When your child keeps scratching their eczema skin, nerve endings are opened which allows bacteria into their sensitive skin, leading to bacterial infections, inflammation and increased risk of scarring even when eczema flare-ups are reduced. We want to do everything we can to avoid the itch-scratch cycle which once your child starts scratching can be very hard to break and often leads to infection.
What is making my child scratch their skin?
The need to start scratching is generally triggered by the external environment such as dust, house dust mites or even prickly clothing. When your child’s skin feels aggravated, the brain receives a nerve signal, urging your child to start scratching really fast to relieve the irritation. Once the irritation is gone, there are no more signals received and that itchy, scratching feeling goes away. However, by then your child’s skin is probably already inflamed and broken which makes it easily infected.
Tips on how to stop your child scratching
- Regular bath time routine
Bathing your child regularly will remove any irritants sitting on their skin which could cause inflammation and infection and by using effective products, it will also will give the skin the best opportunity to absorb moisture.
- A bedtime routine
Children with eczema often find it difficult to sleep during bed time especially because there is no activity to distract them from scratching. Their skin can also get hot at night, and cause more irritation and flare-ups. A good bedtime routine can help your child have a good night’s sleep. It is important to keep your child’s room cool and dress them in comfortable nightwear, preferably clothing made of breathable cotton, as well as light cotton bedsheets and cotton blankets when needed. Layering cotton sheets and cotton blankets should be used instead of heavy doonas which trap heat around the body, which increases the need to scratch. Make sure to also keep your child’s skin hydrated by applying moisturiser, around 20 minutes before bed time to let it soak in.
- Use Cold Compress on eczema skin
It helps to use a damp washcloth and hold the compress to your little one’s skin until the itching sensation goes away. This is especially useful on hot days to take the heat out of the skin, or an a very itchy patch of skin when your child has come into contact with an eczema trigger.
This blog post was brought to you and your child with love and care from Julia and the itchy baby co. team. X
Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional