Eczema is a fairly common skin disease. It is a skin inflammation that can occur on any area of the face or body. Many external factors are likely to worsen eczema. Sweat is often considered one of them. But how does it affect eczema?
Sweating and Eczema: A Volatile Combination.
- What is the connection between eczema and sweating?
- How to limit the effects of perspiration to prevent worsening eczema?
What is the connection between eczema and sweating?
Sweating , or perspiration, is a natural physiological phenomenon . It is characterized by the secretion of sweat by the sweat glands. Sweating is activated in response to the body's need to lower its temperature, in the face of intense heat, high physical activity, or a stressful situation. For this, the autonomic nervous system is mobilized and sends signals triggering the release of sweat. Sweat glands are distributed all over the body, with a higher density in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and armpits.
Sweating can be a source of irritation on the skin, especially in areas with eczema lesions. Indeed, it can cause burns or tingling sensations. This is largely due to the natural acidity of sweat, which has a pH between 4 and 6. Additionally, it contains sodium chloride, or salt, which has a drying effect on the skin. Skin dryness is in itself an aggravating factor for eczema, as dry skin, with a deficient or nearly absent hydrolipidic film, is naturally less protected against external aggressions and allergens.
Finally, sweat promotes the colonization of the skin by staphylococci, microorganisms that thrive particularly in warm and humid environments. Indeed, staphylococci can exacerbate inflammation caused by eczema, thereby worsening the condition. In case of a staphylococci infection, it is necessary to consult a healthcare professional. They can provide advice to prevent the spread of the infection and may prescribe antibiotics if needed.
How to limit the effects of perspiration to prevent worsening eczema?
It is impossible to completely stop perspiration. However, it is possible to limit the effects of sweating. For this, it is recommended to avoid stressful situations as much as possible, which are not only sources of worry but also of perspiration. We also recommend you to favor loose and wide cotton clothing, especially during high temperatures. Synthetic fibers and tight clothing, on the other hand, are conducive to sweating.
Another significant source of perspiration isphysical activity. However, this does not mean that exercise is discouraged for people with eczema. It is enough to follow certain practices so that physical activity does not worsen eczema. The first instinct after a workout should be to immediately take a quick shower, making sure not to choose a water temperature that is too high, as this could strip away the hydrolipidic film. After gently patting yourself dry with a soft towel, apply an emollient balm to your body. This will help restore your skin's hydration and provide some protection against allergens.
GOLDENBERG G. & al. Eczema. The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine (2011).
BORRADORI L. & al. Dermatologie et infections sexuellement transmissibles. Elsevier Masson (2017).