A Parents Guide to Eczema
As a parent, you strive to give your child a happy and healthy life, but what if they suffer from eczema? The uncontrollable urge to itch and the unknown causes may be too much for you and your child to bear. As a parent, what are you to do?
It is common to find rashes on children, but eczema is more than just a rash. It is skin condition that can turn into a struggle for both parents and children. You may have never heard of eczema until your child was diagnosed with it, but now what?
Keep Your Child’s Skin Moisturised
There are different eczema trigger factors, which can lead to an outbreak. These trigger factors may include dust, stress, sweat, and laundry detergent. However, for some children, the cause is nothing more than dry skin. We instinctively want to touch and itch dry skin to provide relief and children do the same. Moisturise your child each day. Their itching may not completely cease, but you should notice an improvement.
When moisturising your child, aim for application throughout the day. However, the most important step is to moisturise their body immediately following a bath or shower. Your goal is to lock in the moisture. If your child is old enough, get them in the habit of reaching for moisturiser each time they feel the need to itch.
Protect Your Child’s Skin
Eczema outbreaks are typically severe in small children. They don’t understand the complications that can arise from constant scratching; therefore, they continue to itch. If your child is old enough, have an eczema discussion with them. Encourage them to apply lotion or inform you whenever they feel the need to itch. However, for small children, such as toddlers and preschoolers, you need to protect your child’s skin yourself.
As previously stated, the first line of protection is constant moisture. The second is to keep the area prone to outbreaks covered. This is especially important at night, as some children actually scratch their arms and legs in their sleep. When later asked, some are even unaware of their actions. The less direct contact the fingernails have with the skin, the less damage is done.
Seek Medical Attention for Skin Infections
Most cases of eczema in children can be treated at home. However, children are at an increased risk for skin infections. Eczema creates the uncontrollable urge to itch. Your child may continue scratching until the skin is broken, leaving an open wound. Children will be children and that means coming into contact with many germs and bacteria. Combine these with an open wound and there is an increased risk for a skin infection. Treat your child’s eczema at home, but seek medical attention if you suspect the onset of infection.
As a parent, you are unable to cure your child’s eczema, but you help protect them from the lifelong complications, such as scars.