One of the challenges people with eczema have is exercise. Why is that? Exercising, whether it’s taking a long walk, a jog, riding a bicycle or working out in the gym causes people to sweat. As our body temperature increases it may irritate eczema patches. Meanwhile sweat on our body evaporates in an attempt to cool our skin down. However during this process our skin can lose moisture while the sodium in sweat further dehydrates and even stings eczema spots. This in turn triggers eczema flares causing itch and the desire to scratch every single part of that eczema patch! Not something great to deal with right? Well, it doesn’t always have to be like that.
The Importance Of Exercise
Exercising is an important activity to keep up with our overall well being. Especially in this day and age of modern technology where people start spending most of their time constantly looking at screens such as phones or computers at home. Although it might be challenging to have a good workout session without triggering any eczema outbreaks, there are ways to prevent or lessen its triggers. Here try some of these tips the next time you attempt to exercise!
Always Drink Up! Before, During and After Exercise
The key here is to have regular intakes of fluid to replace those lost while exercising. This does not mean that you drink up gallons and gallons of water, the trick is to constantly take adequate amounts. Eczema patches tend to be patches of dry skin with weaker skin barriers, therefore keeping the skin hydrated by drinking water regularly is a good idea.
Choose The Right Clothing
The clothes you choose for exercising will make a huge difference in minimizing skin irritation, especially if it touches any eczema patches. It is recommended to stick to 100% cotton clothings which are more soft and comfortable. Loose clothing is advisable as well. Be sure to avoid synthetic fabrics such as polyester and spandex (although they are common sports clothing and absorb sweat easily) because unfortunately those fabrics are rough on skin and may irritate eczema.
Listen To Your Eczema While Exercising
Many times a person with eczema can sense when an eczema flare is about to happen. If you happen to sense this during an exercise it is alright to take a break. Living with eczema also requires us to be realistic in choosing the intensity of our exercise. Be sure to prepare some cool compression wraps or cooling towels to cool the skin and calm the itch during your break. Treating them now before it turns into a full blast flare can help save you from dealing with painful and itchy conditions later on.
Try To Keep Your Temperature Cool
This brings us to the next point, turning down the temperature. No doubt exercise gradually increases body heat, it is important to ensure you don’t end up being overheated. Both the surroundings and the intensity of the exercise plays a role in this. Always have your towel ready to wipe off sweat and try exercising in well ventilated indoor facilities.
Moisturize Skin Before And After Exercise
Just as how regular water intake helps replace lost fluids, regular moisturizing ensures skin remains nicely hydrated as well.
However the ointment used must not be too heavy as it may be counterproductive, even trapping sweat on the skin. Instead, try to use light ointments (such as facial oil and skincare oil) or creams and make sure they are fully absorbed before beginning your exercise. For this we recommend applying it an hour before starting any exercise.
Don’t Take Hot Baths Or Showers
Although a nice hot soak will help relax muscles after an exercise, it does not go well with eczema. As we all know heat is one of the main triggers for eczema. That being said, it is alright to start with a warm shower but do gradually make it cooler throughout the showering process. If you are taking a shower outside, for example in gyms or fitness centers, remember to bring your own toiletries as the ones provided by them may not be suitable for your skin.
By keeping up with all these simple yet important habits there is no need to fear eczema flare ups after exercising any more. Eczema should not be at all any reason or excuse to skip exercising. The many benefits it brings includes reducing stress, releasing endorphins, keeping a fit body and so on! With some compromise in exercise frequency and intensity, it can be used to the skin’s benefits as well. It may even ease and help clear eczema by reducing stress and improving moods. Therefore don’t give up and let’s all continue living a healthy lifestyle!