Swimming With Eczema: What You Should Know Before You Take The Plunge
Summer isnt summer without plenty of quality time in the water. The decision to swim in a pool, lake or the ocean is typically a matter of convenience, preference or location. But if you or your child has eczema, you might be wondering whether its safe to swim at all.
Before you finalize your summer plans, lets take a few minutes to review the pros and cons of pool vs. open water and discuss what you can do to keep your skin cool and calm before and after swimming.
Other Treatments For Eczema Symptoms
Other treatments for various types of eczema include the use of corticosteroids, skin barrier emulsions, antibiotics, immuno-suppressants, antihistamines, moisturizers, PUVA and other light therapies, change in diet, oatmeal applied to the skin or used in a bath, sulfur, probiotics and even psychological treatments.
None of the aforementioned eczema remedies have the antiseptic benefits that sea water has. The discomfort associated with using sea salt water is only temporary, and the lasting benefits may be worth the quick exposure to discomfort from the salt to an open wound. You have numerous eczema natural treatment options, and sea water is just one of them that can prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run for treating symptoms.
Could Sea Swimming Help Your Eczema
Thalassotherapy, the use of seawater as a treatment for all sorts of ills, might be a bit of an outdated term but theres still truth in the idea that the sea brings benefits for our health and wellbeing. Whether its the calming effect of the sound of waves, the way the light refracts on water, the fresh sea air or the salty water itself, most of us do love to be beside the seaside… but how can it help people with eczema?
For those with sensitive or eczema-prone skin, sea swimming is a very different proposition to swimming in a chlorinated pool chemicals added to pool water can seriously irritate already sensitive skin and need to be washed off immediately after a swimming session. But mineral-rich sea water seems to have a positively wonderful effect on some peoples eczema.
We talked to , who swims as often as she can in her hometown of Brighton, about how swimming helps her manage her eczema.
I love sea swimming. It’s saved me. I swam through the winter for the first time two years ago, acclimatising myself after the summer and actively enjoying the cold water on my eczematous skin. It has been key to managing my topical steroid withdrawal and I feel like it’s given me back some control over my skin. I’m lucky to live by the coast so a dip whenever my skin is hot and itchy immediately calms it down. The relief to just be comfortable in my skin for a short while is amazing.
So how do you look after your skin when youre swimming?
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Problematic Areas For Eczema
Eczema is a disease that can be chronic or it can appear atrandom times throughout your life. If can cover a persons body or it canappear in tiny areas of the body, most commonly on the face, hands, and arms.
It appears as patchy dry spots on the skin but can becomered and irritated. It is usually itchy and can weep with fluid once the itchbegins. It can appear in breakouts and subside over a period of weeks, or itcan be a stubborn minor spot on the skin that lasts for months.
If you suffer from infrequent eczema, it probably has little effect on your life. If you suffer from chronic eczema, the disease can scar the skin, cause infections, and affect your confidence, relationships, and mood.
For what seems to be a minor, superficial issue, eczema can really affect your quality of life I should know, Ive suffered from eczema for my entire life.
The Difference Between Sea Salts And Epsom Salts
To brief up, Epsom salt is not actually a salt, this might give a reason as to why a single bath requires such a large amount. Epsom salt is just a compound of magnesium bonded to sulfur and oxygen.
These Epsom salts are minerals found in water that contains uniquely high levels of magnesium and sulfate. These salts share a similar structure to the table salt, and this is the case where it earned the title of a salt.
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However, dead sea salt is salt. It is 12 to 18 percent sodium chloride, leaving tons of room in its composition for magnesium, calcium, sulfur, bromide, zinc, and potassium. When the salt is heated, it creates negatively charged ions that produce a negative charge therefore, when these ions enter our body they attach to toxins and neutralize them.
Regular use of Dead Sea Salt may help improve the following:
A second retrospective study revealed that over 1700 patients with eczema who stayed at the Dead Sea for an extended time period of over 4 weeks had clearance rates of over 95 percent.
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The Benefits Of Ocean Water On Skin
Nothing screams “fun in the sun” quite like a trip to the beach. The sights, sounds, and smells at the shore are somehow both exciting and relaxing. Picture yourself basking in the sunshine with sandy toes, salty hair, and the ocean breeze on your skin. For many, a fun-filled day at the beach is the ultimate summer getaway.
What’s more, there are also numerous benefits of ocean water on skinnot to mention how the beach benefits your health in general. If you needed even more of a reason to hit the beach this summer, consider the many benefits for your mind and body.
How To Harness The Benefits Of Seawater Without Swimming In The Ocean
An ongoing trend in skincare, which has been fueled by the green movement, is the concept of taking items found in nature and using them topically on the skin in order to achieve a certain result. Using something in its natural, original, and unadulterated form is the best way to go, right? Not necessarily. Its important to understand that even though ocean water contains enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, you can reap so many benefits when you use it in its natural form. There is a term used by cosmetic scientists called biomimicry, and it means using biotechnology to harness the best of a good thing and make it even better. Many elements and organisms found in seawater are used in skincare products, and they can be very beneficial. In fact, I use some sea-based ingredients in my own skincare line.
Sulfur: This is a mineral thats often used to address blemishes. It can dry out the blemish and heal it quickly.
Red Marine Algae: This is found along the shores of Hawaii and can be very helpful for hydrating and bolstering the skins moisture barrier.
Chlorella Vulgaris Extract: This is a microalgae that may help increase collagen synthesis to encourage tissue regeneration.
Sea Whip Extract: This ingredient is known to be calming to the skin, making it effective for addressing redness and sensitivity.
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Hay Fever And Sinus Issues
Nasal irrigation, or flushing of the nasal cavity, with salty solutions is used as a complementary therapy by many people suffering from hay fever as well as inflammation and infection of the sinuses.
Ocean swimming and exposure to the salt environment are possibly associated with reduced symptoms of hay fever and sinusitis, as well as other respiratory symptoms.
This is because the saline effect on the lining of sinuses may reduce inflammation, although scientific evidence for this is less robust.
The director of clinical services at the medical charity Allergy UK claims people who live by, and swim in, the sea tend to have healthier respiratory systems.
She says because seawater is cleansing and mimics the bodys own fluids in the lining of the airways, it doesnt irritate them.
What Are The Minerals In The Dead Sea
Skin is our largest organ and we often take it for granted.It works miracles with its ability to heal itself. Skin will completely regenerate itself in 27days!
Because its so visible, skin one of the main factors of beauty and we spare no expense to make it look great. We spend billions of dollars each year to keep it supple, repair scars, hydrate it, and make it shine.
For these reasons, it makes sense that people are willing totravel 1000s of miles to soak in the healing properties of the Dead Sea. Lets take a look at what makes the mineral inthe Dead Sea so special.
Magnesium the mineral is known to enhance the permeability barrier repair of skin. It binds with water and affects epidermal proliferation and differentiation. This mineral is essential is assisting the skin to heal itself.
Calcium helps with bone health, teeth and organs including the skin where it acts as a regulator for some its functions
Chloride and Bromide
Sodium helps retain moisture
Potassium this cant be absorbed by the skin but it can help improve the feel and moisture of the skin.
In a well-cited study, researchers found that bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic, dry skin.
In general, salts help the body hold onto water and as a result can help with hydration. This is the same reason electrolytes are recommended after strenuous activity or after significant fluid loss.
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The Truth About Ocean Water & Your Skin
Historically, ocean water has been known to cure diseases of both the body and the soul. It all began with English physicians in the late 16th-century who began endorsing the healing effects of cold ocean water to promote circulation, cure illness, and treat melancholy. Today we still think fondly of the seas healing powers for relaxation and revival of our bodies and minds. Many report improvements in various skin conditions after a dip in the ocean. Although water from the sea has multiple benefits, there are also some risks that are important to be aware of.
Lets dive deeper into the skincare benefits and dangers of the deep blue sea and how you can stay protected.
Ocean Water Benefits
Have you ever noticed how soft your skin is after a quick dive in the ocean? Or perhaps you have had an acne flare-up dissipate after a swim in the sea. Ocean water has a rich mineral content containing nutrients that our skin needs including magnesium, potassium, calcium, selenium, sodium, and sulfur. The Magnesium in this mineral cocktail has been found to be especially beneficial for dry skin. Those with eczema and psoriasis have reported excellent improvements from water rich in magnesium, such as dead sea salts.
Ocean Water Dangers
Although ocean water is full of skin beneficial minerals, it also harbors some dangers. As we continue to pollute our oceans with city runoff and wastewater, the sandy beaches we enjoy are becoming more and more toxic.
How To Use Dead Sea Salt For Eczema
A trip to the Dead Sea, if you can manage it, is a wonderful way to give your skin an exfoliating treatment even if you dont have eczema. Many people in and around Israel take regular vacations to the Dead Sea to experience the skin-rejuvenating benefits of the waters. Besides that, simply floating in the Dead Sea is a great way to relieve stress and spend some quality time in nature.
For those who are further away, look for creams, lotions, and bath salts made with Dead Sea salt. A weekly pampering session can help to alleviate the itchiness and redness brought on by a flare-up over time, Dead Sea salt treatments may lessen the prevalence of those flare-ups. Just be sure that the sea salt comes from the Dead Sea as regular sea salt wont have the same mineral composition.
Again, the relationship between Dead Sea salt and eczema is a highly individualized one so take it with a grain of salt . Along with a regular skincare routine, be sure to manage your stress and pay attention to your exposure to environmental pollutants and allergens.
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Salt Water For Eczema Is It Good Or Not
Is it helpful to use salt water for eczema? Yes, it is! My two eczema warriors have definitely experienced this before. Even though they get super dry and itchy skin right after a swim in the sea, but with a warm shower, the skin already feels cool, smooth and supple. Spread on a layer of moisturiser, the itch will be gone and they feel great, with rejuvenated skin.
Ultraviolet Radiation Therapy For Eczema
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can help reduce the symptoms of chronic eczema. Exposure under medical supervision can be carefully monitored with the use of specially designed cabinets the person stands naked in the cabinet and fluorescent tubes emit ultraviolet radiation.A person with stubborn eczema may need up to 30 sessions. The risks of unsupervised ultraviolet radiation therapy can be the same as for sunbathing faster ageing of the skin and greater risk of skin cancer.
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Moisturizing Is A Must
- Bring travel-sized containers of your favorite products with you to the beach, lake or poolside.
- Apply a thick layer of cream or lightweight ointment about an hour before a swim.
- Shower immediately afterwards, making sure to check that the water in the showers is fresh, not recycled.
- Reapply a liberal amount of moisturizer within three minutes to offset the drying effects of swimming and showering.
How Sea Water Can Be An Effective Eczema Natural Treatment
The reason sea water is so highly regarded by the British Association of Dermatology is because the salt water has antiseptic properties. Their research has shown that giving children baths in sea water helps to alleviate the symptoms of atopic eczema.
The controversy regarding the use of sea water to treat eczema lies in the fact that adding salt to a wound is painful. Bathing in sea water or applying the salt water to the affected eczema areas is painful. People say it feels exactly like the old saying, “adding salt to an open wound.” However, the benefits, according to the British Association of Dermatology, are more than worth having to experience a short amount of pain. The benefits from the antiseptic properties carry on after the exposure to the sea water.
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How To Prepare Dead Sea Salt Bath Solution To Treat Eczema
Soaking in Dead Sea salt bath solution is a wonderful ritual. You can do this on a regular basis! Dead Sea salt bath contains combination of minerals in Dead Sea salt and it works great for people who are suffering with dry, rough and itchy skin.
Having a Bath in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution helps you improves skin barrier function, it also enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in Atopic dry skin.
Fill your bathtub with warm water and add:
- 1/2 cup of Dead Sea Salt
- 10 drops of lavender
- Soak yourselves for approximately 20 minutes in a bath solution and soothe your eczema skin.
- This makes it enough to treat your skin condition.
Functional Deep Sea Water With Other Substances
DSW is very beneficial to health. Its uses are applied to many DSW by-products. For example, it can enhance the antibacterial activity of yogurt . The green tea leaves that were soaked in DSW had an increase in the antioxidant and catechin properties . These findings increase the value of DSW as a health-promoting water. Combination of DSW with Sesamum indicum leaf extract had prevented high fat diet-induced obesity, through AMPK activation in the visceral adipose tissue . Furthermore, DSW has advantages for the development of functional fermentation food. The main factors of its increased health properties are due to it being able to increase functional metabolite production, intrinsic health functions of DSW, and the microbial use of mechanisms of converting the absorbed inorganic ions into highly bioavailable organic ions for the human body . The detailed reviews regarding effects of DSW applications for the development of functional fermentation food are explained by Lee . The detailed studies of functional deep sea water with other substances are described in .
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The Hard Truth About Eczema: Its Something In The Water
Hard water damages our protective skin barrier and could contribute to the development of eczema, a new study has shown.
Researchers from the University of Sheffield and Kingâs College London have discovered that exposing the skin to hard water damages the skin barrier â which is our defence against outside threats such as bacteria or sun burn â and increases the sensitivity of the skin to potential irritants found in everyday wash products such as soap or washing powder.
Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium ions that bind to surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl ether sulfate â which act as detergents or wetting agents â making them insoluble, so they precipitate onto the skin.
Skin pH is normally acidic but hard water has high alkalinity which means it can raise the skin surface pH. A shift towards alkaline pH disturbs the skinâs natural function as a physical barrier and leaves it prone to colonization by potentially pathogenic bacteria which can cause infection.
Lead author of the study, Dr Simon Danby from the University of Sheffieldâs Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, said: âBy damaging the skin barrier, washing with hard water may contribute to the development of eczema â a chronic skin condition characterised by an intensely itchy red rash.
This week marks National Eczema Week.