Exercise and Dry Skin: Breaking Down the Myth
For people suffering from eczema exercise may be a hellish experience rather than a beneficial one. The drying skin and itchiness they feel after a workout is what forces these individuals to give up trying to get fit because they feel it does more damage to them than good.
But with a little research and a lot of preparation people will be able to manage their problems with their skin. And knowing that some so-called facts about exercising with eczema are false might urge them to continue with exercising.
Myth no. 1 Working out is bad for eczema
People with eczema may find it hard to exercise because when they do they start to itch as soon as they hit the treadmill. Red spots form on their skin, which can itch and even burn sometimes and if left untreated it can lead to blisters and even open wounds that could be infected. That is why a lot of people suffering from eczema tend to shy away from working out because they feel that it’s detrimental to their eczema.
Truth: Sweat and loss of fluids are what trigger eczema.
But the truth is it’s not the exercise itself that can aggravate a skin condition such as eczema. It’s the sweat that you produce that can trigger a flare up. The sweat that trickles down, or when you’re exercising flows through your pores is what exacerbates your eczema. Sweat has acid in it that can be detrimental to the skin of a person who’s suffering from eczema and it can trigger a flare up, which is why some people itch a lot while they’re working out. Also, people with eczema already have dry skin and when you exercise you lose more fluids that can dry your skin further therefore affecting your eczema.
The solution to this problem is to moisturize your skin before you work out and after you take a shower at the end of your workout. Also, do not stay too long under the shower when you’re ready to rinse off the sweat from your workout. Lengthy showers or baths can dry up the skin even further especially if the water is hot because it rinses off the natural hydrating oils and proteins of the skin. So instead of staying in your tub for an hour try showering for less than ten minutes and start it off with a warm shower but taper it off to a cool one so as not to aggravate your skin.
Myth no. 2 Swimming can aggravate eczema
A lot of people with eczema believe that the chlorine in swimming pools can exacerbate their condition and it is for this reason that they stay away from doing laps in the local pool. This is also untrue although it has a grain of truth in it. The chlorine in a swimming pool has different effects for various people. Some have attested that after doing a few laps in a pool their eczema got triggered and they were itching for several hours. Others say that the chlorine helped them manage their eczema since some bleach baths can actually help people with eczema.
Truth: Staying in the pool too long can exacerbate your condition.
In order to manage your eczema while you swim it would be good if you swim for just a few minutes and not stay in the pool for too long. Swimming for ten minutes can be enough for your daily fitness requirement but don’t stay too long because the chlorine could irritate your skin and trigger your eczema. Also, rinse off the chlorine after you’re done swimming. Take a short shower, use warm water, not hot, and turn the tap gradually so that you’ll be using cold water towards the end of your shower. After you’re done showering apply moisturizer on your skin so that it won’t dry out.
Myth no. 3 All exercises are bad for eczema
Since eczema can easily be triggered with strenuous activities a lot of people tend to believe that all exercises are bad for them.
Truth: A less strenuous exercise regimen is more advisable for people with eczema.
What most experts advise people with eczema is to choose a fitness regimen that is not too strenuous because high intensity workouts will make an individual sweat too much, which can trigger a flare up. Light workouts such as Tai chi, Pilates and yoga can be good for people with eczema because it’s not that intense and it could still work on improving a person’s cardiovascular system and muscular system without too much stress.
Another thing that people can do to keep their eczema from flaring up while working out is to keep their bodies cool while they’re exercising. They can work out in an air-conditioned room so that they won’t get too hot or they can use a fan to keep their bodies cool. Now, even though you’ve followed all the tips in managing your eczema while working out there is still a chance that you could trigger your condition. If that happens don’t stop exercising. Instead, minimize the intensity of your workout so that your condition won’t worsen.
Also, the kind of clothes you wear while you work out can affect your condition. Spandex and latex are not good for people with eczema so stay away from these materials and use other types of clothes. Try wearing loose clothes as well so that they won’t chafe when you’re running or jumping.
Working out with eczema can be such a hassle but as long as you’ve made the necessary preparations you can work out to your heart’s content and be a healthier person in no time.