My Daughters Eczema and The Dreaded Night Itch

My daughters have eczema. I think it’s mostly linked to them eating dairy, but there are probably some other sensitivities mixed in there too. It’s hard because as their mum I can’t help but blame myself. Did I some how make them wrong? Is it something I ate (or didn’t eat) when pregnant? Did I expose them to the wrong chemicals as newborns? I will never know if there is something I could have done to stop them getting eczema in the first place, but I can help them when they have a flare up or it’s dry and itchy.

A child applying Epaderm Junior Ointment on to the eczema on her legs while wearing pyjamas
Applying Epaderm Junior Ointment

My Daughters Eczema 

My youngest daughter has only recently developed eczema and it hasn’t caused her many problems yet. My eldest has had it since she was a baby. I remember at the worst point as a toddler she had lots of red angry patches including behind both knees, on the insides of her elbows and on her face. Fortunately cutting right back on dairy made a big difference. Now (aged 8) she mostly has it on her legs.

There are nights my eldest wakes up and can’t get back to sleep because of “the itch”. Only last week it was bad enough that she made herself bleed while scratching. Most of the time her eczema isn’t so bad now, but every so often it gets that little bit worse and it's enough to cause problems.

I had got out of the habit of encouraging her to apply cream every day. When we use emollient cream regularly it stops the skin drying out so it doesn’t get so itchy. We find it best to apply after bath time and in the morning. I know there is the option to put ointment in the bath too, but she likes to have bubbles so I choose a gentle bubble bath (designed for babies) and we put the cream on problem areas afterwards.

Except as I said, we got lazy and haven’t been applying it recently. When we forget to look after her skin and it wakes her in the night it doesn’t matter how old my big girl has become she needs cuddles. We gently rub in ointment, I give her a hug and stroke her head while she goes back to sleep. When she was in a normal bed I would lie next to her, but now she’s in a bunk bed and I often have the baby in my bed so it’s not so easy. Age might make her great at a lot of things, but it doesn’t make her any better at not scratching. Soft cotton pyjama bottoms can help because even if she does scratch her nails can’t do as much damage, but prevention is definitely better than cure. 

If your child has eczema then find a cream that will help soothe it. We found so many made my eldest’s skin sting that she refused to try any more for a while. She happily applies the Epaderm Frog ointment or Hippo cream though so I confidently recommend it (that’s Epaderm Junior to give it the real name). During the day distractions will work when they have the itch, but at night I find cuddles work best. 

 Check out this post I wrote last year for 10 ways to stop your child scratching their dry skin.

Epaderm Junior Ointment, Epaderm Junior Cream and jelly cat frog and hippo
Epaderm Junior Products for Dry Skin, Eczema and Psoriasis
***Disclosure: This post is part of an Epaderm competition #EpadermMeandMyLittleOne . Epaderm® is available online, in-store and on prescription. We have previously been gifted Epaderm Junior products. ***

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