Swimming and physical activities

Welcome to the swimming and physical activity section!

This section will look at:

  • Tips on how to help your child to take part in exercise and activities.
  • What do I need to do when taking my child swimming?

No exercise or sport is out of bounds. Having eczema doesn’t have to get in the way of their life and stop them from taking part in activities that they enjoy

Eczema Swimming Trigger 1

Top tips for taking part in sports and physical activities

  • Shower or bath them right away or as soon as you can after an activity– this helps wash off sweat that can make eczema worse.
  • Give them loose clothing to wear.
  • Make sure they wear soft, smooth, and breathable fabrics, like cotton or bamboo. This is kinder to your child’s skin than gym clothes, like lycra, that might make your child’s skin too hot.
  • If you usually use thicker moisturising creams, try using a lighter one before activities. Lighter moisturising creams take less time to dry and you can still use your other creams in your usual daily routine.
  • Some sports or activities involve dust or things that might make eczema worse. For example, coming into contact with pollen and grass when playing in a field or animal fur when horse riding. It can be helpful to use a light moisturising cream before these sports or activities.

My child has broken skin - what should I do?

Broken skin can be painful when it comes into contact with sweat. One way to deal with this is to repair the broken skin using flare control creams. You can find more information on flare control creams in the ‘flare control creams’ section in the menu above.

What do I need to do when going swimming with my child?

Many children with eczema enjoy swimming but it can dry out the skin. One way of dealing with this is by putting on moisturising creams before swimming and after swimming.

You don’t need to put on a thick layer of moisturising cream, just enough to protect the skin. After swimming, it can be helpful to make sure your child showers straight away, pat their skin dry gently, and put moisturising cream on before they get dressed. Don’t wait to get home to put their moisturising cream on as their skin will have dried out by then. Try out what works best for your child.

Parents of younger children might find the cream can make their child very slippery and difficult to support in the water.

We don’t tend to put moisturising creams before a swim because during baby swimming, you’re holding on to them all the time and they become really slippery. But then, we make sure they have their creams when they get out.


Freshwater and saltwater can also make broken skin sting. If your child has broken skin, it is important to use flare control creams to keep their skin in good shape for swimming.