For those of you struggling to beat the itch, this hot weather is not so much a blessing as an unrelenting curse.
The summer heat brings a perfect storm of eczema triggers: temperature and humidity rises to uncomfortable levels; air conditioning causes skin to dry out; itchy, hot clothes irritate the body; insect bites cause histamine release; pollen levels go through the roof and mean incessant sneezing and sore eyes, and to cap it all, hot, sweaty bodies are more prone to itchy infections such as Athlete’s Foot and thrush… the result can be utterly miserable both for those prone to eczema and other itchy, dry or sore skin conditions, and their long-suffering parents.
Our founder, Natalie Balmond, knows the score only too well. She cared for her daughter Lula through some really hot summers, doing everything in her power to make things more bearable.
Here are her top tips for getting through a heatwave with itchy little people.
Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise!
Keep your little one’s skin well hydrated at all times, even when they’re not suffering from a flare-up; maintenance is key.
Drink Plenty Of Water
It’s vital to keep hydrated and to replace all the fluids lost by sweating, so make sure you bring a bottle or two of cool water wherever you go.
Stay in the shade, and if you have to venture into the sun make sure your kids are wearing loose, breathable cotton clothes and wide-brimmed hats.
Keep Cool At Night
Put fresh, light cotton sheets on their bed at night, even if you have to change them daily. The combination of emollients, sweat and allergens like pollen brought in from outside will soon leave bedding needing to be washed. You could also try having a fan on at night to keep their bedroom temperature down to a comfortable level.
Use Hypoallergenic Sunblock
Find sun creams that don’t flare them up; Lovelula and Holland & Barrett have a good selection of natural sunblocks.
Encourage your eczema-prone babe to cool off with a paddle in the sea or in paddling pools at home, but do wash the salt off with fresh water immediately after because the minerals can cause irritation.
Change Clothes Frequently
Replace their clothes that are grubby with sweat and emollients with clean fresh ones regularly, which could mean a couple of times a day. Don't forget to use a mild, non-bio detergent.
Shower or bathe your itchy little one morning and night in water that isn’t overly hot or cold to wash off sweat, pollen or microbes; make sure you use hypoallergenic toiletries and moisturise with their favourite emollient afterwards.
Keep The House Clean
It’s so important to keep the house dust and mite free - vacuum and clean regularly, especially if you have pets! Consider investing in an air purifier and wash cushion covers and throws regularly.
Keep Them Inside When There's A High Pollen Count
If your kids do have to go outside where there’s dust, grass seeds and pollen in the air to make them itch and scratch, then make sure you wash their hands and face once they’re back indoors; it’s even worth changing their clothes when they come in because tee shirts and dresses can trap the itchy allergens.