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How To Help Your Child Cope With Eczema

Aug 17, 2007
Eczema manifestations can be quite unpleasant to look at during flare ups, especially severe ones. In children, they often look even worse because children tend to scratch more than adults do.

This appearance has a major impact on how some people view your child during flare ups, which in turn impacts how your child views himself and the world around him. This is especially true for children in situations where other children are around, like school.

School age children have a tendency to be cruel to other without any provocation, often making things up just to make fun. The child who has eczema has a ready made issue for children to poke fun at his skin condition alone makes him different.

It is especially important for you to realize this and do everything possible to keep your child as psychologically safe as possible. There are a number of things you can do to help your child grow into a self confident adult who is comfortable in his own skin, literally.

Educate yourself, your child and immediate family members. Everyone living in your household should understand your childs eczema to the fullest extent. He should not feel uncomfortable talking to any family member about his condition. Share new treatment option with the family so that they can offer hope just as they offer consolation during the rough times.

Educate teachers, child care workers, friend and their parents about the basics of eczema. These people need to understand that the disease is a combination of genetics and environmental triggers and that it is not contagious. They should also know about the symptoms and the constant irritation that comes with these symptoms.

Create a large support network. This should include at least one person at school, one at the child care, and several extended family members and friends as well as the immediate family. Understand that your child may not always be comfortable discussing something with you and that he needs someone to talk to who will give him both good advice and adequate support.

Enroll in a support group. Talking with others who suffer from skin conditions is always beneficial to patients.

Find a good psychiatrist. Your child may suffer from depression from time to time and a psychiatrist will be able to prescribe anti depressants when needed. He will probably also refer you to a psychologist or licensed counselor who will help your child learn to recognize and cope with stress through stress management techniques.

Let your child make some decisions about the treatment of his disease. Not necessarily medical aspects, however. You may choose two acceptable moisturizers and give them to him, asking him to try them both and tell you which one he likes best. He is getting to take control of his disease this way; the disease is not constantly controlling him. This can also be done with soaps and other products that he needs to use in daily care for his skin.

Watch for stress to raise its ugly head and nip it in the bud before it has a chance to case problems. Stress often triggers a flare up. By keeping stress at bay through stress management, you child will experience fewer flare ups than he would otherwise.

Make him responsible for following most of the daily care for the eczema. You should apply (or supervise application of) medication, but a simple check list for daily care will help him feel like he is taking the bull by the horns, so to speak.

However you decide to go about it, you need to make sure that you child understands that eczema is a part of who he is, but it does not define him. He can help push the disease into a manageable corner of his life through some intervention by you and will grow into a much more confident individual through it.
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