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General health

Swimming and excema

15 replies

Joanie · 19/06/2003 09:48

Took our dd (22 months) swimming twice recently, for first time this year, and she developed pretty bad excema on her limbs. The swimming pool seems to have caused this outbreak, though it could be coincidence.

The pool is chlorinated. Can swimming cause excema? Are there any preventative measures we can undertake? Might a non-chlorinated pool be better? She loves swimming, we want to keep going, but the excema is awful.

Any thoughts/experiences greatly appreciated!

OP posts:
princesspeahead · 19/06/2003 09:55

Hi joanie. Yes, the chlorine will probably make it worse - anything that has a drying effect on the skin can upset it and trigger an outbreak or make an outbreak worse and chlorine certainly does that. Conversely sea swimming really helps it (must be all those lovely minerals) but sadly we live in the wrong country to do too much of that - !!

with my dd I try and smother her in her usual emollient before she goes swimming, and make sure she has a good shower using aqueous cream as soap to get the chlorine off as soon as she gets out of the pool, then emollient again. also you'll probably find that the strength of the chlorine in your various local pools varies a bit - try them out and see which you think is lower.
haven't ever swum in an ozone pool, but that would certainly be worth a go....

good luck!

Joanie · 20/06/2003 07:32

Thanks PrincessPeaHead, will take her swimming again this morning, try all you suggest and see how she is. Showering dd at the pool is difficult: she doesn't like them and the showers there are too hot with no temperature control. Unfortunately, we only have one local pool!

Strange thing with this excema is that despite being really red and angry looking, it doesn't seem to bother dd and does not cause itching.

We use aqueous cream, but nothing else. What emollient would you recommend?

OP posts:
batey · 20/06/2003 07:57

Swimming will often cause my dd1s excema to get worse. What we do is, put vaseline on the worst bits and her (doublebase) moisturiser over the rest of her BEFORE she gets in. And the shower and moisturise again after. Then it's fine. HTH.

princesspeahead · 20/06/2003 09:02

aqueous cream is good stuff, but not really enough as an emollient imo - we use it more as a cleanser since dd can't use soaps or anything. Diprobase is good as batey suggests, as is Cetomacrogol - neither need prescription obviously and cost about £4 for a large tub.
vaseline is a good idea as well batey - never tried that but I can see it may be useful on elbows and backs of knees...
pain about the showers, probably best to take her home and shower her there then. esp as hot water is also drying (should use tepid really).
enjoy your swims!

Wills · 20/06/2003 14:53

My slight word of caution is to be careful with the content of emoilent creams. I may be wrong but an awful lot of excma creams contain peanut oil and they are now linking this to the sudden surge in peanut allergies in young children. My dd has had excema all her life and swimming seriously aggrevates it. My GP advised covering thickly in vaseline prior to going into the pool. This works well for dd, however its a little like holding a bar of soap and certainly adds a certain amount of "interest" to the lesson for fear of dropping her!

princesspeahead · 20/06/2003 16:39

I completely agree wills, good point. neither of the two I suggested have peanut oil in them, I've checked!

Joanie · 21/06/2003 08:22

Thanks for all the advice - really useful. Will look for the creams you recommended. Went swimming yesterday: brought some Oilatum Junior Cream and coated dd in it beforehand. This seemed to really help but did make dd like a slippery eel! Added to the fun! Quick shower and more cream after swim and the excema was much better afterwards than on previous swims. Interesting about the nut allegies Wills: the Oilatum does not list peanut oil on the ingredients. Will watch out for this in future.

OP posts:
lisaj · 21/06/2003 22:29

Joanie - we had exactly the same problem with dd (16 months) when we took her swimming recently. I asked my GP about it, who gave me diprobase on prescription and said to put it on quite thickly before going in the water. It seemed to help but even so she has had patches come up elsewhere! I must admit it does put me off taking her, which I know is not very fair on her.

princesspeahead · 21/06/2003 23:32

if you are happy with the oilatum that's great, joanie - but fair to warn you that lots of children with eczema find that oilatum makes it worse. so if you think it is irritating her skin, try something else.
glad you had a good swim!

(ps E45 is also often considered to aggravate eczema)

Podmog · 22/06/2003 08:02

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bellas · 02/07/2003 14:52

Ds has severe eczema - vaseline on skin prior to swimming is ok. Oilatum irritates - try Aveeno Colloidal bath oil and cream (natural,expensive,available on prescription) or Epaderm as an emollient. Loads of sympathy - eczema can be v. debilitating, you're not alone.

Jimjams · 02/07/2003 14:58

USed to take ds1 when he had very severe eczema. Used 50:50 before swimming. Immediately showered after swimming and coated with 50:50 again. No problems at all.

Joanie · 03/07/2003 08:55

JimJams - 50:50?? Is this a cream?

Podmog, interesting about the enzymes. As you suggest, will have to try the various creams and see which suits dd.

Excema is persisting despite no swim for past 2 weeks. Starting to wonder if suncream is another cause - have seen long threads on this on Mumsnet. Luckily it still doesn't seem to bother dd, but think it is time to visit the doctors...

OP posts:
Jimjams · 03/07/2003 09:51

50:50 is a very gloopy vaseline mix. t's 50% vaeline and 50% white soft paraffin or something (ie squishy vaseline). We were prescribed it to use under wet wraps but I found it helpful before and after swimming as it really rehydrates the skin. Not sure whether its prescription only (wouldn't have thought so) but you could ask a pharmacist - they would know what you meant.

Podmog · 03/07/2003 13:15

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