It’s always great to get some exercise done during the weekends: you have more time, you can do it in the lighter hours of the day, and you might even be able to get a friend to join!
But, when you have dermatitis, breaking a sweat can actually trigger your symptoms, a fact that for some means that they stay away from incorporating physical activity into their everyday lives.
Why does your skin respond badly to something that’s supposed to be good for you?
Sweating aggravates itching in atopic dermatitis but the mechanism behind this reaction remains unclear. Some studies suggest that sweat increases the histamine release in the skin, thus resulting in itching and redness, but further research is needed in order to determine this fully.
Another factor is that sweat can dry out your skin due to moisture loss, and residual sodium on the skin surface can cause dryness and irritation as well.
During exercise we increase our body-temperature and we sweat to moderate it back to a normal level. This means that it’s difficult to avoid perspiring if you’re trying to actually get some results from your workout. So, how can you actually break a sweat without exacerbating your skin condition?
Make sure you prepare yourself by taking skin-friendly precautions before you break a sweat - have a look at our recommendations:
Flare-free fitness do’s and don’ts
- Wear loose fitting and breathable fabrics. Clothing that is ill-fitting or made from certain synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester, can be irritating to your skin causing heat-friction and flare-ups. You can find a selection of protective and frictionless clothing on the HelloSkin shop.
- Make it easier for yourself by avoiding outdoor workouts while the sun is at its brightest or when the temperature is high. These types of circumstances will cause you to sweat more and possibly set yourself up for getting caught in an itch-scratch-cycle the rest of the day.
- Emollients with a high fat content can be uncomfortable and cause irritation during a workout, because they can prevent your skin from sweating properly, making it hard for your body to adjust it’s temperature. Use a light emollient pre- and mid-workout to make sure your skin can breathe and sweat as needed. The Cuderm Lotion for eczema and sensitive skin is a great choice as it is quickly absorbed while it supports and regulates the skin pH and helps to maintain its moisture level.
- Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. This will help your body keep cool and provide your skin layers with much needed moisture.
- It’s okay to rest if you need to. If you start to feel overheated or sense any discomfort to your skin, take a break, have a cold sip of water and allow your body to cool down.
- Make sure to shower as soon as you can once you’ve finished your exercise. Sweat attracts and carries bacteria and a rinse will help prevent the negative effects these can cause. Remember that some harsh soaps tend dry out your skin. The medical experts at HelloSkin recommends Aquamax Wash Cream Cleanser. It’s suitable for eczema and dry skin and cleanses off bacteria while keeping your skin moisturized.
- Once you’ve dried off from the shower, remember to finish by soothing and replenishing your skin by applying a new emollient. You can go for a slightly heavier version now, so maybe try Aproderm emollient cream, a soothing an moisturizing emollient that will ensure you protection of the skin’s natural barrier while provide relief from any symptoms you might have.