Masks, makeup, and itchy costumes can make Halloween scary territory for people with eczema.
We asked the NEA community to tell us about the tricks they’ve learned to make Halloween more of a treat than a tribulation.*
- Halloween costumes need to be loose fitting and/or made with breathable fabrics.
- No face paint. If you must, do little dots for freckles or do lipstick for little princesses or fairies. Like the above poster, nothing that is hot or scratchy. My daughter is older now, but we did lots of doctors (and vets!) in scrubs, a beauty queen in a gown and sash, ballerina, etc. Also watch those food allergies closely! And, be ready to go home at any point. Some halloweens we hit 5-10 houses and she was finished. We left no matter who we were with or where we were. Let the kiddos guide you as far as tolerance for the whole evening. ❤️ one more thing…. we went to 2 Halloween parties that were held in old barns that were re-purposes for parties. Both times the hay and other allergens flared up her eczema. Just be careful and pay attention to triggers!
- I have clip in cat ears! Easiest costume without harsh chemicals or polyester!
- I trick-or-treated once. I hated it so much and was horrified by going door to door, I begged my parents to let me stay home and hand out candy instead. I never connected it or my shyness with my eczema but maybe that was part of it.
- Don’t wear wool! LOL!
- Ok so I am a cosplayer and I have severe eczema all over my body. Masks are a pain especially with asthma and eczema. I am also in the theatre program at my school and have learned a ton about sfx (special effects) and costuming. Look for breathable fabrics at your local goodwill or thrift shop in the forms of pillow cases and curtains. When you go to put on your costume be conscious of the major points of rubbing, meaning sleeve seams and bra straps. At those points put extra layer of fabric or something softer that you can secure with a safety pin that won’t scratch as much. When in doubt a lot of the clothes you know you can wear can be used for Halloween costume peices. Makeup wise I always put two layers of my cream on before considering foundation and other layers such as latex if you aren’t allergic. Photex is a latex substitute that has worked well on my face and arms in terms of eczema,however, be concious of how both latex and photex dries because it will hardened and stretch if placed incorrectly. In terms of makeup eyeshadow and eye pencils are great for simulating paint effects (old age effects / wounds). I highly suggest Wowbutter (a peanut butter substitute made out of soy) with red food dye and some hypoallergenic soap / lotion of choice for raised gore and blood effects. You can apply the wowbutter over the cream layers on your face and it will sit nicely as long as it isn’t smeared intensely into your face. I know that there is a recipe for homemade body paint on Pinterest that can be modified to wear lotion and eczema safe cream can be added for younger kids who like face paint. This goes for everyone, halloween can be done! Knowing what materials are safe and easy to use are key and in most cases the homemade costumes/makeup can be cheaper than store bought and can be replicated and modified throughout the year as needed. Good Luck and have fun this Halloween!!! (Photo at left) was a past cosplay for those who are interested. I have eczema on my face, arms, chest, back, etc. I promise that it can be done.
- Use candles which do not contain fragrance.
- My daughter is 4 and instead of itchy princess outfits we buy the softer pajama princess dresses!
- Crushed velvet latex masks. Or plastic with string light and can not stress enough light full face mask if it’s required for the costume. Lots of bottled water
- Wear clothing under your costume if it’s an itchy or plastic type of material.
Make up? No tips, just choose a costume that doesn’t require make up. Lol
Wig? Maybe wear something around your neck or at least the back of your neck so the wig hair doesn’t touch your skin constantly. That’s all I have. Thinking about this makes me feel itchy. Oh and try not to get too hot. I don’t know about you all, but when I’m hot, I itch a lot.
- Long sleeve top and leggings (both 100% cotton) worn underneath loose fitting costume. Be careful that child doesn’t sweat or overheat. Check costume before buying it to make sure any glitter decoration doesn’t rub off (or it will stick to child’s skin and may cause itchiness).
- No masks. No heavy costumes. Buy a costume that regular, cotton clothes can be worn underneath. We opt for a bodysuit type costume instead of a full body costume. Eczema and Polyester do not mix.
- For Halloween I try to pick costumes that don’t involve any itchy fabric or face paint/masks. But if that’s unavoidable, I suggest wearing clothing under the scratchy fabric so it’s not directly irritating your skin. And for the face paint I would just try to either make some at Home face paint without any chemicals or find an organic brand!
- Since any make up or costume is out of the question, this halloween I won’t hide my skin with long sleeves or pants, I’ll let them on display…all the scars on my legs make up for the best costume ever!
- Dr. Aron and then you can be or wear anything!
*The recommendations contained in the Scratch Pad are those of the contributor. NEA provides health information from a variety of sources; this information is not intended as medical advice. Persons with questions regarding specific symptoms or treatments should consult a professional health-care provider. Do you have eczema-related advice? Share your tips on our Scratch Pad!