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Managing Eczema: Finding support and solutions

Updated: Feb 1


Person with arm around another person, comforting them.

As a parent or carer, you know that eczema is a challenging condition to understand and manage. It is often filled with sleepless nights, frustration, and worry for your loved one. As parents and carers, we want to help our children and shield them from the pain.


Getting the right support at the right time, is key to help them navigate the journey. Unfortunately, it can take time to get to see a dermatologist or even a GP, especially here in the UK at present. Unbelievably, I rang my GP 89 times in one day last week, only to get through and find there were no more appointments available!!


Even when you do get an appointment, there is little time to talk through the causes of eczema, how it is affecting your individual child, and how best to treat it. It can often be trial and error with different medications until you find something that works, and little investigation into the underlying reasons why (in my experience).


Despite the challenges, thankfully there are things we can do to take control and make things a bit more manageable:


#1 - Understanding Eczema


Graphic with text saying 'Eczema Care Online, Self-Help Toolkit'.

Understanding what eczema is, its triggers, and how it affects your child's skin is crucial. Reliable sources like medical websites, dermatologists, and pediatricians can provide accurate information.


A great resource called Eczema Care Online can be found here.



The big frustration with eczema is that what works for one child, may not work for another. This unfortunately can mean a lot of online research, many appointments, and cycling through different treatments to find something that works.


Keep researching new treatments and developments, and you will get there. The more informed you are about the condition, the better voice and advocate you can be for your loved one.


#2 - Managing Eczema:

Routine and consistency in the skincare plan is key:

  • Develop a Skincare Routine: Work with a dermatologist to create a skincare routine tailored to your child's needs, including the right products (fragrance-free, hypoallergenic) and bathing techniques.

  • Moisturization: Moisturizing is an ongoing process that should be performed multiple times a day, particularly during eczema flare-ups or when your child's skin feels dry or itchy. Your dermatologist can recommend specific moisturizers and provide personalized guidance based on the severity and type of your child's eczema. Check our previous blog on the subject.

  • Tracking potential triggers: Keep a diary to track things that may exacerbate your child's eczema, such as certain foods, fabrics, soaps, or environmental factors.

  • Anti-Scratch Eczema Friendly Clothing: Natural eczema friendly clothing , that creates a barrier between skin and fingernails, can greatly reduce the impact of an eczema flare. Skin-kind materials, like organic cotton, can keep your child comfortable even when dry and wet wrapping. Check out our innovative all in one anti scratch eczema relief suit range that helps reduce skin damage and improves sleep. Our suits offer an no mess no fuss solution to help manage eczema treatment. Read our recent blog on how to stop your child scratching for more tips.


#3 - Emotional Support


The emotional toll of eczema can be overwhelming for children and their carers alike, particularly when we factor in stress, lost hours in sleep, and managing treatments.


Community and Charity Groups are a great source of support. Engaging with local

or online support groups can be really beneficial, as you can share experiences with others facing similar challenges. UK based groups like Eczema Outreach Support or the Facebook Group UK Eczema Support can be useful. Carers UK is also a good source of support and gives lots of information on your rights as a carer. The UK National Eczema Society has a helpline and list of local support groups.


#4 - Eczema Support in School

School can be daunting enough for children, especially when they have extra challenges to deal with. Keeping the lines of communication open with school and keeping them informed if they’ve had a bad night, or any other changes, can go a long way to help them have a good school day.


If your child has ongoing medical needs, they should have an individual healthcare plan (IHP) held at the school that is reviewed annually, or sooner if their needs change. The National Eczema Society has a great guide on managing eczema in school which is worth a read.


"It’s natural to feel worried about your child at school – especially if they are struggling with their eczema. Make sure you get all the support you need" National Eczema Society

#5 - Financial Support for Eczema

Even the milder forms of eczema can have a real impact on day-to-day life, and also lay a hefty financial burden on a family. In the most severe cases, you could be seeing your consultant every few months, trying out every lotion, medication, and

Financial Support for Eczema

dressing you can imagine. Your time could be spent wet wrapping, and nights spent waking up to help your child manage the itch and pain. Their activities and yours, could be severely limited. If your child’s care needs are significant, you might be entitled to Disability Benefits. Be sure to check out websites like Scope or Turn2us to see what you might be entitled to. Remember that Disability benefits are non-means tested, meaning if you work, this will not affect your right to claim for your child.


"People with AD report a median annual out of pocket cost for disease management of $600. However, 42% of individuals spend $1,000 or more, and 8.5% report spending $5,000 or more" https://nationaleczema.org/research/eczema-facts/


#5 - Medical Assistance:


  • Consult Dermatologists and Pediatricians: Regularly consult healthcare professionals to monitor your child's condition, discuss treatment options, and address any concerns.

  • Prescribed Treatments: Follow the prescribed treatment plan diligently, which may include topical creams, medications, or phototherapy.


If you don't think your child is responding well to a new prescription, or if it seems to be making things worse, do not hesitate to let your healthcare professional know.


#6 - Additional Support Resources:


Books and Websites: Look for reliable books, websites, and articles focused on eczema management in children.

Professional Counseling: Stress can greatly excacerbate eczema. Read our previous blog post on Childhood Eczema and Stress. Consider seeking professional counseling or therapy for both your child and yourself to manage stress and emotional challenges associated with eczema.


Conclusion:


Supporting a child with eczema is complex. It requires understanding the condition, establishing a tailored skincare routine, making lifestyle adjustments, providing emotional support, and seeking medical assistance. This sounds daunting, but with the right help and support you can learn to live well with eczema, and develop a personalized plan that suits your child's specific needs.


We'd love to hear any tips or advice you may have. Be sure to leave a note in the comments, on what works for you and your family.





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