While most parents consider itching to be a minor nuisance, the story is very different for dry and sensitive skin patients, particularly children. Itching prompts scratching that can be beneficial in getting rid of various irritants from skin. However, for children that suffer from dry and sensitive skin, stopping the scratch is a challenge.
Scratching provides temporary relief but this relief is short lived. Intense scratching damages skin and further irritates sensitive skin and subsequently causes more intense itching later.
This cycle is problematic as it rapidly worsens the dry and sensitive skin and breaks the skin layer leaving the resultant wound open to risks of bacteria getting under the skin.
Stopping the Cycle
Itching has to be controlled successfully in order to stop the scratching. Breaking this cycle also prevents an increased irritation which is responsible for producing the itch in the first place.
Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to get your child to resist the urge to scratch since itching from dry and sensitive skin is unrelenting.
Here are some simple tips you can use to help relieve itchiness that eventually leads to less scratching.
1. Reduce Stress
Research shows that stress can trigger or aggravate dry and sensitive skin. If you child suffers from dry and sensitive skin it is helpful to minimise stress as much as possible. Keep track of what triggers stress in your child and find ways to minimise its effect. Also introduce activities that are soothing and calming.
2. Avoid Irritants
Foods such as dairy products, eggs, fish, nuts, and tomatoes have been known to aggravate dry and sensitive skin. Similarly, exposure to cigarette smoke, certain soaps, detergents, sand, pet dander, synthetic fibers, and course fabrics like wool also aggravates dry and sensitive skin. Learn about the triggers that affect your little one and make genuine efforts to avoid them.
3. Try Probiotics
Probiotics have been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of dry and sensitive skin. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for a probiotic that’s suitable for children.
4. Keep Skin Clean
Choose a body wash that’s suitable for itchy, irritated skin. Make sure it does not contain skin-irritating ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) and avoid soap-based cleansers.
5. Use A Safe Cream For Dry & Sensitive Skin
It’s important to find a good quality cream for dry and sensitive skin that has itch-relieving properties. Some creams can be harmful to your baby’s skin, especially if used regularly, so make sure that you find something that is free from artificial fragrances and chemical irritants.
Dry and sensitive skin is known to cause a lot of discomfort to babies and unfortunately it has no cure. All we can do is care for our children and support them as best as possible. The biggest obstacle to the effective care of dry and sensitive skin is the danger of scratching that leads to a risk of bacteria getting under the skin, as children find it difficult to avoid the itch. However, we hope the 5 tips above will help you break the cycle to care for your child’s dry and sensitive skin successfully.