Itching to Get Away?

Itching to Get Away?

Itching to Get Away?

The British summer is now in full swing and while some of us are looking forward to sunny days and overseas holidays, we know that navigating the heat when living with eczema and other sensitive skin conditions is no mean feat.

All of us at Eczema Clothing either live with or have cared for young children and family members that do, so we know all too well that summer can be an overwhelming time. From navigating hay fever to knowing how to best protect your skin from the sun’s rays, to keeping itchy kids calm and cool in the sticky summer heat, we’re sharing some of our own personal experience and expert advice to ease you through the summer season.

A bit of Vitamin D really does do us all the world of good, especially in the UK where it is so scarce. Not only does it boost our happy hormones (and we can all do with a bit of that) there is also promising evidence to suggest that it can lessen the itchy sore skin symptoms typical with eczema. However, despite its benefits we all know the sun can be extremely damaging especially for sensitive skin.

Here are our top tips on protecting sensitive skin from the sun:

  • The best sun protection is to cover up. Light, long sleeved tops and bottoms are ideal paired with a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Avoid midday sun - Plan your activities around early morning and late afternoon and avoid the hottest sun between 11-3pm.
  • Stick to the shade - if out and about pack an umbrella to create a shady corner to relax under.
  • Swim with a hat and top - If swimming, remember that water reflects the sun’s rays so wear a long-sleeved top and a peaked hat.
  • Keep cool - Heat exacerbates eczema so keeping cool is key. Here are a few simple ideas to manage this at home or out and about:
 🧊Keep a long sleeve top in a bag in the fridge or cool box to switch hot kids into during hot days and nights
💨Take a damp thin towel with you when out and about and hang over car windows or pushchairs to cool air as it flows through it
 🌊Dunk a spare top in the sea or wet with a tap and change into it when feeling hot and itchy

To Sea or not to Sea?

Generations of eczema sufferers will suggest that a dip in a mineral packed ocean will do the world of good for itchy scratchy skin. This is not just an old wives’ tale; salt water certainly has anti-bacterial properties and can prevent any secondary infections that can arise due to broken skin.

However, salt water can sting broken skin, so it’s a good idea to give yourself and your kids plenty of time to acclimatise. As always with eczema a change in conditions is a stimulant. However, many find that the healing properties of the sea far outweigh the challenges.

If you do make the splash, then these before and after tips from the National Eczema Society are worth bearing in mind so that you can reap the full rewards of the ‘Vitamin Sea’.

  • Ideally have a quick shower first (and go to the loo!)
  • Apply your usual emollient about half an hour before applying sunscreen – this will prevent the sunscreen becoming diluted by the emollient and ensure that the sunscreen keeps its reflective properties and protects your skin. Try not to overdo your emollient when outdoors as it may produce a ‘frying’ effect in the sun.
  • As soon as possible after swimming, shower off then apply more of your usual emollient (leave-on cream) than usual
  • HYDRATE! Swimming is dehydrating so ensure you drink plenty of water both before and after your swim.

If you’re planning a trip to a swimming pool this summer, it’s worth remembering that chlorine can cause sensitive skin to dry out. Look for a seawater pool if possible – and if you’re lucky enough to live near the coast you should find one. Lido’s are having a renaissance and are wonderful places to swim with those near the coast often being seawater pools.

Cover up for ultimate protection

Cool light organic cotton clothing is the best option for protecting itchy or broken skin from the sun, sand, and other environmental factors such as pollen and dust mites this summer.

Navigating which SPF is appropriate for sensitive skin is a complex issue. We would recommend looking for a product which contains zinc or titanium dioxide and look for products which are as natural as possible. For kids try our scratch mitten opening hand T for soothing relief after a swim, whilst keeping hands free for play.

Post-swim remove wet swimwear as soon as possible, and rinse off under the shower (keeping wet swimmers on is a big no-no for eczema prone skin). Once home, take a warm (not hot) shower, and pop on something comfy and non-chafing to relax in – like our scratch mitten pjs or anti scratch pj set. Or for adults try our lighter weight scratch mitten opening hand t, or soft grey marl pj set.

Our organic cotton is never bleached, meaning it contains lignins which act as natural UV absorbers. What’s more, the Skin Cancer Foundation notes that wearing bright colours is a great skin protectant as they absorb the UV rays rather than allowing them to penetrate your sensitive skin.

Whichever clothing option you go for, keep it light, bright, and breathable and pair with a wide brimmed hat when outside for ultimate chic and sun protection.

We hope these top tips help you feel as comfortable and confident in your skin as possible, ready to reap the benefits of what we hope will be a glorious summer season.

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