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Soothe the Itch - Eczema AdviceSoothing the Itch

Eczema is an itchy reality for many children and a bane for their parents. While there is no cure for this all too common skin condition, eczema can be effectively treated with expert advice, a sound management plan and a good dose of parental perseverance. Here are some tips to help soothe the scratching.

Consult with a GP or specialist who can supervise your child's treatment with regular follow-ups. All treatments are approached on a case by case basis, but doctors will usually prescribe emollient moisturisers to hydrate the skin; steroid ointments to prevent and control inflammation; antihistamines to treat itching and antibiotics to deal with any infection, a common cause of admission to hospital, particularly with younger babies. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you might have, no matter how insignificant you think they are. You need to be armed with as much information as possible to prevent and treat flare ups.

Concerned About Steroids?
If you're worried about using steroid-based creams, discuss your concerns with your doctor. While some steroid-based creams are strong, others (such as 1% hydrocortisone) are actually very weak and almost certainly do not cause skin thinning.

Soothe the Itch Tips

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
You will need to use plenty of moisturising cream – more than you think, more often than you think – even when a flare up has settled down. Ask your doctor for guidance on this.

Bathroom Basics
Avoid all soaps, cleansers and perfumed products such as bubble bath. Stick to a simple soap substitute such as Sorbolene 10% glycerine. After bathing in tepid (not hot) water, pat your child's skin dry with a soft towel and moisturise skin within three minutes.

Banish scratching
Scratching is the number one enemy of eczema so get your child involved in managing their eczema from a young age. The sooner they can make the connection between 'itch' and 'cream', rather than 'itch' and 'scratch', the better. Children as young as 14 months can recognise that moisturising relieves the itch and bring you their cream when they feel itchy.

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Issue: Spring 2016