How To Manage Chronic Skin Problems In Children
Hope you are all well. We here in Dublin, Ireland are enjoying the sunshine of late summer. I hope you are too where ever you are in the world.
Selling natural skincare products opened my eyes to some of the many skincare problems faced by many people. I have extremely dry skin and always thought that dry skin is the worst problem ever until I see some of the skin issues many people come to me to help solve. It quickly put things in perspective for me.
Among these many skin issues are the ones faced by children. It is always heartbreaking for me because as a child I faced the problem of skin itching and couldn’t explain it properly to anybody, so I faced it alone.
So, when mothers come to me for a solution that inner child leaps out and wants to do everything in my power to help. Even when mothers don’t come to me, I am guilty of giving unsolicited advice when I see children with skin problems.
Managing skin problems in children is not easy but it is doable. Unfortunately, some skin problems are never completely gone or cured, they come and go at will. These are the ones referred to as chronic skin problems.
Chronic Skin Problems can be eczema, psoriasis, acne, extremely dry skin, rosacea, ichthyosis, vitiligo, hives, seborrheic dermatitis, pimples, and so on.
Chronic skin problem is not just about the physical, it is also mental and emotional anguish. It is not just about being self-conscious but the anxiety about the future as some skin problems previously gone can rear its head for no apparent reason. Don’t be dismissive of children with skin issues.
Here Are 12 Practical Tips To Help Manage Chronic Skin Problems In Children:
1- Moisturising is fundamental
Moisturising is fundamental. No matter the skin issue keeping children’s skin regularly hydrated and moisturized cannot be overstated. Dry skin is mostly major cause of many skin problems.
Use natural ointments like body butters, they are way better at trapping in moisture than body lotions. Even if the child with skin issues has oily skin, it is still very crucial to moisturize because oily skin can still be dehydrated.
2- Bathe children with warm water
Bathe children with warm water and not hot water to prevent skin from drying out. Do please apply a good moisturizer while the skin is still damp.
3- Buy children clothes made with comfortable material
Buy children clothes made with comfortable smooth material like cotton, avoid wool- it can be very itchy. Let their clothes be very light so that they don’t sweat. It is better for them to wear layers of light clothing than to wear uncomfortable thick clothes.
4- Cut children’s nails short
Cut children’s nails short. Most skin problems come with itching. Some adults cannot stop themselves from scratching, so imagine what children will do. They will scratch and this will lead to their skin becoming more irritated creating blisters and bumps. you can also teach them to rub or pat instead of scratching.
5- Make sure children’s rooms are cool
Make sure their rooms are cool and not too hot. Their beddings too should be light and wash often to avoid allergens. Comfort is paramount. Some of the flares of these skin problems can be checked by simply just keeping the children as comfortable as we possibly can.
6- Using prescription cream on children is not a bad idea
Using prescription cream is not a bad idea especially one recommended by a doctor. They are formulated to help.
The trick is to know that prolonged usage can make the skin thin. Instead of using these prescribed medications for a long time go completely natural in every aspect of skincare products you use on children.
The soap, the cream, everything should be as close to nature as possible. Forget those fragranced cream, those colourful Instagram-perfect soaps, stick with Mother Nature.
7- Improve the children’s self-esteem by talking with them
Improve the child’s self-esteem by talking with him/her about their skin issues. Teach them how to respond to questions from their peers about it. Other children may tease or bully them because of their skin issues, you need to show them how to deal with this. Encourage them not to hide their skin problems.
8- Prevention is always better than cure
Prevention is always better than cure, which is the case in skin problems in children. Teach them ways to identify and deal with stressful situations because stress can trigger skin problems especially if they have the tendency to have the problem. You are giving them a lifelong skill.
9- Please, believe children with skin issues
No matter how ridiculous it is please believe them. Some skin problems may not be visible, even psychological. Don’t dismiss them as attention seekers or liars. Talk with them and find out what is going on. Reassure them about their problems.
I know children can be annoying, especially those in their teenage years. They will pick the tiniest problem, fixated over it, and become self-conscious over it. Remember you were young once and what sometimes looks like a huge catastrophe to you at the time and dismissed by adults was upsetting. So do your utmost best to reassure the child.
Be the adult they are comfortable sharing their concerns with.
10- Don’t keep children with skin problems in the dark
Explain what the skin problem is to the child using age-appropriate words. Involve them in the management of the problem. Explain their treatment to them. Encourage them to ask questions and try to be honest in your answers, if you don’t know the answer, tell the child you don’t know. Then find out the answer and get back to the child. This will help them take care of themselves better and boost their confidence.
11- Use completely natural plant-based skincare products on children
A simple and easy way to keep children comfortable is to use completely natural plant-based skincare products. Make sure the skincare products are free from preservatives, fragrances, artificial colours, and other harmful ingredients. Even better if you can make these skincare products yourself and keep them as clean as possible. This way you can avoid over-processed skincare products.
12- Seek professional help for the mental health of children with skin problems
You might also consider seeing a therapist if you and your child are struggling badly with the stress of dealing with skin issues. A professional might be able to get through to your child better than you, the parent. Don’t underestimate the mental toll skin problems can have on children.
These are all practical strategies parents can use to help their children deal with skin problems without damaging their mental health. Parents can also do these to further help their children:
- Let these children know they are not alone, many people especially children like them have it or something similar too.
- Read stories written for or by children with skin problems.
- Teach them how to explain their condition to their friends.
- Educate them on how to deal with bullying.
- Get their teachers involved in the children’s problems
- Above all- LOVE CHILDREN WITH CHRONIC SKIN PROBLEMS LIKE OTHER CHILDREN! They are not different.
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