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Exercise and eczema

Those of you who have eczema, probably know that exercise can trigger severe scratching as your body quickly rises in temperature. Sweat can trigger flare-ups because when the sweat evaporates, the skin dries out and is left with a salty residue that can irritate eczema and bring on the itch. If exercising outdoors in the sun or in a warm room, the rise of body temperature may also lead to heat rash if the clothes are not breathable. Heat rash will likely lead to itching as well.

Here are some tips to control the itchiness while exercising:

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. This will help keep the body and skin hydrated. Drinking water consistently throughout the day will help replace the water lost through sweat. Those with eczema naturally have dry skin and are more susceptible to weaker skin barrier functioning, making this even more essential!

  • Wear light, breathable fabrics that don’t rub or scratch the skin while working out. Often moisture wicking fabrics will draw in sweat and feel rough, irritating eczema. Try choosing 100% cotton, loose fitting clothing that will be more comfortable on the skin. 

  • Listen to your body. If you feel like your eczema is starting to flare, take a break from exercise and let your body cool down and hydrate. Use cool compression wraps or packs to keep cool and reduce eczema flare up symptoms during your periods of rest. 

  • Keep a towel on hand to wipe off sweat during exercise. 

  • Moisturize before and after workouts to ensure your skin stays hydrated.Try using a lightweight, grease free lotion or cream about an hour before exercising. This will ensure your skin is moisturized without clogging pores and trapping in sweat. 

Although you might have to adapt to the way you exercise, don’t let your eczema stop you from getting in a good workout. Physical exercise is important to stay healthy and is good for releasing stress and endorphins. At the end of the day, exercise may actually benefit your skin conditions. Exercise improves your stress and overall mood, which can have serious effects on your eczema. 


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