Football and atopic eczema
Advice on playing football: what to pack in your football bag ?
The essentials : jersey and shorts, cotton socks, football shoes and shin pads, a soft pure cotton or microfibre towel, and a hat.
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 football ?
Apply sun cream to all areas where the skin is exposed to the sun, and especially to the face.
What to do while getting changed ?
If possible, put a barrier cream on exposed areas.
What to do after football ?
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 moisturising cream to the entire body, including the face.
In the evening before going to bed, remember to apply your topical corticosteroids to itchy areas.
- If you feel pain, avoid gels that contain anti-inflammatories. Use cold therapy instead, such as cold sprays or cold packs.
- To play sport, your eczema should be well treated with topical corticosteroids because the sweat may sting any cracks.
- Opt for personal care products and treatments for atopic skin types that are soap- and fragrance-free and that contain as few preservatives as possible.
- While watching the others play, remember to put your hat back on to avoid sunburn.
True or false
Football is not recommended in eczema cases.
FALSE : playing sport is beneficial, if a few precautions are taken. Rinse dirty areas thoroughly as soon as the game is over.
Sweating during exercise can lead to itching.
TRUE : sweat can sting eczema lesions. Occasionally, exercise and heat also set off a form of benign urticaria, called cholinergic urticaria, which usually disappears by itself in a few minutes.
Shin pads can cause eczema.
TRUE : eczema caused by shin pads does exist but it is rare. You can try to prevent it by applying a barrier cream or tube-shaped elastic dressing under the shinpads, or even cling film. If this does not work, you should consult your dermatologist.
You have to wash yourself all over.
FALSE : do not use soap. Clean the dirtiest areas with clear water first and then use a gentle soap-free shower gel and rinse well.
Why football ?
Football is a team sport that will also enable you to develop:
- your endurance and coordination
- your muscle tone
- your own sense of contentment
This sport requires few resources or equipment – a ball and sports shoes to start with – and the rules are easy for everyone to follow.