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. Does salt water help eczema? Is it bad? Does it have an impact at all either way? We’ve got you! Discover the pros and cons of salt water for eczema and how to maximize its benefits below.
Getting Some Vitamin Sea
Is salt water good for dermatitis? First and foremost, it is important to test how your skin reacts to salt water. Everyone is different. Salt water has been shown to both soothe and irritate eczema prone skin, so it’s important to test how you react specifically. And your results may defer between a salt water swimming pool and the ocean, so keep that in mind too.
So, is ocean water good for eczema? The answer is annoyingly vague. Sometimes and for some people, but not everyone. The key is your eczema and how it reacts. The key element in determining if a dip in the ocean will trigger a flare up and itchy skin 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.
Many people also want to know is a salt water pool good for eczema, how does it relate to standard chlorine pools and how can one avoid the dreaded hot tub rash or swimming pool rash? To this, we’ll say again, it depends. Some people do well with salt water pools if their skin loves ocean water, while others may do better from the chlorine in a standard pool. Many hotels and spas have now switched to salt water pools, so go for a dip in one and see how you react. Only your skin can tell you what it likes.
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. We love Badger Balm sunscreens because they are made with natural ingredients and use a clear zinc to block the sun’s rays without leaving a white film on your skin. Check out our list of the best sunscreens for eczema.
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.
4) Salt Soaks
Many people have touted the positive effects of a sea salt soak at bath time for skin issues. And if you find that salt water is good for your eczema, then this tip is for you. 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.