Atopic Eczema is a common skin condition that affects one in eight children (1), and almost 30% of all newborn babies could potentially (2) develop it. This usually begins in young babies who have dry, itchy cheeks. Then it moves down the to affect other areas of the body, such as the back of the knees and insides of elbows. If it is more severe, the whole body could be affected and becomes very irritable.
This can be upsetting to see your child constantly scratching and uncomfortable. The E45 range has plenty of ideas on how you can soothe their dry, itchy skin. Also, there are lots you can do around the home to make things more comfortable too.
What should we avoid?
There are certain things you and your children will come across every day that can trigger or aggravate their dry skin and eczema.
At Chemist Direct, we have built this lost of tips and tricks to make your home as skin friendly as possible. (3)
- Avoid dressing your children in woolly clothes as it can make skin hot and itchy. Cotton is a better material as it allows the skin breathes.
- Bed linen is also important and the material matters with cotton the ideal choice. Cotton sheets and covers allow the skin to breathe. Also, avoid pillows and duvets that contains feathers as this can be a trigger for your child’s eczema.
- When your child sleeps, it important to keep bedrooms cool. If it gets too hot, it can make itchiness worse. During warmer weather, you want to keep moisture in the air. Some parents leave a saucer of water in the room as their child sleep to keep the air hydrated.
- Use non-biological washing powders, tablets and fabric softeners.
- Fur and feathers can aggravate eczema, so keep pets out of the house when possible.
- Keep dust to a minimum in the house as dust mites can cause your child’s eczema to flare up.
- Certain foods can make skin conditions worse. Normally, these would be dairy foods like milk and eggs. If you believe this is the case for your child, speak with your doctor or dietitian.
- Avoid soaps and fragranced bubble baths as this can cause the skin to dry up. E45 has some great alternatives for children.
What else can we do?
When your child becomes irritated and itchy, it is only a matter of time before they begin scratching at eczema patches. This is impossible to always prevent this but there are things you can do.
You can keep their fingernails cut short, which could minimise the damage they could do. You can try to encourage your children to pat or rub their skin rather than scratch at it. That said, this is far from a full proof plan.
Eczema can make life pretty miserable for your child, especially if the nights are warm and their itchy skin makes sleep difficult. Naturally, this can lead them to be quite grumpy and short-tempered the next day. So, it is important to keep things positive too.
Even very young children will be able to tell if you’re worried, and although it may sound odd, stress can cause the skin to flare up even more. So, it is important you try to reduce stress. This applies at school as well. If at home, your child is uncomfortable and is having sleepless nights, these issues go into school and can affect their performance. If you believe it may be affecting their school work, it’s worth having a word with their teachers to explain.
It’s also important to try and keep things peaceful at home. Be aware that if one child in the family has eczema, others can easily get jealous of the extra attention they’re getting.
To keep everyone happy, make an extra effort to spend time with other children on their own.
Should your child’s eczema symptoms persists and becomes be severe, please take them to see your GP immediately.
This article has been medically approved by Superintendent Pharmacist Shilpa Shailen Karia, MRPharmS. - GPhC Reg No: 2087328