Although most children eventually develop rashes that itch for a while, eczema is a chronic condition that can cause excessive scratching of the skin. Learn more about how to manage the itching and discomfort of your child’s eczema.
The Persistent Itch
Itching is the most persistent result of eczema and reducing the urge to scratch it is vital to prevent further irritation and potential infection. Although “stop scratching” is an appropriate remark, your child may interpret it as having done something wrong. It’s better to say, “We know it itches. How can we help you?”
Encourage Your Child
Focusing on what children can do for themselves increases their sense of control, self-esteem, and the knowledge of taking steps to feel better. So when your child starts scratching after emerging from a bath, use a timer to see how fast he or she can apply the necessary creams and get dressed. The idea, of course, is to distract attention from the itching.
Recognize Itch Triggers
Increasing the awareness of what triggers your child’s itching is vital. To do so, portray your child as a detective searching for clues about what causes all this itching. Some triggers will be reactions to bathing, stress, and such idle activity as hands being free to scratch while watching TV. Others may be dish soaps, detergents, fruits, vegetables, meats, fragrances, fabrics, and more. Once you recognize your child’s common triggers, our doctors can then help develop a treatment plan.
Diverting Attention From the Itch
When children are actively engaged in a project, scratching is reduced and sometimes eliminated; this shows what can happen when hands are kept busy. If your child is watching TV, provide a nearby coping bucket containing a smooth stone to rub, a stress ball to squeeze, and a tube of moisturizer to apply. For babies, bright and colorful toys are ideal while changing their diapers.
For more than 70 years, The Dermatology Clinic has treated eczema and other skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, shingles, skin cancer, psoriasis, and many more. Please call us at (225) 769-7546 for an appointment or fill out our contact form so we can help you and your child cope with the effects of eczema.