Sweat and Scratching Go Together Like...Nothing!
Sweating and scratching. Nope. They just don’t vibe. Not even for just us eczema sufferers. For anyone! Think about it… out for a run and have an itch on your sweaty foot. Yuck. Taking a hot yoga class and have an itch where the sun don’t shine… yuck. Mowing the grass on a sweltering day and have an itch on your sweaty armpit… yuck! Okay so we get it. Those are all not so appealing instances. For eczema sufferers, the word wouldn’t be “yuck” it would be “ouch”. The combination of sweat and an eczema patch is like pins and needles pricking your skin. And of course, most rule following eczema sufferers are following the golden rule of “Don’t Scratch!” Sweating for my son Ryan has been the most painful experience during his eczema flare ups.
Being active with eczema
Ryan started playing sports when he was 3. He plays baseball, basketball, and football. He tried soccer but that is off the bucket-list. In addition to being an active member of a team on these sports he also rides his bike, plays in the yard, rides his scooter etc. I am painting the image of a very active almost 10-year-old. I need a community forum like this to help me figure out how to get a 10-year-old to remember to wear deodorant! But that is clearly a separate issue.
Ryan is an easy-going boy. His younger sister, Madi, is more bothered by his eczema flare ups. She feels so bad for him. She used to look at his eczema flare ups, or as we call them “eczy patches” like he should be quarantined. She has gained empathy in her now 8 years of life and knows she doesn’t want to make him feel bad. She has, admittedly, said to me, “don’t tell Ryan, but I am so happy he is the one who got the eczema and not me.” Kids!
I mentioned Ryan is easy going. It doesn’t take much to get him rattled. He has known eczema his whole life so he accepted it. As Ryan gets older and more competitive, the sweating and flare ups have become an issue. I can recall a basketball game where he was the point guard. The defender must have noticed the terrible flare ups on the inside of the fold of his arms because he dribbled right past him! Ryan told me after the game that the “kid kept staring at him”. Ryan didn’t care. He said it was “intimidation.”
Once, during a football game, Ryan had to come out of the game. He was the Quarterback. My head thought: Concussion? Dehydration? I never thought it was his eczema. His arm hurt too badly to throw. My heart broke. I put a cool compress on his arm and he went back in. After this, I never left home without the prescription strength cortisone. The best thing that helps his eczema with excessive sweat is to shower immediately. Like deodorant, showers are also a battle for 10-year-old boys. But it’s a must. When I give in and let him wait, his eczema is worse.
The good news is: eczema hasn’t won! We are faced with the new battle of it often, however we always overcome! Scratch that, eczema!
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?