Is Eczema Keeping Your Child Up at Night?

Red, scaly, thick, oozing, are all words used to describe eczema. What exactly is eczema??? Dr. Sears says it’s a skin condition with two distinct components:

1. Dry, easily irritated skin -Children with this condition have a genetic tendency toward dry skin. Moisture is very important for our skin. It helps skin stay healthy. It prevents irritation. It speeds up healing. With eczema, the skin does not retain moisture very well, thus giving it a dry, slightly rough texture and making it prone to irritation. To further complicate matters, this dry, irritated skin is itchy, causing children to scratch frequently. This further irritates and damages the skin, which leads to worse itching and scratching, and so on.
2. Allergies- Children with this condition also have some underlying allergies that are manifested in the skin. When exposed to these allergens, the skin over-reacts and breaks out in a rash. The already dry and slightly irritated skin is less able to handle this allergic rash, and less able to heal itself quickly.

What does it look like?

Well, I happen to be an expert on this since my 4 year old has suffered from it since she was an infant.
• The skin is red, dry and itchy
• Small bumps and blisters sometimes filled with puss appear
• Skin can get excoriating lines and injuries on it
• Common places for it to be found are behind the ear and in the creases of the elbows, wrists, and knees.

Could Eczema be Keeping Your Child up at Night?

Yes, eczema could be keeping your child up at night!! Children often get warm at night under their covers. Heat can make eczema act up. At bedtime skin has more contact with clothing and blankets causing more of an irritation. This can be so uncomfortable your child may wake up from it. To make sure this isn’t happening to your child have them sleep in their own bed where you can control the types of sheets and blankets they use. Make sure not to use woolen blankets and plastic mattress protectors. I stick with soft cotton sheets for my daughter’s bed.

How do you get rid of Eczema?

Unfortunately, eczema is a chronic condition that may go away during teenage years. You can’t get rid of it, so the goal is to just try and control it. Here are some suggestions from Phoenix Children’s Hospital on how to control your child’s eczema.

• Keep your child’s fingernails clean, short, and smooth.
• Keep the skin clean. Wash the child with water.
Use gentle soap with no smell (fragrance
free) only where the child is dirty. Your
child may take a shower of bath for 5 to 10
minutes every day.
• After washing, pat your child dry. If the doctor
gave you medicine (a prescription) to put
on your child’s skin, put it on any skin that
feels rough and dry, or itches your child.
Use this medicine two times every day
until there is no rash, the skin feels flat,
and you child doesn’t itch.
• If there is no rash, after washing put cream on all of your child’s skin. This will
help keep your child’s skin from getting too dry (it lubricates). The cream
should have no smell. The best cream to use is petrolatum jelly (Vaseline).
Other creams you may use include Aquaphor, Cetaphil, Eucerin, or Nivea.
If you used medicine, you may put this cream over the medicine. Use a
cream, not a lotion.
• Put non-prescription cream on your child’s skin twice a day, and whenever your
child says the skin is dry or itchy. You do not have to wash your child before
putting this extra cream on.
• 20 to 30 minutes before your child goes outside, put a sunscreen with an SPF of
30 or more on your child’s skin.

Eczema is a serious condition that may be controlled by following the suggestions above. Please call your healthcare provider if you feel your child has eczema. It has taken my family 4 years to learn what triggers my daughter’s eczema. We had to do a lot of trial and error. Here are some of the things that have worked for our daughter:

Thanks to all of these products and procedures we have been able to control my daughter’s eczema and she now sleeps restfully.

What tips do you have for dealing with your child’s eczema?