Basketball and atopic eczema
Advice on playing basketball: what to pack in your basketball bag ?
The essentials : cotton underwear, shorts, t-shirt, cotton socks, knee pads, elbow pads and wristbands (made of cotton where in contact with the skin). A soft pure cotton or microfibre towel and cotton headband.
Personal care products and treatments suited to your skin – your shower product, moisturizing cream and sun cream. Do not borrow products from friends.
What to do before basketball ?
Assess the state of your skin. The most frequently affected areas are the kneepits and the inside of the elbows. Like every other day, moisturize the skin all over your body and apply topical corticosteroids if necessary in the evening. Remember to put on sun cream (SPF 30 or 50 depending on the amount of sun and skin type) if the court is outdoors and the sun is out.
What to do after basketball ?
Start by rinsing well under the shower (counting to at least 30) using lukewarm water (less than 35°C); wash only the areas that are dirty and then rinse again; pat dry without rubbing and then apply your moisturizing cream to the entire body, including the face. In the evening before going to bed, remember to apply topical corticosteroids to itchy areas.
- It is better to treat eczema with topical corticosteroids because the perspiration and protective gear worn in basketball may aggravate the discomfort of eczema plaques.
- Opt for personal care products and treatments for atopic skin types that are fragrance-free and contain as few preservatives as possible.
- If playing basketball outdoors, protect yourself with sun cream.
- Carefully choose clothing (cotton underwear) with loose seams to ensure comfort.
- Always remember to use clean protective gear.
True or false
Basketball is not recommended in eczema cases.
FALSE : basketball provides an opportunity to socialize and to open up to others. Playing sport is beneficial, if a few precautions are taken.
Sweating can lead to itching.
TRUE : sweat can sting affected areas. To lessen itching, wipe the sweat off (without rubbing!) during breaks, with a towel. Showering just after exercise and applying a moisturizing cream relieve this unpleasant sensation.
The protective gear worn in basketball can sometimes cause eczema.
TRUE : after each use, wash the protective gear and dry in the open air to prevent them from shrinking. Using moisturizing creams and wearing protective cotton under the shin pads, elbow pads and wristbands can reduce the risk of eczema.
The sun aggravates eczema.
FALSE : the sun is generally good for eczema but you still need to avoid getting sunburnt, so protect yourself when you are outside for a long time.
Why basketball ?
Basketball is one of the most easily accessible sports. All you need is a ball and a basket. Teammates are not absolutely necessary because basketball is one of the few team sports that can be played alone, by practising dribbling and shooting.
Basketball will enable you to improve:
your endurance and speed
your muscle strength