When you have eczema, the simplest of tasks can sometimes become daily battles. One of these is bathing. Most people are unaware that prolonged exposure to water, especially hot water, can lead to your skin becoming dry, tight and irritated. Showers and baths are meant to be relaxing and therapeutic experiences, not daunting tasks.
Bathing is an essential step in managing your eczema, but it can also lead to more irritation. That is why it is so important to know how to bathe properly with atopic dermatitis.
Here are some ways you can make your next shower one of relaxation instead of worry:
- Take at least one bath or shower a day. This will keep your skin clean and free of any contaminants, while putting necessary moisture back into your skin.
- Close the bathroom door while showering/ bathing. This keeps vital moisture in the room.
- Bathe in lukewarm water only. Hot water can lead to further skin irritation and redness.
- Take showers and baths that are no more than 10-15 minutes in duration. The more you expose your skin to water, the more it can cause dryness and itching.
- Instead of using soap, use a gentle cleanser that is free from fragrances and dyes. If your eczema is flaring more than usual, omit the cleanser until the irritation has subsided.
- Use your hands or a baby washcloth to cleanse instead of a harsh washcloth or loofah.
- Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel; do not rub your skin dry.
- Moisturize immediately upon exiting the shower or bath. This step locks in moisture and keeps your skin’s barrier strong. We recommend our Sarna Sensitive lotion for this step. It is fragrance free, and keeps your eczema-prone skin soothed.
- Don’t forget to moisturize your hands and feet as well. If your hands are a particularly troublesome area, place them in gloves while sleeping to retain moisture and softness. This strategy is also helpful for those who like to scratch at night.
Whether you like to shower or take baths, the rules are the same. Keep it short, lukewarm and moisturize immediately upon exiting the bath. If you expose your sensitive skin to water and then do not moisturize within about 3 minutes of showering, you risk the chance of reducing your skin’s moisture content.
These tips will help put enjoyment and relaxation back into bathing.
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