27 doctors weighed in:
My doctor told me to avoid taking hot showers while I had a flare-up of my eczema. Why is this?
27 doctors weighed in

Dr. Jeffrey Benabio
Dermatology
11 doctors agree
In brief: Dries out your skin
Hot water is more likely to strip the natural oils off your skin.
These oils are essential to keeping your skin healthy. Removing them leads to drier skin which can flare eczema. Using warm or cool water helps keep your skin protected.

In brief: Dries out your skin
Hot water is more likely to strip the natural oils off your skin.
These oils are essential to keeping your skin healthy. Removing them leads to drier skin which can flare eczema. Using warm or cool water helps keep your skin protected.
Dr. Jeffrey Benabio
Dr. Jeffrey Benabio
Thank
Dr. Karen Han
Dermatology
9 doctors agree
In brief: Worsens dry skin
As dr benabio stated, hot showers will further dry out you skin and exacerbate eczema.
The key is immediately moisturizing after showers and baths. Eczema skin is depleted of ceramides so picking a cream containing ceramides (ie. Cerave) and seal with a thicker emollient (ie. Certaphil or eucerin) on top will replenish some of the lost oils.

In brief: Worsens dry skin
As dr benabio stated, hot showers will further dry out you skin and exacerbate eczema.
The key is immediately moisturizing after showers and baths. Eczema skin is depleted of ceramides so picking a cream containing ceramides (ie. Cerave) and seal with a thicker emollient (ie. Certaphil or eucerin) on top will replenish some of the lost oils.
Dr. Karen Han
Dr. Karen Han
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Eczema has a lot to do with the digestive tract and many times food allergies can aggravate it as well. Consider being allergy tested for foods. I also have had good experience with Chinese Medicine improving eczema. I a constantly amazed at the improvement my patients get using both traditional and integrative approaches.
Dr. Bryan Levey
Agreed. I will often do a trial of gluten and/or casseine free diet with good improvement in some.
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
8 doctors agree
In brief: Dryness, itching
Hot water not only washes away natural oils which maintains the moisture in the skin, but it also causes vasodilatation (opening) of the blood vessels of the skin and can flare the itching sensation.
The increased itching leads to more scratching which further contributes to the flare and to the breakdown of skin barriers.

In brief: Dryness, itching
Hot water not only washes away natural oils which maintains the moisture in the skin, but it also causes vasodilatation (opening) of the blood vessels of the skin and can flare the itching sensation.
The increased itching leads to more scratching which further contributes to the flare and to the breakdown of skin barriers.
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Thank
Dr. Bryan Levey
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Agree with other mds
I would add that most soaps are drying, that pure soaps very efficiently remove natural oils from your skin, and that when you take your shower you should use a moisturizing soap like dove or cetaphil.
Immediately moisturize upon getting out of the shower, and try to use the towel to gently pat dry, as rubbing removes even more oil.

In brief: Agree with other mds
I would add that most soaps are drying, that pure soaps very efficiently remove natural oils from your skin, and that when you take your shower you should use a moisturizing soap like dove or cetaphil.
Immediately moisturize upon getting out of the shower, and try to use the towel to gently pat dry, as rubbing removes even more oil.
Dr. Bryan Levey
Dr. Bryan Levey
Thank
Dr. Margaret Mann
Dermatology
In brief: Dries out your skin
Frequent hot showers tend to worsen eczema.
This is because hot water and harsh soaps remove the skin’s natural protective oils (think about how we clean greasy cooking pots with hot water and lots of soap). And be sure to moisturize. Patients with eczema have a break in their natural skin protective barrier and it is important to recreate that barrier with moisturizers.

In brief: Dries out your skin
Frequent hot showers tend to worsen eczema.
This is because hot water and harsh soaps remove the skin’s natural protective oils (think about how we clean greasy cooking pots with hot water and lots of soap). And be sure to moisturize. Patients with eczema have a break in their natural skin protective barrier and it is important to recreate that barrier with moisturizers.
Dr. Margaret Mann
Dr. Margaret Mann
Thank
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