Sun and Sweat Struggles
Sun is summertime's best friend. It's a friend to most children who enjoy the great outdoors. My toddler loves to run and have fun in the sun. She cries in disappointment when playtime ends and it is time to come inside. If she could, she would stay outside and play all day. She adores the sun! Sadly, the sun does not share the same adoration for her and her skin.
My daughter inherited the vast majority of her physical and personality traits from her dad, but there are a few that she did inherit from me. One such physical trait she inherited is my sensitivity to the sun. Too much fun causes sunspots on my face. Like mother, like daughter because too much fun in the sun causes my daughter to have sunspots on her face as well.
Sweat and eczema
In addition to sunspots, the sun causes her other skin struggles. When she is in the sun she sweats quite easily and quickly like her father. Sweating causes her atopic dermatitis to flare up. However, the sun is inevitable because playing outside is a summertime must for my daughter and I. So, once again, mommy to the rescue with as much prevention as possible.
Prevention looks different for every person with atopic dermatitis. For my child, protection from the sun's effects starts with sunscreen. I use Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin sunscreen. It is a zinc oxide, tear-free, paraben-free, and sweat-and-water resistant sunscreen. I mix it with her regular lotion and apply it in the morning before we leave the house. Then, I reapply a very small amount mixed with a minimal amount of moisturizing lotion before outdoor activities. Her childcare provider also has sunscreen at school for her which she applies before outdoor playtime at school.
To help with her sweating struggles, I keep cold water for her to drink often. I also keep a cool washcloth or wipes with me to wipe the sweat off her face as quickly as I can. I pat the sweat from her skin folds such as the inside and outside of her knees and elbows and her neck, as these are her most frequent problem areas for sweat-induced atopic dermatitis flares. I either use a cool cotton cloth, her shea moisture, or sensitive skin wipes to pat her skin in those most problematic areas. I pat her skin rather than wiping because wiping can cause more irritation.
I also try to give her cold or cool drinks such as Powerade or Gatorade or cool/cold foods such as ice pops that are low in sugar. This does mean carrying a small cooler at times which is more trouble but certainly better than the alternative.
Clothing and fabrics
I also try to be mindful of her clothing by dressing her in cooler clothing and materials that retain the least amount of sweat/water. Likewise, I pack extra clothing with similar characteristics so that I can change her clothes if sweat bothers her too much.
All the aforementioned require much forethought and even with all the extra effort, at times her sweat still proves to be a problem. However, much less so than it would be without the extra precautions.
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