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How I Benefit from Showering (Some Practical Tips)

I recently was scheduled to have a patch test done to try and see if there are things that my skin comes in contact with that are causing my eczema to flare as bad as it is. I had my first appointment with the specialist; it all seemed pretty routine. I met a new dermatologist and shared my medical history. We talked about my day-to-day living, and the nurse ran through what the procedure would look like, and casually mentioned no showering during that period. I nodded in agreement. I figured I would cross that bridge when I got there, as it was still a couple more months before the actual test would take place.

What did I realize about my shower routine?

The night before my patch test was scheduled, I began my bedtime routine with my nightly shower. As I turned on the water, I was flooded with lots of thoughts and questions. Why is it that for the last decade, maybe even longer, I have showered every single night? I can’t think of a time that I missed my daily shower. I distinctly recall one time after being on the road all day, we arrived home at 2:00am and I would not skip my shower.

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So, as I stepped into the shower, that night before my patch test, knowing that it would be 5 more days before my next shower, I thought, “Why is showering such a critical part of my nightly routine, how am I really benefiting from it?”

Why do I shower daily?

First and foremost, I realized that showering and the post shower routine helps my skin feel rejuvenated! Secondly, a busy mom of 3 young children, quiet time, and time to myself is a rare commodity. When I am in the shower, I can have a couple minutes to myself (most of the time) where I am able to just be present with my thoughts and feelings. So not even realizing it, I was sneaking in meditation which can help reduce stress. Reducing stress can help calm eczema!

So aside from cleansing my body, showering offers so much more than that for me.

What have I learned over the years?

I have some practical tips to share with you, that will hopefully address some of the common questions that people have around bath/shower time - how often to bathe, how long, at what temperature, and which products to use. Each of these factors are so unique to each individual and can also change over time (as a young kid, I cried and tried so hard to do anything to get out of bath time).

So what are my eczema shower tips?

  • Length of Time: Most doctors will recommend keeping the time in the shower to a brief 5-10 minutes. For bathing it’s suggested to keep in under 20 minutes, because too long can dry out the skin. Don’t stress too much about it, the most important is what you do after your shower.
  • Time Spent: What are you doing with the time in the shower? For children, if you can make it an environment that is playful and enjoyable it will increase the child’s willingness to bathe regularly and avoid the struggles that I had as a kid. For adults, try to be present in the moment. Taking advantage of that quiet time to sneak in a little mindfulness/meditation is like winning the lottery!
  • Temperature: Lukewarm is best. While there’s nothing like stepping into a nice hot shower especially during the cold winter months, I have found that using lukewarm water is much better for my skin, and I know that doctors recommend this!
  • Towel: When you get out of the shower, it’s best to gently pat with a towel, and not wrap up. You want to leave the water on the skin and lock it in with moisturizers.
  • Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize: What products you choose to moisturize with is entirely up to what feels best on YOUR skin. (I personally find that Cerave is best for me.) Do NOT skip this step!! I find that after I moisturize from head to toe, and then again, from head to toe my skin feels so hydrated and it’s just the best feelings…until the next shower!
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AtopicDermatitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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