.

  1. Rugs

Spring is typically picnic season, and that means lots of time outside. Sitting directly on sand or grass can really irritate your child’s skin, so make sure you have a blanket or rug with you on these occasions. You can get some great lightweight ones now that fold or roll up nice and small, perfect to keep in the back of the car for your alfresco dining occasions!

Need more suggestions, What are some quick tips for helping eczema in the heat.

This blog post was brought to you and your family 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.

summer can cause eczema flare ups

Ten ways to help your baby’s eczema in the heat of Summer

The heat of Summer can trigger eczema flare ups and if the temperature, weather and climate trigger your child’s eczema, this time of year can be really challenging. Here a few tips to help get you through the heat of Summer when your child has eczema and itchy, dry skin and hopefully lessen flare ups and soothe the itch.

  • Keep drinking water as well as eating hydrating foods

Keeping your child’s fluids going will lower their core body temperature which means they will stay cooler and there will be less heat in the body to travel to the surface of the skin. Once heat gets to the surface of eczema skin it becomes trapped and doesn’t escape from the body as easily. This makes the skin, hot, itchy and bothered. Ice blocks are also a great way to increase fluids and also the coldness is a bonus. Being aware of hydrating foods and increasing these in your child’s diet can also help.

  • Store your moisturiser in the fridge during Summer

Sticking to your regular skincare routine to keep the skin nourished and strengthen the skin’s barrier is so important through Summer. Storing your moisturiser in the fridge so it’s refreshing when applied to the skin and has a cooling sensation is a must during Summer.

  • Use a cool compresses on the skin

Hot skin is itchy skin and so much of the body’s heat is trapped at the skin’s surface. Taking away the heat at the surface of the skin can reduce the need to itch and stop the itch, scratch cycle in its tracks.

  • Wear loose, cotton clothing

The skin needs to breathe to be able to keep cool. Cotton is a breathable fabric and wearing loose clothing means the heat doesn’t get trapped at the surface of the skin causing itch and irritation.

  • Patch test sunscreens and find one which is suitable for your child’s skin

Finding a suitable sunscreen when your child has eczema is often a case of trial and error. Patch test first before applying to the entire body and be aware of the ingredients. Often natural zinc sunscreens cause less irritation for eczema skin.

  • Soak a singlet in cool water, wring it out and wear it

This idea is particularly good if you have just come home from being out in the heat of the day because it is a quick way to decrease the body’s core temperature and take away surface heat from the skin. When you take the singlet off moisturise the skin straight away.

  • Cool baths with itchy baby co bath soak

Cool baths will bring relief to the skin’s surface and also not raise the body’s core temperature. Adding itchy baby co bath soak to the bath will cleanse the skin taking away any irritants sitting on the skin’s surface and also add moisture, hydration and nourishment to the skin.

  • Swimming in both salt and chlorine can reduce bacteria on the skin

Bacteria loves dry skin and skin infections are very common with eczema. Both salt and chlorine can reduce the amount of bacteria sitting on the surface of the skin, which is just waiting for a vigorous scratch to break the skin’s surface and jump in and cause infection. Just make sure you rinse the skin straight after swimming and apply moisturiser.

  • Play in the shade to lessen sweat

This will help to lessen any sweat which when it sits on the skin can cause irritation. If your child gets sweaty gently dab off any sweat sitting on the skin’s surface.

  • Sleep cool in cotton pyjamas and use only cotton bedding

Sleeping in cotton pyjamas and making sure your child isn’t sleeping under too much bedding will let the skin breathe and stop heat being trapped at the skin’s surface which will hopefully lead to a better night’s sleep.

 

This blog post was brought to you and your family 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.

how to help our children's eczema in summer

How do I manage my children’s eczema better in Summer?

Our children’s eczema is easily affected by changes in weather. We often think winter is the toughest time of the year for eczema skin because of the dry air, cold temperatures and low humidity, making the skin more susceptible to eczema flare ups. However, summer also plays a role in our children’s eczema, triggering flare ups and severe itching. What changes can we make to better manage our children’s eczema in Summer? 

How does Summer affect our children’s eczema?

During warm weather, your child will sweat more to try and regulate their body temperature, causing water loss from your child’s body and drying out their skin.  This can break down the skin’s natural barrier, making it harder to keep bacteria and irritants away from the body and increase the risk of infection.

Sweat contains trace amounts of chemicals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron, which may be irritating to the skin. Heat also stimulates the itch reflex, making your child itchier than normal, so it is important to make sure your child is kept in a cool environment and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

To add to the impact of warm weather and eczema, children with eczema have more difficulty regulating heat and allowing it to escape from the surface of the skin. This means that their skin is warmer than others, and warm, hot skin is itchy skin.

How we can help our children’s eczema Summer

  • Drink plenty of water

It is important to make sure your child is drinking plenty of water to help keep the body’s core temperature from rising. Also, try to avoid the hottest part of the day to minimise flare ups and have better control of your child’s body temperature. Ice blocks are also a great way to cool down and hydrate your child.

  • Eczema Friendly diet

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition and histamine is released into the body as part of an allergic reaction. A diet rich in foods which have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties can help to reduce eczema flare ups. These foods include broccoli, apples, cherries, spinach and kale. Fatty fish contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is also a strong anti-inflammatory. It is important to give your child foods with a high-water content such as cucumbers, apples, celery, carrots and pears to help keep their body hydrated.

  • Moisturise daily

Be sure to keep your child’s regular moisturiser with you at all times because the moisturiser will 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 as this is the optimum time for absorbing moisture into the skin.

  • Eczema and swimming

Although chlorine from swimming pools can aggravate your child’s eczema, it can also help to reduce the bacteria which causes infection in eczema skin. You can help lessen the irritation from chlorine by applying moisturiser half an hour before swimming as this will provide a barrier on the skin so it it less affected by chlorine. Try your best to avoid warm water in pools (such as baby wading pools and spas) as warm water can increase the chances of flare ups. A lukewarm shower immediately after the pool followed by moisturising will remove chlorine from the skin, minimising contact and aggravation.

  • Regular bathing

Regular bathing in lukewarm water, for about 10 minutes is important in managing eczema because it helps to wash any irritants that may be sitting on the skin’s surface. Make sure to check that the water is not too hot as this can trigger intense itching.

  • Stick to daily eczema skincare routine

The most important part of managing your child’s eczema is sticking to their eczema skin care routine to ensure the skin is nourished and hydrated. There are a range of ointments and creams which can be used to give as much moisture as possible against triggers to manage dry skin. Moisturisers and other skin care products for your child’s eczema can be found in our itchy baby co. shop.

This blog post was brought to you and your family 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.