The festive time can means lots of potential triggers for people with eczema

Christmas is just around the corner, with many children now ripping into their advent calendars daily and counting down until Santa comes.

But Christmas can be a tricky time  for eczema sufferers with lots of triggers at this time of year.

Festive jumpers are more popular than ever, with designs featuring tinsel and flashing reindeer noses. Often these jumpers are made from synthetic materials like polyester and viscose. These man made fabrics that can be itchy for sensitive skin or cause flare ups. Choose pure cotton jumpers and check the inside of the material to make sure there are no synthetic or rough patches inside. Alternatively, wear a cotton long sleeve top under the jumper to make sure skin doesn’t contact the synthetic fibre.

Toiletries are a popular Xmas gift to receive but can be a nightmare for eczema prone skin. Bath bombs, lotions and bubble baths can be full of additives and sulphates that dry out skin and can make it flare. The best thing is a warm bath, not too hot, with bath additive or your regular emollient added. Food banks and charity shops will usually take any unopened toiletries if they aren’t suitable for your child’s skin.

Real Christmas trees can be problematic for eczema prone skin with the needles aggravating skin and can make allergies worse. Fake ones are better, and consider washing it each year as the dust it can acquire in storage can make allergies flare up.

Christmas is a time of indulgence and feasting, and for those with allergies it can be difficult. Read labels carefully and if you are visiting friends or family warn them in advance of any allergies. If you are going to a party where you don’t know the hosts, bring your own snacks in case there is nothing for your child.

Most GP surgeries and pharmacies will have limited opening hours over the festive period so it is a good idea to do a stock take and make sure you have all the prescriptions you need well in advance of the break.

With some planning hopefully Christmas won’t impact your child or young person too much.

Merry Christmas and hope 2024 is filled with only good things.

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