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With summer finally here, families are already heading to the beach to bask in the sun and enjoy a swim. For eczema sufferers, many wonder whether the ocean’s salt water can affect eczema.
Discover the pros and cons of salt water for eczema and how to maximize its benefits below.
Getting Some Vitamin Sea
First and foremost, it is important to test how your skin reacts to salt water. Salt water has shown to both soothe and irritate eczema prone skin, so it’s important to test its reaction.
The key element in determining if a dip in the ocean will trigger a flare up is time. We always recommend submerging for short periods of time (not more than a couple of hours). Salt water has the advantage of being chemical-free, but salt can also remove moisture from skin.
The best option is to take a break every once in a while to check in on your skin. Does it feel dry? Does your eczema look more irritated? Is your skin grainy with salt? These are all important questions to ask before getting back in the water.
Maximizing The Effects Of Salt Water
1) Rinse and Moisturize Skin
Because salt water can dry out skin, you’ll want to make sure to lock in moisture immediately after swimming.
This Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a nourishing oil-based balm that will soothe skin while staying on longer. Its manuka honey and beeswax provides tons of moisture and soothes any irritation or itchiness you may be experiencing.
It’s also extremely important to lock in moisture after showering from your day at the beach or pool. Washing with a fatty soap like this Emily Skin Soothers Soap or Grass Fed Tallow Soap will replenish your skin’s moisture while reducing the possibility of infection.
2) Protect Yourself From Sun
Sun easily damages all skin, but anybody who suffers from eczema is particularly susceptible. Try and find a shady spot, or make your own with a beach umbrella.
It’s also important to protect skin with proper sun protection. These Baby Badger Sunscreen SPF 30 or Badger Sport Sunscreen SPF 35 sunscreens are excellent chemical-free alternatives that contain soothing chamomile and calendula that heal sensitive skin.
Another great option for sun protection is eczema clothing, like the Remedywear line. All garments are made with TENCEL and zinc-embedded fibers to soothe flare ups. They also offer 35-50+ SPF protection from the sun, especially important for prolonged exposure.
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Hydrating is important for absolutely everyone! Heat can cause dehydration which in turn can cause skin to dry and irritate very quickly.
On any hot day, make sure to pack plenty of water and take breaks to hydrate.
Sweat can also be a trigger for eczema, so it’s important to keep skin hydrated, as well as cool.
Saltwater On Eczema: Salt Soaks
Many people have touted the positive effects of a sea salt soak at bath time for skin issues.
A sea salt soak can recreate the positive effects of a swim in the actual ocean, but its important to choose treatments that will not dry or irritate skin further.
This Conqueror Oatmeal Bath for Eczema helps diminish visible irritation and reduces skin sensitivity with colloidal oatmeal, baking soda and sea salt. Not only does it offer antibacterial properties, but it keeps skin hydrated and reduces irritation.
You can also try soaking in Epsom salts. Epsom salt is a hydrated salt that is made up of both magnesium and sulfate which can both help reduce itchy, red or dry skin.
Remember though! Baths should always be taken with lukewarm water in order to prevent further inflammation.
For other summer eczema tips, make sure to check out our blog post: Summer Eczema: The Ultimate Care Guide.
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.