One of the triggers for eczema flare-ups is stress, which generally means emotional and mental stress. A child afflicted with the condition may also experience serious flare-ups when he or she is under stress. Ines Cano Uribe, a BSc Psychology student currently working on her degree validation at UOC, believes that a child goes through emotional and mental stress as much as adults, and maybe even more so. A child afflicted with a condition that could make them feel isolated or “different,” will be likely to experience a certain level of stress.
As the parent, guardian or caregiver, you would want to help the child cope with the condition as best you could, and one of the factors that you may need to focus on is the child’s stress triggers. When your body feels tense, your physiological protective system kicks in, causing the body to send signals to protect the skin by causing inflammation. Unfortunately, if you are already suffering from eczema, this extra protective layer of inflammation will only make the condition worse.
With that said, what you want is to reduce the patient’s stress levels by eliminating their triggers. Here are a few ways to do that:
1. Make sure that your child gets enough sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re likely to wake up tired, tense, and weak even before you start your day. Imagine a child feeling this way the minute they wake up. Understandably, the itchiness might prevent the patient from getting a good night’s sleep, so you’re going to have to address the itchiness. You can apply lotion or petroleum jelly to moisturize the skin, apply a wet towel directly on the red patches, or give the patient antihistamine.
Please be reminded that the patient’s doctor should first clear the solutions mentioned above. It’s important that medication and other treatments applied to the patient are either prescribed or cleared/approved by a doctor to prevent aggravating the condition further.
2. Encourage relaxation/relaxing activities. Common stress factors for children include school tests, sports events, projects, and peers. It’s never too early to teach your child about breathing/relaxation techniques. You can also do fun activities with them to make them feel more relaxed.
3. Talk often. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to “talk it out of your child.” When adults are dealing with a stressful situation, they often seek out friends to talk about their problems. It’s the same with kids. Ask them why they seem upset and talk to them about it.
If you would like to comment on this post, please feel free to contact Ines Cano Uribe at your convenience.