When parents find out that their child has eczema, it can often be a confusing time with many questions. Eczema tends to be a hard issue to pin down, and when it comes to children, things can seem even more complicated. The good news is that modern science has given us many clear answers about what children’s eczema is, what causes it, and what we as parents can do to keep it under control.
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is believed to be a combination of a sensitive immune system and an issue with the skin’s natural barrier. Many leading doctors and specialists in the area of children’s eczema have found that it can be genetic – but this doesn’t always mean that one or both of the parents will have the same skin issues in their lives. Eczema also seems to make the skin more sensitive in general for children who have it, meaning that chemicals, detergents, cosmetics, clothing, and soaps can lead to ‘outbreaks’ of eczema in an otherwise eczema free child. In addition, weather, stress, environmental changes, and emotional upsets can all lead to exaggerated eczema episodes.
As you can see, the causes of children’s eczema are vast. For this reason, it’s a good idea for every parent of a child who deals with eczema to keep these simple tips in mind in order to prevent flare ups and cut down on overall sensitivity and irritation:
ª Keep a journal. Whenever flare ups happen, take note of products, clothing, soaps, foods, and life events that took place in the 48-72 hours before. This is a great way to find out if certain things act as triggers for your child’s eczema so that you can do your best to cut them out of the picture entirely.
ª Use all natural products around the home whenever possible. Many parents have found that the more natural a product is, the gentler it is – and the gentler it is, the less likely it is to cause any skin irritations. (It’s best to test new products on a small area of skin to make sure there are no adverse reactions)
ª Talk to others who have been there and doing that! Check out message boards, forums, and websites online that focus on answering your questions about children’s eczema. This is a great way to find out what works for other parents, and to share some of your own tips and findings. The ScratchMeNot Children’s Eczema Info Section has tons of information on eczema and many other skin issues that will help you out along the way.
*Stop the scratch-itch cycle. Cut down on scratching that can lead to further skin irritation, aggravated eczema, and infections by keeping your child’s fingernails short and filed, and by having ScratchMeNot mittens on hand. You can see the full selection of flip-mitten sleeves HERE.
If you have a child with eczema, have no fear! There are some amazing products and treatments on the market right now that take the worry and hassle out of giving your child an itch-free life!