We typically think winter when we think of eczema, but for so many families (including ours), eczema is year-round. Just like during the winter months, prevention is key; however, how we manage and prevent eczema symptoms can look a little different from one season to the next.
Below I provide a few kind + mindful tips for eczema prevention for both pre and post fun in the sun this summer.
Sun-protective clothing is best
Let’s face it. The sun is dangerous for everyone, especially our littles. Whether we are pool-side or lounging on the beach, our kids never seem to want to stay in the shade. Keeping the skin sun protected is so crucial, and I feel the best way is through sun-protective clothing. Many brands block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays, and the best part about it is you don’t have to worry about reapplying sunscreen or applying sunscreen correctly. Look for clothing brands that offer breathability and consider lighter colour shades to help keep your kiddo cool.
One of the most common questions I receive from moms and dads during this time of the year is “what brand of sunscreen should I choose for my child with eczema and sensitive skin?”
There are hundreds of brands to consider, from inexpensive to incredibly pricey. I honestly feel like my family tried most of them over the past decade! When I was researching skincare ingredients to treat and manage Vinnie’s eczema, sunscreen was the most terrifying. Many of the ingredients found in today’s commercial sunscreen are expected to be banned by the Canadian government within the next ten years due to health concerns. There are only a few brands that passed my ingredients test, and only one sunscreen product that doesn’t aggravate Vinnie’s skin. Whichever brand you choose, I recommend a mineral-based product which uses non-nano zinc oxide. Some zinc particles are so tiny that they absorb into the body. Our go-to is Think Baby Sport (please note, this is entirely unsponsored). It does go on quite white and thick, but I like to see exactly where the product is applied and when I need to apply it again.
End of day bath
After a long day in the water or simply indoors, I recommend an end of day bath (or shower), limiting soap and with plenty of fresh, warm water. Pool chemicals such as chlorine can contribute to eczema flareups, and sand left on the body can cause chafing and itching. Also, sunscreen left on the skin for long periods can cause dryness and irritation, especially to areas of the skin that are prone to eczema. Washing the summertime day away is good practice regarding eczema prevention and management.
Moisturize to damp skin + cotton pajamas
After bath, moisturize the skin with simple, organic, fragrance-free skincare (such as ours) applying to damp skin. Moisturizing will help to soothe any over-exposure from the sun and helps to prevent eczema patches and heal existing eczema, too. Dress in 100% cotton pajamas for good ventilation. A little bedtime massage will also help to calm and relax for a better night’s sleep after a fun-filled day outdoors.