By Clare Maloney in partnership with Understand AD
Published On: Feb 6, 2023
Last Updated On: Feb 6, 2023
Kids with eczema need help and support when it comes to protecting their skin during the colder months. NEA partnered with Nickelodeon and Understand AD™, supported by Sanofi and Regeneron, to create a new educational program featuring characters from the Blue’s Clues & You! series in a new original digital storybook, Blue and Frida Felt Become Ecz-tra Special Friends — including Blue and her new friend Frida Felt, who has eczema.
We spoke with one of our ecz-perts, Dr. Peter Lio, assistant professor of clinical dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and founding director of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center, about how to help kids manage their eczema when participating in their favorite winter activities.
1. Pick the right types of fabrics when getting ready in the morning
Keep your kids comfortable from the very first decision they make while getting dressed in the morning. Frida Felt knows materials matter! She and Mother Felt make careful fabric choices to help protect her skin when getting dressed for the day. Base layers made from soft, natural fibers like silk and bamboo are good options because they keep skin cozy and dry and are less likely than synthetics to irritate the skin. Try to avoid materials like synthetic fibers, polyester and wool, as they can irritate the skin.
2. Protect exposed skin from the elements
When the wind picks up and the temperature drops, kids’ exposed facial skin can become dried out and chapped, leading to a possible flare. When preparing for a day they know will involve outdoor activities, Frida Felt and her mom will take note of the weather outside and how to prepare accordingly. “Applying a thick, protective moisturizer (heavy cream, ointment or balm) before going out can be very helpful to keep water in and to help protect it from the cold and dry weather,” said Dr. Lio.
3. Warm back up gradually
After being out in the cold, there’s no better feeling than coming home to a warm, toasty house. However, the dry air and temperature change can sometimes trigger a flare. “After coming in from the cold, it’s best to gently warm the skin,” said Dr. Lio. “Taking a warm bath followed by a nice moisturizer to lock in the water can be incredibly soothing for your child’s cold, chapped skin.” Remember that everyone’s eczema is different, so what works for your child may not be as useful for others.
Conclusions and key takeaways
Helping kids be proactive may take adjustments to their normal routines, including new, eczema-friendly clothing, more protective moisturizers and a renewed sense of awareness and attention to the winter factors that can trigger flares both indoors and outdoors. Just as Frida learned in Blue and Frida Felt Become Ecz-tra Special Friends, it’s important for kids to understand and speak up about their eczema no matter the season. Our differences are what make us special, and with the right preparation, we can all stay safe and have fun this winter. For more eczema-friendly tips and activities for the classroom, visit UnderstandAD.com