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Bathing & Eczema - Should To Take Shower With Hot Water?

by Nazerah Tahir July 24, 2019 3 min read

Many people have questions about where the eczema treatment and hot water mix or not. Well, the answer is straight no. Hot water, on many accounts, does not go well with eczema.

Still, many people with eczema claim that hot water helps them with the eczema. Let’s find out how eczema and hot water interact and what the actual truth behind these claims is.

Bathing & Eczema

Proper bathing and moisturizing is very important if you have eczema. Bathing helps with dry skin. You might be confused how? Your body never gets dry because it does not have enough oil. On the contrary, it gets dry because your skin is not able to retain its moisture very well. There are many factors which might lead to dry skin. Some of these are dry weather, pollution, dirt, wind, low humidity, cold weather, harsh soap, and too much water contact without moisturizing your skin.

People with eczema tend to have very dry skin in general because of the defects caused in the skin barrier which protects our skin from pollutants, irritants, bacteria, viruses, and allergens from entering our skin and soaking up the moisture out of the skin. The damaged skin barrier can be caused because of genes, scratching, rubbing, inflammation, and many other factors.

One of the most effective ways to get rid of dry skin is to give your skin necessary moisture. It makes bathing essential for the people with eczema. The best way to retain moisture in the skin is to take a shower and then moisturize your skin with deep moisturizer immediately afterward.

Why you should not use hot water on eczema?

Using hot water for bathing can be extremely dehydrating which is the last thing you want if you have eczema.

Heat is a common trigger for eczema to flare up because heat leads to sweating, sweating to chaffing, chaffing to irritated skin, and irritated skin eventually leads to eczema flare ups. Even when you are taking a shower, hot water can make your body sweat which can drag the dirt and bacteria from your skin causing the common rashes and eczema spots.

Another reason why using hot water on eczema is not a good idea is because it’s is sudden shift in temperature which takes its own kind of toll on your body making your condition to get even worse.

Furthermore, taking shower for longer time can cause eczema to exacerbate, so it is important for you to keep your bathing time to minimum.

Why some people find relief with hot water?

Dermatologists are still not sure why some people find it relieving to use warm water on eczema flares. Yet, there are many anecdotal evidences that extremely hot water may be helpful because it washes out bacteria causing reaction.

Some studies back up this effect by suggesting that hot water can overload the nerves in the affected area. When the nerves overload, they shut down for a while, so you no longer feel the itch on the affected area. But this works only for a while.

It is always recommended to take lukewarm baths. Too hot water can cause burns, skin irritation, extreme dehydration, and increase the risk of infection.

Soak & Seal Method for Eczema

Many dermatologists are actively recommending “Soak & Seal” method as a treatment for eczema flares and this method helps with dry skin too.

Here are the steps to follow for Soak & Seal Method:

  1. Take a relaxing bath with lukewarm water. Make sure that the water isn’t too cold or too hot. Use a gentle body-cleanser and avoid scrubbing the affected areas.
  2. Pat the skin with dry towel & leave your skin slightly damp.
  3. Apply the Exzma Care eczema cream or oil on the affected skin as directed.
  4. Later after three minutes, moisturize your body with the deep moisturizer.
  5. Let the moisturizer absorb well into your skin.
  6. Wrap yourself with the wet wraps for 30-45 minutes.

Things to Remember While Moisturizing Your Skin

  1. Use the moisturizer rich in essential oils because they keep your skin well-nourished and protect your skin barrier.
  2. Moisturize every time you wash your hands.
  3. Try to bath at night before you are going to sleep. It helps your body restore its moisture overnight.
  4. If you have eczema on hands, wear gloves overnight after moisturizing your hands.

Soaking in a tub of lukewarm (not hot) water can help your skin better absorb moisture or bathing under the shower is very good for your skin and it can help you relax as well. Therefore, make bathing a routine for your eczema skin care. The whole journey of eczema care might sound exhausting, but you can make it very easy with a proper routine.