The Link Between Stress and Childhood Eczema | Itchy Baby Co Blog– Itchy Baby Co.

Unmasking my Son's Daycare Dilemma: Stress as a Trigger for Eczema Flare-Ups

  • by Lauran Morphett
Unmasking my Son's Daycare Dilemma: Stress as a Trigger for Eczema Flare-Ups

Unmasking my Son's Daycare Dilemma: Stress as a Trigger for Eczema Flare-Ups

Stress in your little one can be caused by a number of different factors. None of these are good for their itchy, dry and irritated skin, which can worsen and flare up when these triggers occur.

To prevent flare-ups during times of stress, make sure your little one’s skin is hydrated and moisturised. Use our oatmeal bath soaks and moisturiser before bed to ensure your bub’s skin is nourished before sleep. This will help prevent those nasty flare-ups and make sure they are getting a good night’s sleep with less itching. 

Why is it that on the days my little boy went to daycare, his skin always seemed worse? So many people told me it was the sandpit, but even on the days, there was no sandpit play, his skin was still affected. So, what was causing his eczema to flare up while he was at daycare?

After a lot of monitoring all sorts of possible triggers, like whether he played in the sandpit that day or not, analysing the weekly menu to try and pick up a pattern, taking note of whether it was a hot or cold day, and making sure his own sunscreen was applied which I knew didn’t irritate his skin… I wasn’t able to find a culprit.

There was one possibility left. And this was stress. The emotional stress of being in a less familiar environment, being away from me, and dealing with the everyday happenings at daycare was quite possibly the reason for his eczema flare-ups.

What types of stress trigger eczema?

  • Separation anxiety: When your child is away from you for long periods of time, it may cause them mental and emotional distress and result in their skin being itchier.

  • The stress scratch cycle: When your child feels stressed from irritants such as clothing and dust, they may begin to scratch their skin intensely.

  • Busy schedules: Just like all of us, when schedules get more hectic, we start to feel stressed and begin to worry. Children also feel this when their routines become overloaded or changed, so it is important to maintain a more relaxed routine for your little one and sometimes choose to do less.

How can I manage my child’s stress?

There are some changes you could make which could help to lessen eczema flare-ups related to stress.

Itchy skin can make sleeping well really challenging, and the lack of sleep can result in your child feeling stressed, worsening eczema symptoms. To help your little one (and you) get a good night’s sleep, you could try the following:

  • A good bath time routine can help some children relax, especially if it is part of their known routine and a signal that bedtime is approaching
  • After the bath massage their skin using a hydrating moisturiser or scalp oil to protect the skin from drying out and getting itchy during the night.
  • Limit the use of screen time two hours before bed time.
  • Make sure your child’s bedroom is a relaxed environment – not too hot or cold. It is also important to dress your child up in pyjamas made of cotton which is a breathable fabric and lessens the heat around the body, which can cause itchiness.

Although stress may not directly cause eczema, it can increase the incidence of eczema flare-ups. Just being aware of stress as a trigger for your child’s eczema can influence decisions you make about your day-to-day routine. It will also allow you to keep their skin hydrated with a bath soak or a moisturiser to prevent flare-ups before they occur. 

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and 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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