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Tips for Getting Your Eczema-Prone Child Through Summer

Tips for Getting Your Eczema-Prone Child Through Summer

If your child has eczema, how do you get through hot summer days and nights and provide the relief your child needs from itchy, irritated skin? 

At Seacoast Dermatology, you can count on our board-certified dermatologists to provide expert eczema treatment for your loved one. You also have a role to play in helping your child cope with eczema. 

While there’s no cure, you can help your child avoid known eczema triggers and help them develop habits that keep flare-ups at bay. We treat eczema with prescription topical medications, phototherapy, and other methods based on your child’s eczema symptoms. 

Follow these tips to help your child stay comfortable during the summer. 

Moisturize day and night

Your child’s hands and fingers or areas inside their elbows or knees may become very itchy, making it difficult for your child to stop scratching before drawing blood. 

In addition to topical medication (if your child needs it), we recommend high quality, gentle moisturizers and emollients that help prevent breaks and cracks in the skin. Teach your child to apply them right after washing their hands.  

If your child scratches skin when asleep, buy soft cotton gloves they can wear after bathing and applying an emollient. The gloves protect your child’s skin at night. 

Keep your child cool

You want your child to play outside and enjoy the summer, but salty, sweaty skin easily becomes irritated when your child has eczema. Explain that bathing and moisturizing right after activity will help prevent an eczema flare-up. 

Tell your older child to shower in lukewarm water. They should avoid long, hot baths that can dry out the skin. 

Develop fun indoor activities and find summer camps that build on interests that your child can engage in while indoors such as arts and crafts or science. 

Know your child’s eczema triggers and take preventive measures 

If your child is allergic to specific soaps, bubble baths, or cleaners, we can recommend soaps and detergents that eczema patients can tolerate. 

Use a gentle detergent on your child’s clothing. Whether it’s dust mites, molds, certain foods, or cold, dry air that make your child’s eczema worse, develop strategies you can put in place when environmental factors could trigger a flare-up. 

Limit sun exposure in the middle of the day

While sun and salt water help heal eczema for some, for others they worsen the condition. If the sun irritates your child’s sensitive skin, keep them out of the sun in the middle of the day. 

Most swim lessons are in the early morning when it’s cooler outside. If you have a pool lover, take them back to the pool when the sun is going down.  

For times when your child is going to be out in the middle of the day, use ultraviolet (UV) protective clothing. Shop with your child to find UV protected clothing that they like.  

If salt water irritates your child’s sensitive skin, consider mountain or lake vacations in the summer instead of traditional beach getaways. 

Find the right sunscreen

Make sure your child always uses sunscreen, but don’t just pick any sunscreen off the shelf. Select a broad spectrum sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Check that it’s fragrance-free. 

Choose breathable clothing 

Check the tags before you buy summer clothing for your child. They will likely feel best when wearing cotton or linen in the summer. Those fabrics are more breathable than rayon or another synthetic material that can stick to the skin.  

Call us at Seacoast Dermatology for an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Exeter, Portsmouth, and Dover, New Hampshire. We want to help ensure healthy skin for you and your family.

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