Why Does Eczema Get Worse After A Shower
Many people report that their skin feels itchy after a shower. This is because water from a hot or cold shower can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing dryness and itching.
In addition, some soaps contain harsh chemicals that also remove moisture from the skin and leave skin feeling drier than before. For someone who already suffers from dry skin due to eczema, this is bad news! To prevent this from happening, avoid scented body washes and soaps, and opt for natural products instead.
To help combat the drying effects of soap and water, we recommend applying a moisturizer immediately after your shower. We love this Organic Manuka Honey Cream. Containing just six, all-natural ingredients – including olive oil, organic beeswax, and Manuka honey – its soft and gentle on the skin. Even little ones can enjoy the soothing effects of its buttery texture! With no added preservatives or fragrances, it moisturizes even the driest of skin.
Hot Showers Dry Out Your Skin
Cleansing your skin is crucial for everyday hygiene. However, hot showers dont just clean the dirt and dead skin cells off your skin.
Hot showers strip your skin of oils that are essential to keep it well moisturized. The top layer of your skin is full of healthy fats. Without this layer, your skin barriers impaired and dries out. As a result, it will become prone to flaking and cracking.
Overall, dry skin increases signs of aging and the risk of infection: two great reasons to keep your skin well-moisturized with an amazing hydrating moisturizer.
Also Check: Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream 8oz
Science Explains Why Hot Water Stops Itching
Spending time outside in the summer is delightful. Even with the pandemic, people are still able to enjoy gardening, hiking and other outdoor activities.
Theres one big drawback. Encounters with chiggers, mosquitoes and poison ivy can result in terrible itching. What can you do to calm it?
Many people resort to cortisone cream. While it can help, we have always found that a simple home remedy can be equally effective. Hot water is as close as the kitchen sink. It is surprisingly effective against almost any itch.
We first learned about this amazing remedy from a 1961 textbook, Dermatology: Diagnosis and Treatment. The expert recommended very short exposure to hot water . It only takes a second or two to overwhelm the itch sensation from the upper layer of the skin.
You can run water over the itchy area straight out of the tap or use a washcloth to cover a place that is hard to reach. The relief may last for a couple of hours.
How does hot water work? Nobody knew it back in the 1960s, but nerves have specialized receptor channels to detect heat, cold and certain chemicals. These transient receptor potential channels play a role in many functions within the body. We suspect that TRP A1 and V1 are key in this case.
Here is what some of our readers have to say:
Finally, a third reader has a complex regimen: When I get a mosquito bite, the intense itching lasts for several days. Prescription cortisone creams or oral antihistamines dont seem to help.
Read Also: Start Of Eczema In Babies
Eczema Coping Tips Good Hygiene
Skin affected by eczema is more vulnerable to a range of infections, including impetigo, cold sores and warts. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus may cause a secondary infection of impetigo, and possibly contribute to the symptoms of eczema.Suggestions for washing include:
- Take lukewarm baths or showers, and avoid really hot showers.
- Dont use ordinary soap, as the ingredients may aggravate your eczema. Wash your body with warm water alone. For armpits and groin, use soap-free products, such as sorbolene cream.
- Bath oils can help to moisturise your skin while bathing.
- When towelling dry, pat rather than rub your skin.
Best Hot Tub Sanitizer For Eczema
When we first moved in I had to get the hot tub set up. I wanted the kids to be able to use it and not get a rash. Ive heard stories from friends with skin conditions and their kids developed terrible rashes after being in the hot tub. I talked to the pool and spa contractor I hired, did research online, and talked to the kids pediatrician. All to determine which type of hot tub sanitizer would be best for the kids eczema .
There are several different options chlorine, salt water, and bromine. Deciding on the best option we took into consideration maintenance of the hot tub, cost, and skin sensitivity.
Read Also: Best Non Prescription Cream For Eczema
Benefits Of Salt Water For Eczema A Day At The Beach
Many people have felt the healing effects of salt water for eczema, by swimming in the sea.
- Salt water is a known antiseptic, and has been commonly used for cleaning of infected wounds. This is because it is able to pull out pockets of liquids, like pus which has accumulated on the skin. It is also able to kill bacteria by drawing the water content out of their cells. At the same time it also pulls out moisture from our skin surface tissue, and can have a drying effect. Hence, it is important to moisturise after playing or swimming in the sea.
- Eczema warriors are prone to infections as there are frequently open wounds from scratching. Moreover, their immune systems are weakened from perpetually being in a heightened state, as regular substances are seen by their bodies as invaders. Hence, regularly bathing or swimming in sea water can actually prevent impending infections.
- The added benefit of being at the beach is the natural exfoliation of dead skin by the sand! As the kids play in the sand, the layer of dull coloured dead skin cells come off, and what shows up is new and velvety soft skin.
- Swimming and playing in water allows my eczema warriors to work out their hearts and muscles without the usual agony and irritation from sweating. Exercise is what they need, in order to get the lymphatic system going, to flush out toxins. But the thought of the sweating and itching that comes with it is enough to put them off.
How Long Should Showers Be
Apart from how hot your shower is, keeping in mind the length of time you spend under the showerhead is also important. The longer your shower is, the more oils you wash off your skin, leading to further dryness.
Ideally, showers should be between 5 and 15 minutes long. This is enough time for hygiene, but not too long to damage your skin. But, when it comes to showers, the shorter the better.
Shorter showers are better for the environment. If youre not willing to give up long showers for the health of your skin, consider it for the health of the planet.
Read Also: Best Lotion For Eczema On Feet
How To Deal With Itchy Skin After A Shower
Take shorter, cooler showers: Taking short, cool showers is the first thing Dr. Axe says you can try to ease the post-shower. Think warm, not scalding.
Use a gentle cleanser: If you have an inkling that perhaps its your cleanser thats making your skin itchy, Sonia Batra, MD, board-certified dermatologist and co-host of The Doctors recommends switching to a gentle cleanser made for dry, sensitive skin, which tends to use kinder surfactants. Harsh soaps with bright colors, strong lathers, and fancy fragrances will only dry out your skin, even more, she says. Live by these words: The simpler the cleanser, the better.
Apply moisturizer while youre still damp: Although your first instinct might be to grab your towel to dry off as soon as you get out of the shower, Dr. Lee says to pat dry and slather your body in moisturizer while youre skin is damp to help lock in the moisture. You can also reapply moisturizer throughout the day as needed.
Be sure to stay away from moisturizers with fragrances as they can create irritant reactions with already-itchy skin. Instead, Dr. Axe recommends natural skin moisturizers that are rich in jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, cocoa butter, and shea butter. If you need something more heavy-duty for those extremely dry patches, Dr. Lee suggests trying a thick, occlusive ointment to spot treat.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What treatment is best for me?
- Should I use a steroid cream or ointment?
- What are the side effects from the steroid cream or ointment?
- Do I need to take any other medicines?
- What is the best way to prevent flare-ups from eczema and atopic dermatitis?
- Is there a certain type of soap I should use?
- My child has eczema. What kind of moisturizer is best for him/her?
- How can I keep my child from scratching the rash?
- I have eczema. Will my children have it?
- How does infant eczema relate to peanut allergy?
- How should I care for the rash if I have a flare-up?
Read Also: Forces Of Nature Eczema Oil
Eczema And Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment to apply to your rash. This will help reduce itching and calm inflammation. Use it right after bathing. Follow your doctors directions for using this medicine or check the label for proper use. Call your doctor if your skin does not get better with regular use of the medicine.
Antihistamines like hydroxyzine reduce itching. They can help make it easier to not scratch. A new class of drugs, called immunomodulators, works well if you have a severe rash. Two drugs in this class are tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. These drugs keep your immune system from overreacting when stimulated by an allergen. However, they can affect your immune system. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that these drugs be used only when other treatments dont work.
Try not to scratch the irritated area on your skin, even if it itches. Scratching can break the skin. Bacteria can enter these breaks and cause infection. Moisturizing your skin will help prevent itchiness.
Shield Yourself From Uv Light
Yes, sunshine is glorious for your mood and vitamin D levels, but ultraviolet rays are rough on eczema. You can still exercise outside and soak up nature, just follow these tips, for your skins sake:
- Exercise outside in the early morning or evening to avoid the most intense UV rays of the day.
- Wear sunscreen.
Don’t Miss: Early Signs Of Eczema In Toddlers
What Is The Soak And Seal Method
The soak and seal method involves getting your skin wet via a bath or shower followed by sealing the water in with a moisturizer, explains Wulkan. Explaining this to patients allows them to understand that showering and bathing can actually hurt the skin unless you moisturize and seal in the water, he says. For the record, the NEA, too, recommends this post-bathing approach for people with eczema.
Ready to give your bathing routine an overhaul, and try the soak and seal method? Heres a guide to getting your shower time right.
Why Does Eczema Occur After Washing
The reason for dry skin is due to the fact that your skin struggles to retain water. Whenever the water content in your skin cells falls below 10% this results in dry, irritated skin.
Eczema is a chronic recurring skin disorder that results in dry, easily irritated, itchy skin. There is no cure for eczema, but good daily skin care is essential to controlling the disease.
There are many ways to reduce the risk of an eczema flare-up after washing, so we have finalised the top 5 tips that can help you keep your eczema under control during your tub time.
Recommended Reading: Which Soap Is Best For Eczema
One Last Thing About Bathing When Living With Eczema
Even though showering or bathing may seem complicated for someone with eczema, if you keep things consistent, it will likely become as easy as your previous showering routine.
And when in doubt, ask your dermatologist, who can give you suggestions for the best shower and bath products, as well as share advice on natural remedies to try and avoid.
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.
Recommended Reading: Is Sulfur Good For Eczema
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your childâs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Does Hot Water Make Eczema Symptoms Better For Some People
Hot water can provide immediate itch relief. Many people with eczema report that very hot water feels good on their skin and takes away the itching and inflammation. This happens because hot water can stimulate the nerves on your skin in a way thats similar to scratching.
However, while hot water can provide instant relief of symptoms, it will likely make them worse in the long term. Instead of using hot water, you can apply moisturizer or a topical eczema cream. This can stop your itch without causing a worse flare-up later.
You May Like: How Do You Diagnose Eczema
Eczema Coping Tips Reducing Skin Irritation
People with eczema have sensitive skin. Irritants such as heat or detergents can easily trigger a bout of eczema.Suggestions for reducing skin irritation include:
- Avoid overheating your skin. Wear several layers of clothing that you can remove, as required, instead of one heavy layer. Dont put too many blankets on your bed and avoid doonas.
- Dont use perfumed bubble bath or bath products labelled medicated.
- Wear soft, smooth materials next to your skin, preferably 100% cotton. Avoid scratchy materials, such as pure wool, polyester or acrylic. You could try a cotton and synthetic mix material this is fine for some people with eczema. Remove labels from clothing.
- Always wear protective gloves when using any type of chemical or detergent. You may want to wear cotton gloves inside rubber or PVC gloves.
- Avoid chlorinated pools. If you have to swim in a chlorinated pool, moisturise your skin well when you get out.
Use A Moisturizer On Your Skin Every Day
Moisturizers help keep your skin soft and flexible. They prevent skin cracks. A plain moisturizer is best. Avoid moisturizers with fragrances and a lot of extra ingredients. A good, cheap moisturizer is plain petroleum jelly . Use moisturizers that are more greasy than creamy because creams usually have more preservatives in them.
Regular use of a moisturizer can help prevent the dry skin that is common in winter.
Also Check: Best Vegan Body Wash For Eczema
Things To Know If You Have Eczema
Dermatitis is a very common skin disorder that affects many people. If youre trying to keep flare ups under control and successfully treat your eczema, make sure you understand these helpful tips:
You dont need to wash every day. When you take a shower or bath, limit your time as much as possible. If you want to take a longer shower, dont stand directly under the water. Bathing less often is always okay.
Apply moisturizer when your skin is wet. By doing this, it will lock in moisture and protect your skin. It is recommended that you apply a thick layer of moisturizer within three minutes of bathing.
Oolong tea may help. The anti-allergenic properties of this tea can help relieve irritation and soothe your eczema.
Keep your nails short. This way, you cant scratch as much and will prevent further damage that long, sharp nails may cause to your skin.
Distract yourself from scratching. When you have the urge to scratch, try to occupy yourself with something else that is done with your hands. The urge will decrease if you can distract yourself.
Drink more water. Aim to drink eight glasses of water each day to prevent irritation. And if you are active, make sure you are drinking even more.
Avoid sugars. These pro-inflammatory foods should be avoided if youre trying to clear up your eczema.
Avoid fragranced products. Cosmetic products containing alcohol, perfumes or preservatives tend to cause more eczema flare ups. Carefully check labels and look for fragrance-free.
How Is Eczema Treated What Medications Are Used
Treating eczema can be difficult if the cause is something you cant control, like genetics. Fortunately, you may have some influence over your environment and stress levels. Do your best to figure out what triggers or worsens your eczema, and then avoid it. The goal is to reduce itching and discomfort and prevent infection and additional flare-ups.
Consider these treatment tips:
If your child has skin problems, such as eczema, you can:
- Avoid long, hot baths, which can dry the skin. Use lukewarm water instead and give your child sponge baths.
- Apply lotion immediately after bathing while the skin is still moist. This will help trap moisture in the skin.
- Keep the room temperature as regular as possible. Changes in room temperature and humidity can dry the skin.
- Keep your child dressed in cotton. Wool, silk and manmade fabrics such as polyester can irritate the skin.
- Use mild laundry soap and make sure that clothes are well rinsed.
- Watch for skin infections. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice an infection.
- Help them avoid rubbing or scratching the rash.
- Use moisturizers several times daily. In infants with eczema, moisturizing on a regular basis is extremely helpful.
Also Check: Will Eczema Go Away Without Treatment
You May Like: Common Allergies That Cause Eczema