4 Tips for Parents On Managing Eczema In Children
By Dr. Peter Lio (bio below)
1. Stop the Itch-Scratch Cycle
One of my favorite techniques to help a child stop scratching is to do a “Skin Reset”. This was discussed by Lisa Choy at the National Eczema Association here. But the idea is that if the itch-scratch cycle is getting out of control, you can hit the “reset” button by doing the following:
- Give a short bath or shower in lukewarm water
- Gently pat dry and then immediately apply their medication (if necessary) followed by a liberal amount of moisturizer
This is a powerful way to help wash off any allergens and irritants that may be worsening things, helps to super-hydrate the skin.
ScratchMeNot flip mitten sleeves are also a helpful tool for parents managing eczema in children. These scratch mittens for babies with eczema aid in preventing children up to 6 years old from scratching their skin. I recommend ScratchMeNot for nighttime use as they could potentially affect motor development if used too often during the day.
2. Use Wet Wraps Like A Pro
Wet wraps can be tough and a lot of work. A good tip is to remember “local” wraps. If it’s just elbows and knees, you can take an old (but clean!) cotton sock and cut off the toe part so you have a tube-shape. Or try WrapESoothe sleeves for children and adults made of cooling eucalyptus fiber. You can then apply the medication to the area, get the tube or sleeve damp, and apply that to the local areas. This makes it far less messy and difficult and feels great. A big part of the wet wrap is the cooling sensation from the evaporation and this works just as well locally.
For more information about how to wet wrap, check out this infographic.
3. Empower Children With Eczema
I think that eczema can really hurt someone’s self esteem, so we need to call upon families, friends, teachers and community leaders to help us support them and send positive feedback and messages their way. Talking with teachers at the start of the school year about the eczema and, in some cases, maybe even doing a presentation to the class about eczema, can really help with some of the teasing and exclusion that can happen with some peers. Check out National Eczema Association’s Tools for School for more resources.
To remind your child how amazing and strong they are and that eczema does not define him, watch The Eczema Song together.
4. Don’t Tackle Eczema Alone, Find Support
This is a huge issue–eczema affects more than just the patient and often the entire family suffers along. Support groups may sound hokey, but are an incredible resource to help deal with this and maintaining sanity. The National Eczema Association has amazing resources and a support group network around the country. Getting involved can help in so many ways, and by meeting others in the same situation, both families realize that they are not alone!
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