Working out with Eczema
For all the reasons why exercise is good for you (it keeps the heart, muscles and bones strong and healthy), it can also be painful if you have eczema. Sweating, heat, and friction from clothing or exercise equipment can trigger your eczema symptoms.
We all sweat because it’s the body’s way of regulating body temperature. When we get sweaty, the moisture evaporates, thus cooling us down. But, as the sweat evaporates, the skin dries out and is left with a salty residue which can irritate your eczema and make you break out or itch.
The good news is that your eczema doesn’t have to slow you down and keep you from being active. There are a few things you can do before and after the workout to alleviate your symptoms:
- Wear breathable fabrics - Cotton is probably the best fabric to wear because it is light. It’s best to avoid synthetic materials. Synthetic materials (polyester, spandex, etc.) can draw sweat into your clothing, which means that the salty residue left behind has no where to go and is trapped between your skin and clothing.
- Stay hydrated – You should be staying hydrated throughout the day but especially while you’re working out. When you sweat, you are losing fluids and drying your skin. That same salty residue can trigger your symptoms and staying hydrated means that there is less of a chance of your skin drying out.
- Clean / Wash your skin after workouts – Immediately cleansing the skin after a workout will help the eczema breakout. Aside from the salty residue, there are bacteria everywhere. You should change your clothes and wash off immediately after a workout so you don’t give bacteria the chance to spread across your body and result in a bigger flare up. If there is no facility for you to take a shower, bring some cleansing wipes and a change of clothes with you, this will keep you clean until you can get to a shower.
- Avoid taking hot showers immediate after working out – Hot showers may sound like a good idea but it can actually cause more harm and worsen the flare up. Showering with heat causes your skin to become more dehydrated since moisture from your skin are removed during the shower (especially after working out when your skin is already striped of moisture). Keep your shower water temperature lukewarm (or cold, if you can handle it).
- Moisturize – Once you clean off after a workout, make sure you moisturize to replenish all the moisture your skin lost during the workout. This will help to keep the flare up at bay. Try Heal after working out for max moisturization.
Hey, we know how frustrating it can be to have eczema and sure it can hinder some things in your life but you shouldn’t let it affect your overall health. Take precautions and understand your triggers so that you can continue to live a full life. Learn more.
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