Friday Feature – Swimming Q&A with Dr. B

Q&A with Dr Christopher Bridgett

MarcieMom (@MarcieMom) met Dr Christopher Bridgett (@ckbridgett) through Twitter – and learnt that he had a special interest of using behavioural interventions to help people with atopic eczema. DrB trained in medicine at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, then as a psychiatrist in Oxford. He now works in private practice in London. He has co-authored several publications on The Combined Approach, that proposes using habit reversal to stop habitual scratching in atopic eczema. To find out more about behavioural dermatology, click http://www.atopicskindisease.com/articles/PeterNoren to read DrB’s interview with Peter Norén MD, the Swedish dermatologist who created The Combined Approach.

Marcie Mom: It’s Friday again, and I’m heading to the pool over the weekend with my baby. Oh, that reminds me to ask you Dr B: Some parents are very sceptical of bring their eczema child to swimming but my baby’s doctor recommended it. Just 10-15 minutes 3 times a week and wash off pool water and moisturize immediately. Will that also be your recommendation? Swimming is so fun and I hate to see eczema children being kept off it!

Dr B: Swimming is fun and good exercise – it also saves lives! So it’s good to say that swimming and atopic eczema usually go together just fine. The problem is caused by the water – it washes off a layer of the skin’s protection and leaves it very porous to water loss afterwards: a thin application of moisturizer before swimming protects against this. Make sure the application is thin though – no need to prepare for cross-channel swimming – see http://www.atopicskindisease.com/articles/TopTip1

Picture of Swimmer, contributed by Dr B

Otherwise, the chemicals in the water of a swimming pool are disinfectants – chlorine, & bromine for example – they can be good for the skin, as their antibacterial effect is anti-inflammatory. However these additives can irritate too, so your procedure is a good one! Dr B 

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3 thoughts on “Friday Feature – Swimming Q&A with Dr. B

  1. Swimming is definitely good, I take ‘Timan’ for a ‘swim’ in the ocean as often as we can. It’s not only fun, but the saltwater is also good for the tots eczema-prone skin on his legs, but of course moisturizer before, rinsing with fresh water and moisturizer after getting out of the water. For us the pool is not an option, the tot is reacting to the chemicals (chlorine and ??) in our tap water and we have to get the water to shower/bath him from water sources up in the mountains.
    Have fun in the pool during the weekend.

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