How to Help Your Child Stop Scratching Their Skin– Itchy Baby Co.

How to Help Your Child Stop Scratching Their Skin

  • by Rachelle Davenport
How to Help Your Child Stop Scratching Their Skin

How to Help Your Child Stop Scratching Their Skin

When your child has dry, itchy or eczema-prone skin, it can feel like a never-ending battle to get them to stop scratching. But doing what you can to keep them from scratching is super important – when they scratch their skin and it becomes broken, it can lead to bacterial infections, inflammation and increased risk of scarring. When they scratch, it can also put them in something called the 'itch-scratch cycle'. This is where their scratching damages the skin, leading to worse flare-ups, leading to more scratching. It can be very hard to break out of this cycle, so it’s best to do what you can to try and prevent it from starting!

Keeping their skin hydrated and nourished with things like lukewarm colloidal oatmeal bath soaks and plenty of moisturiser can help ease dryness and itching and prevent the itch-scratch cycle from taking hold. We’re here to help you understand why your little one may be scratching and what you can do to help.

What is making my child scratch their skin?

There are many reasons why your child may feel the need to start scratching. It’s often triggered by something in their external environment, like house dust mites, pollen, pet dander, prickly clothing, soaps, household cleaning chemicals and other allergens. It can even be triggered by sweat or sudden temperature changes! Itching can also be triggered by psychological factors, which can be unconscious or unconscious (like a response to habits or stress).

In the case of external triggers, when your child’s skin feels aggravated, the brain receives a nerve signal, urging your child to respond with a behaviour like scratching. Intense scratching to relieve the itch can feel pleasurable in the moment but can lead to inflamed and broken skin – and so the itch-scratch cycle begins! This great article goes into depth about why eczema is itchy.

Tips on how to stop your child scratching

Regular bath time routine  

Bathing your child regularly helps remove irritants on their skin, which could trigger itching, inflammation and infection. Using gentle products in the bath, like our Oatmeal Bath Soak, gently cleanses the skin and gives it an opportunity to absorb some extra moisture. Always use lukewarm water (hot water can trigger itching) and apply moisturiser within a few minutes of getting them out of the bath while their skin is towel-dried but still damp.

A bedtime routine for less itchy sleep

Children with eczema can find it difficult to sleep, as there is no activity to distract them from scratching. Their skin can also become hot during the night, causing more irritation.

A consistent bedtime routine and eczema-friendly sleeping space can help your little one get a better night’s sleep. Some ways to do this include:

  • Keeping their bedroom cool and as allergen-free as possible
  • Dressing them in comfortable pyjamas, preferably made of breathable cotton fabric
  • Use light cotton bed sheets and cotton blankets when needed. Try layering cotton sheets and blankets instead of using heavy doonas, as these can trap heat around your little one’s body, increasing their need to scratch
  • Apply moisturiser around 20 minutes before bedtime so they go to bed with hydrated skin.

Use a cold compress

If your child is amid a flare-up, it may help to apply a damp wash cloth to their skin, holding the compress until the itching sensation passes. This is especially useful on hot days to take the heat out of the skin or on a very itchy patch of skin when your child has come into contact with one of their triggers.

On top of controlling and avoiding external triggers in your little one's environment, we hope these tips can help you ease their itchy skin and find more comfort. 

This blog post was brought to you and your child with love and care from the Itchy Baby Co. team. X

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional

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