Whether you’ve had eczema for as long as you can remember or are just noticing your newly acquired skin condition, you are likely all too familiar with the struggles that everyday activities can bring.
Exercising and working out is just one of the many struggles that people who have atopic dermatitis or eczema have to deal with. From avoiding irritation, overheating, and flare-ups all while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, working out can be a chore.
The reason that some people seem to flare-up following a workout is due to the rapid change in skin temperature, accompanied by liquid (sweat) hanging around on the skin for a prolonged period. Sweat primarily contains water and minerals; when these minerals are on the skin for too long, it can dry out the skin – causing eczema flare-ups!
Luckily, you don’t have to give up exercising entirely. There are a few modifications that you can make, and tips you can follow, to aid in avoiding pesky atopic dermatitis flare-ups.
Breathable, soft, and ideally, cotton clothes are vital to avoiding irritation. Despite what great marketing leads us to believe about “sweat-wicking” fabrics that are supposed to draw away and absorb moisture, they are typically rough garments that can irritate the skin. Synthetics like Spandex and polyester are also on the list of clothing to stay away from since they don’t allow the skin to breathe.
Instead, opt for loose-fitting, cotton clothing that can promote circulation and that won’t irritate the skin!
Keeping cool and dry is easier said than done when it comes to an intense workout. Having a towel nearby and wiping off any sweat as it happens can keep your temperature down and help you avoid any skin irritation.
We should all be drinking our fair share of H2O daily – but drinking water while working out is incredibly important! Dehydration can have a damaging effect on your body and skin, even if you don’t have eczema. During a workout, we sweat and lose fluid. Water intake is critical to replenish the lost fluid from exercising.
Showering after your workout can be relaxing and useful for preventing flare-ups, but the temperature of the water matters more than you’d think! Hot water can irritate the skin, leading to dryness, itching, and flaking, as well as removing significant moisture barriers that protect your skin from the elements.
Instead of cranking the heat, try starting with a warm shower, and gradually lowering the temperature – cold showers are not only great for your skin but are also known to kick-start your immune system.
By implementing these few simple suggestions, working out doesn’t have to come with an atopic dermatitis flare-up sentence. Stay hydrated, cool, and aware of your symptoms to make the most out of your workout!
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