Eczema is extremely common in young children, affecting approximately 1 in 5 children under two  . Unfortunately for our family, we lucked out on the odds and both our boys suffer from eczema.
During the hotter weather, my boys’ skin tends to really flare up. Combine this with sunscreen (which can irritate skin), sweat and a good dose of humidity, and summer can be less that fun for those suffering with eczema.
I heard a saying once that “A worried mother does better research than the FBI”, and I’ve certainly found it to be true for me! Here are some of the things we’ve tried to help manage eczema during the heat.
My tips for dealing with eczema in summer
Light, loose, natural fabrics
For my youngest, something as simple as a rough tag can irritate his skin, leading to scratching, and a potential flare of his eczema. I’ve found that choosing natural fabrics like cotton, that are loose fitting helps to prevent irritation.
Avoiding chlorinated pools
Chlorine in pools is often a trigger for eczema flare ups and many professionals recommend avoiding chlorinated pools where possible . I’ve found that as long as I moisturise the boys’ skin well before swimming and then shower them immediately afterwards, moisturising again, they cope fine with swimming pools. In many cases it’s the drying affect of chlorine water that causes the issue so this is where moisturiser comes in. If chlorinated water is an issue for your kids, it might be something worth avoiding.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Moisturiser isn’t just for before and after swimming. The best way we have found to keep the boys eczema under control is to keep their skin well hydrated, and this is even more important in summer.
I recently tried the Aveeno Baby Dermexa cream, which is clinically proven as suitable for eczema-prone skin. One thing that I love about the cream is that it is designed to both soothe and moisturise. Often moisturising creams sting when applied to eczema-affected areas, but my son didn’t get upset at all with is one. It really seemed to reduce the rough, tight feel of his skin so I’d definitely recommend giving it a go if your child suffers from dry or eczema-prone skin.
Make sure you apply moisturiser straight after a bath or shower as this is the best time for the skin to really absorb it and lock the moisture in.
Pat, don’t rub
With summer comes swimming, and with swimming comes lots of drying off. I was told early on by one of our doctors that patting skin dry was much less damaging on eczema-prone skin and I’ve been careful to do that ever since. Making sure skin is thoroughly dry (especially in all those baby rolls!) is also really important. I can pretty much guarantee my son’s skin will be raw the next morning if I don’t thoroughly dry his underarm area.
Be careful with sunscreen
The very first summer with my youngest son wasn’t pleasant for his skin. Sunscreen had never been an issue for my older boy, so I didn’t think twice about using the regular kids’ sunscreen on our youngest. Unfortunately, it turned out that sunscreen was one of the biggest irritants for his skin. He spent most of the summer covered in itchy, raw patches of skin and I had no idea what was causing it.
Once I realised it was the sunscreen I started trialling different brands. Once we found one that didn’t irritate his skin the affect was almost instantaneous. If you find your bub’s eczema flaring in summer, try changing to an ultra-sensitive sunscreen and see if it has an effect.
Like with most things, prevention is better than a cure, and that is true for my boys’ eczema too. It’s so hard watching them in pain so I pay close attention to keeping their skin well moisturised and avoid triggers to their eczema. With a bit of trial and error we’ve managed to keep them more comfortable in the heat and reduced the number of trips to the doctor for eczema flare ups that need to be treated with medication. Definitely a win!
– by Michelle Thompson-Laing from Keep Calm Get Organised
This blog post is sponsored by Aveeno Baby