It may sound odd, but many parents experience a spike in their children’s eczema when teething begins, and chances are it’s not just coincidental. Teething is an extremely important part of any child’s growth. It symbolizes that their body is becoming ready to digest new foods and work towards a more complex diet with greater independence. The first teeth a child gets are a rite of passage of sorts that celebrates their growth, health, and a brand new array of foods they’ll soon get to sample! The issue comes up when teething causes aggravation in eczema or just the teething itself! Many parents notice that when teeth start breaking in, flare ups and skin issues get worse. So what’s the correlation and what can you do to help your child have an eczema-free teething experience? Let’s explore! Oh, and I’ll even share my new favorite way to calm teething pain below.
Teething is not something many children enjoy. Cutting teeth can be painful, irritating, and stressful – and it can go as far as preventing a good night’s sleep, eating, or having a good mood in some kids. Currently, my son is teething and he would fall into the “misery loves company” category, if there were categories. When new teeth start making their way through the gums, your child can also go through a great deal of stress and anxiety. The verstant pain that teething causes plus the addition of new things into the mouth can be really stressful for even the most resilient child. For this reason, the whole teething process should be handled with care – especially in kids who have eczema or other stress-aggravated issues. At the moment, my son really loves the idea of new teeth, he’s got the hang of gripping and biting food. However as fast as he’s up, he can quickly crash into a vortex of pain. The pain and discomfort seems to take over him. Pain management has proven to be tricky.
How Teething Aggravates Eczema
The main reason why teething and eczema seem to go hand in hand is stress, fevers, and drooling. I’ll explain. Any time your child goes through a good deal of stress, pain, or anxiety, the immune system may over-react, over-correct, or perform poorly. It can be hard to predict how the delicate immune system of a child will over-react or under-react when stress is present, but for kids with eczema the answer is usually an itchy one in a few places in particular, around the mouth, cheeks and sometimes your child’s usual spots. Another reason why teething triggers eczema: fevers. Teething can bring on cold-like symptoms, including fevers & runny noses. The over-heating of the body can send eczema in a frenzy. Combat this by:
- Keeping your little one cool
- Reduce fevers with cool towels or a cool bath
- Essential oils like peppermint in a carrier oil rubbed on their chests can reduce elevated temperatures.
- Teething necklaces have shown to help reduce and/or eliminate teething symptoms
And let’s not forget one of the first signs of teething….. Excessive drooling. At first it’s cute, then overwhelmingly…wet! Sometimes having a constantly wet or moist face or mouth can allow eczema to creep in. Be sure to keep your child’s skin dry and moisturized so drooling does not create a few extra irritated spots. Did I mention, teething affects sleep for both mom and baby? Pain management in the wee hours of the morning and night may be necessary to continue with the night’s rest. Having a cool drink of milk, teething tablets and a few other tricks up your sleeve may help reduce the length of time your little one is awake. Between stress hormones, pain, immune response, and growth, it’s no wonder why eczema may use teething as the perfect opportunity to flare up. The good news is that there are some more simple things you can do to keep both under control. Related: Scratching and Temper Tantrums
Dealing With Eczema And Teething
Here are a few things you can do to help minimize the negative effects of eczema and teething…
- UPDATE: Just came across this teething New fav of ours. Lavender + Coconut Oil (or a carrier oil) rubbed on their cheeks. Not only does it calm them down, it reduces the pain in minutes. I rub a very diluted amount tiny bit on my littles gums too. #LOVE. Crying, whining, everything stopped in a couple of minutes.
- Have topical skin creams and treatments on hand at the first sign of a flare up.
- Probiotics are a great way to reduce eczema flares before they begin.
- Explore pain relief options from traditional to all natural. Homeopathic teething tablets, amber teething necklaces and/or hazlewood necklace for eczema, & cool compresses.
- Have teething toys on hand to help your child relieve stress, soothe their gums, and keep their mind busy. Sometimes allowing a child to chew on a simple cool hand towel is a great (and inexpensive) option for those first teeth.
- Extra sleep! An extra nap or 3 occur due to the lack of sleep at night.
- Keep a close eye on any aggravating foods during the teething process to help keep your child’s system as stress-free as possible.
- Create a calm and soothing environment during teething. For kids who react to this process, every little thing helps! Light music, and lots of sleep!
- If scratching becomes an issue, cover their fingers until the scratching subsides! ScratchMeNots can get the job done quickly & effectively.
- Work closely with your child’s doctor to get the best new information, medications, and solutions to these and other issues that your child with eczema may deal with.
Teething can prove to be rather difficult. Some children breeze by without one symptom, while others seem to be miserable and extra clingy. If your child’s teething symptoms are a cause for concern, don’t hesitate to ask other parents who have been there, done that and your child’s doctor for further direction. A special thanks to our ScratchMeNot Moms – Marissa & Kay for some great teething tips! Related: What Nails Say About Your Health