4 Things Families Dealing with Eczema in Children Should Know

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I’ve always been close to my brother and sisters and as the oldest child, their problems were my problems. So, when my sister, Brenna, developed severe eczema as a toddler, I suffered along with her as my family struggled to find a solution.

Since that first diagnosis, my family has become pretty familiar with eczema. My oldest niece developed a case of eczema that was just as severe as her mother’s had been. My oldest son had mild eczema as a toddler that he thankfully outgrew in a few years. And one of my little nephews had minor eczema as well.

Through all that, I’ve learned a lot about eczema and the agony it can cause. And if your own child has been recently diagnosed, these are four things to remember as a family dealing with eczema in children!

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1) Flareups Can Be Unpredictable…and Inevitable

Once eczema first develops, families will sometimes be able to detect some triggers that cause the condition to get worse. But often, those triggers are hard to discover and a flare-up can seem like it’s coming out of nowhere.

That’s because eczema can be triggered by anything from a change in weather to stress.1 And figuring out exactly what is causing the flare-ups is a challenge all on its own. It’s something that some families spend years working at with their family doctor. So, having your most reliable treatment on hand just in case is essential.

And unfortunately, while you can often help minimize your child’s flare-ups, they may still happen. Making sure you’re prepared just in case will help ensure your child is as comfortable as possible when eczema does make an unexpected appearance.

2) You’ll Try EVERYTHING to make It Better

Any parent that’s had a child in pain knows the feeling of helplessness that can come along with it. And families that have a child with eczema will soon learn that there are dozens of potential suggestions for relieving itching.

In our own family, my sister tried everything including only wearing cotton clothing in an attempt to minimize her daughter’s severe eczema. Our entire extended family would make a note of any new products or suggestions that might help and pass the information along to the group.

And most of the time, it did seem as if there was temporary improvement. But, all too often, the eczema would soon be back, just as bad as it had been before. Still, we kept hoping to find something that would make a lasting difference. Any remedy was worth a try if it might bring Anna a little relief!

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3) You Should Never Give Up Hope

Listening to a loved one cry uncontrollably because they’re itching so badly is heartbreaking, and it can wear a parent down when it feels like there are no more solutions left to try. But there’s always hope!

For my niece, finding her some relief came down to finally identifying some of her triggers. There’s no cure for eczema and she still gets flare-ups, but identifying those major triggers and removing them from her environment helped her so much.

It took literal years of trial and error and doctor testing to find the key to minimizing Anna’s eczema. While she still needs to have a moisturizer on hand to keep her skin hydrated, her condition is so much more manageable now thanks to medicated skincare products. Thank goodness my sister never stopped looking for answers!

Eczema is often thought of as a childhood condition, however many children who suffer with eczema continue to suffer into adulthood.2 Thankfully, my sister’s eczema has improved so much since her childhood years, though she does sometimes have a bit of trouble with her hands in the winter.

4) You’re Not Alone

When your child has to miss a special event because of an especially bad flare-up, or you’re suffering through another sleepless night trying to soothe an itchy child back to sleep, it’s easy to feel like you’re all alone.

But there are other parents that are suffering through similar trials and tribulations…and finding those other parents can be a relief for families that are at their wit’s end!

Whether it’s connecting with the parents of one of your child’s classmates or teammates in person, or joining an online group for parents with eczema, it’s therapeutic to be able to talk to others going through the same challenges.

If you’re looking for a place to join in the conversation about the challenges of eczema, visit the Eczema Society of Canada at eczemahelp.ca to get more information about the condition and advice on how you can help your child deal with the challenges. And I hope it is comforting for you to know that it is possible to control the flareups and symptoms of eczema, with the right management program for your child.

Having a child with eczema is tough, but minimizing potential triggers and finding a treatment that is right for them can help a lot.

References:
1The Eczema Society of Canada (2019). About Eczema. Available at: https://eczemahelp.ca/about-eczema
2https://eczemahelp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ESC_Insights-Report_Nov-2017-1.pdf

4 thoughts on “4 Things Families Dealing with Eczema in Children Should Know”

  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    A great post,, thanks for sharing. Eczema is horrible for an adult to suffer through let alone a child. Luckily I’ve not been through this with my own children. I sympathise with those suffering from eczema.

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