When the scratching habit strikes!

Every parent looks forward to the moment when their child’s eczema has subsided and the itchy skin will be calm. That’s almost one of those distant dreams. The perfect day finally arrives! The clearest skin you’ve ever seen on your little one since forever! Today you do not have an itchy toddler. The hard work has paid off as you’ve been diligent applying moisturizers, switched up the cleansers and added medicine, if needed. You’ve been watching the little one’s diet, making sure your home is dust free, pollen free, and your purifier has been providing purest air from heaven. You’ve been making sure the whole family is on board, have a ScratchMeNot is nearby, after all he’s even graduated to hands free time! On top of all of this, you’ve even used your Whole Foods Living Social coupon to buy natural products for this journey towards healthy skin. If itchy sensitive skin had a super hero, I’d envision something like this. Fun, yet determined 🙂 with tubes of moisturizer in the pouches.

Then out of no where, you catch him scratching for absolutely no reason at all. It may have been so subtle, you didn’t notice it before. But today, you KNOW he is not scratching the eczema.  What just happened? Skin is at risk!

One thing parents may be blindsided by, is the scratching habit that seemed to sneak in under the radar. Eczema and other skin irritants have many “side effects”. And this one is probably the most irritating! All of that nice smooth skin that took weeks to heal, is suddenly at risk again. The scratching habit can begin when they first wake up, while on the potty, or unconsciously when they are watching a video. So what do you do about it? We have to do something, because scratching can trigger the eczema. It’s also known as the itch that rashes.

Here are 4 ways help

1.   Cover those little fingers!

Having a ScratchMeNot on, even if not in use, is helpful when those random scratching moments. Especially if the scratching is hard enough to cause skin damage.

If it’s early morning or bedtime habit, possibly sleepwear with footies to keep skin damage to a minimal. Toddlers are smart & resourceful!

2.   Use a keyword or phrase to remind him that he is scratching to help change the behavior.

This has been a great help for us! Screaming “Stop scratchinggggggg” as you run to their rescue may not be enough. A phrase such as “rub instead of scratch” or “be gentle” helps your little one become responsible for their habitual scratching and understand why it is not a good choice. It’s also a teaching & learning opportunity for both parties.

3.   Provide alternatives!

If you’ve started to see scratch patterns, beat them to the punchline! Keep those fingers active. If they are potty training, give them books to read or games to play!

4.  Stay positive.

While we know this habit is not healthy, it’s important to give positive reinforcement along side of redirection

Be hopeful again! Remember the good times to help you through this bump in the road. This too shall pass… hopefully!

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