The emotional heartache of watching your child attack their itchy skin in a scratch frenzy takes it toll in so many ways. It can be cause them to wake up several times during the night which then impacts their mood and your ability to cope with it all again during the day. It can affect your relationship with your partner because you are both so affected by the health of your child and not always being able to give them any relief, and if you have other children it can affect their behaviour because of the extra attention eczema demands.
Throughout all this the one question which you keep asking yourself is why is my child so itchy? What is different about their skin that is causing them to constantly scratch and be itchy?
What makes eczema skin itchy?
The skin in people who suffer from eczema is different from those people who do not have eczema. The best way to think of the skin is that it acts as a barrier between you and the environment. The main difference is that in people with eczema the skin barrier does not work very well. This means that the skin barrier loses moisture easily which causes it to dry out, and it also means that there is less protection than there should be to keep irritants such as allergens, bacteria and toxins out of the skin. All of these irritants can then enter the skin and because they are not meant to be there the immune system to responds and causes the skin to be itchy.
Eczema and the skin barrier
When the skin barrier isn’t able to work properly
- the skin becomes very dry
- the skin doesn’t have natural fats to help keep moisture in
- the skin isn’t able to be a protective barrier
- irritants can enter more easily, causing the skin to itch and certain triggers or irritants can cause an eczema flare up.
How can we reduce the eczema itch?
A healthy skin barrier is really important in managing eczema and controlling the eczema itch. With eczema we try to give the skin a barrier by putting a layer on it mainly through regular moisturising. By using a thick or greasy moisturiser it not only helps the skin from drying out by stopping water loss, but it also doesn’t evaporate easily from the skin, so it is able to act as a barrier to the skin for a longer period of time.
This blog post was brought to you and your baby with love by 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.