Image by: Niels Olson
It can be very worrying being the parent of a child with eczema – they suffer from constant pain from their skin, which can affect everything from sleeping to the day-to-day activities they get up to. Often kids with dry skin conditions end up tired and upset and unable to do all the things they want to do.
However, there are ways you can help them get through this and make their lives easier and more comfortable – it doesn’t just stop at applying the cream the doctor prescribed.
1) Change their bath time routine. Avoid any soaps and bubble baths, and opt instead for a bath oil that will moisturize and protect the skin. Make sure the water is lukewarm, as hotter water can strip moisture from the skin, and make it quick too – five minutes maximum.
2) Look at their shampoo. Use a gentle, natural shampoo free of harsh ingredients such as sodium laurel sulphate (SLS), which can irritate skin even if the suds are just splashed onto skin when washing the shampoo off.
3) Change their sheets. Make sure to use the highest thread count cotton sheets that you can afford and change them on a weekly basis to help avoid infection.
4) Think about your washing. Harsh detergents or perfumed products used in washing can cause flare-ups of eczema, so be careful of what you use. Try to use natural washing powders or liquids marked for sensitive skin, and steer clear of perfumed fabric softeners – use dryer balls instead.
5) Get clued up on fabrics. Rough or man-made fabrics can irritate skin, so try to buy only higher-quality natural, breathable fabric clothes, such as cotton.
6) Cut their fingernails. You might not be there to stop them scratching all the time, but by keeping their fingernails short you’ll reduce the amount of damage they can do by scratching.
7) Reduce chemicals in your household. It’s difficult to pinpoint just what triggers your child’s eczema, but by cutting out chemicals from your home you may reduce or even stop their flare-ups. White vinegar and bicarbonate of soda will do most cleaning jobs, and you can find natural versions of anything else you need.
8) Use a natural eczema treatment. Emollients tend to only work for a limited amount of time, and protect skin rather than actually help heal it, and many parents object to using steroid creams on their little ones. Natural treatments can help reduce inflammation, itchiness and heal, as well as having far less side effects than the chemical alternatives.
9) Keep their temperature regulated. Getting too hot can aggravate eczema, so try to keep your child at an optimum temperature by dressing them in layers and keeping your home cool in summer and pleasantly warm in the winter.
10) Let their school know about their condition. By keeping their school and teacher informed about their eczema, they can keep an eye on your child when you can’t and it promotes understanding about any special treatment they may need. If allowed, have them take in a treatment to school so they can apply when they feel the need to scratch – natural sprays are particularly good for this as they’re less messy than creams and easier to apply.
What do you do to control your little one’s eczema?
Author Byline: Estelle Page is a mum of two with an interest in children’s health and natural products. She currently writes for Salcura to help raise awareness of how to treat little ones’ skin conditions.