As parents, ensuring the well-being of our children is a top priority. And, during the summer months, one of the most crucial ways we can take care of our kids is by using sunscreen. However, for parents with children who have eczema, sunscreens can sometimes exacerbate the condition or cause an allergic reaction. But, fear not! This post will cover everything you need to know about using sunscreen for kids with eczema, so you can keep your little one's skin protected while keeping flare-ups at bay.
Choose the Right Sunscreen
The first step in properly using sunscreen for kids with eczema is to choose a sunscreen that is friendly to sensitive skin. Opt for sunscreens that are labeled "hypoallergenic," "fragrance-free," "mineral-based," or "physical blockers," as they are less likely to irritate the skin. Look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, which acts as a barrier against the sun's harmful rays, and avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and avobenzone, which have been known to cause allergic reactions.
Apply Sunscreen Correctly
When applying sunscreen to kids with eczema, it's important to make sure it's applied correctly. Start by applying sunscreen to your child's skin at least 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours, or more frequently if your child has been swimming or sweating. When applying sunscreen to your child's face, use a separate sunscreen that is specifically formulated for the face, as it is less likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.
Cover all Exposed Skin
Make sure you cover all areas of your child's skin that are exposed to the sun. This includes the face, neck, arms, hands, legs, and feet, as well as any other areas that may be exposed, such as the ears and scalp. When applying sunscreen to areas of the skin that are affected by eczema, be gentle and avoid rubbing the skin, as this can cause irritation.
Avoid Other Irritants
In addition to sunscreen, there are other irritants that can exacerbate eczema in children. These include soaps, lotions, and certain fabrics. Be sure to avoid soaps that contain fragrance or harsh chemicals, as they can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause dryness. Choose lotions that are specifically formulated for eczema-prone skin and avoid fabrics that are rough or scratchy.
Keep Your Child in the Shade
Lastly, if possible, keep your child in the shade during peak sun hours, which are typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If your child must be outside during these hours, ensure that they are wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat, to help shield their skin from the sun's harmful rays.
It's important to keep our children's skin protected from the sun while avoiding eczema flare-ups, and by following these simple tips, you'll be well on your way to doing just that. Remember, choose a sunscreen that is sensitive to your child's skin, apply it correctly, cover all areas of exposed skin, avoid other irritants, and keep your child in the shade. By practicing safe sun habits, your child can enjoy all the fun that summer has to offer without the risk of damage to their skin.
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