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Managing your child's eczema - top tips from the expert

[caption id="attachment_2181" align="alignright" width="300"]Cetraben helps you manage problematic, dry and eczema-prone skin. Cetraben helps you manage problematic, dry and eczema-prone skin.[/caption] By Behavioural Expert, Lorraine Thomas. Infant eczema can be incredibly common and can be difficult to manage as your baby or toddler may struggle to express how they are feeling. Cetraben, the UK’s fastest growing emollient brand[1], have teamed up with Behavioural Expert, Lorraine Thomas who shares her tips on helping your infants deal with eczema. Re-Frame Treatment Time “Rather than the treatment time being a negative, re-frame it for them as a time when you can really be together.   Your child’s bedtime routine can be a great place for them to know that they have mum or dad’s full attention.  It will help them feel valued and secure and a time they look forward to rather than dread.  If you have a baby, enjoy the massage.  If your child is older, enjoy the 1-1 time with them.  Sometimes re-framing things that must happen, like mealtimes, bath times, medication – can totally change your perspective and become something you enjoy rather than a task you have to get through.   If she knows you are looking forward to it, she will too.”

Empathise “It can be so hard to watch your child struggle and not be able to take the problem away.  What is most important for your child is to know that you are there for him/her.  Step into their shoes and try to understand what they are going through and how challenging it is for them.  You can’t take the irritation away, but you can empathise with them.  Give them kisses and cuddles and help them to feel valued and secure.  The key thing for you is that you stay calm and as positive as you can -  when they cannot. This will help.” Use Visualisation Techniques “Visualisation can really help - I worked with one mum whose son had very bad eczema and it was really having an impact on family life.   He created his own ‘super hero’ who would help him battle the eczema when it was annoying him.  He drew the super hero – basing it on a rugby ball -  because he loved playing it.  He decided what his hero would say to him when he was cross – ‘Come on keep calm, you can do it’, ‘Think about scoring a goal instead’, ‘Kick the ball hard in your mind – and send the eczema into the crowd’.  When he was cross with the eczema, he closed his eyes visualised his hero and what he would say to him.  Every child will create the super hero that means something to them and this can be very powerful – helping them to keep calm, not just with medical treatments but with fear and anxiety in all walks of life.” Demonstrate a Good Reaction “The urge to scratch can be painful and frustrating.   Children’s brains struggle to process negative so give them clear directions.  So rather than say, ‘stop scratching’ or ‘don’t scratch you will make it worse’ – show and tell them what you want them to try to do.  For example, give them something that they squeeze very tightly like a sponge ball, or play a clapping game with them as this will use their hands and hopefully distract them a little from the urge to scratch. “ Find a Routine “Establishing routines can take time to begin with but in the long run they are always very helpful.  Routines, structure and schedules are all really important for children of all ages. If they know their eczema treatment is followed by something they love like their favourite story book, you can say ‘the faster we get your treatment done, the faster we can read together!’ Help your child to take the treatment in their stride – by taking it in yours.  If you make it a big thing – they will too.  Try to make it as natural and normal a part of their routine as cleaning their teeth or putting on their pyjamas.’” Implement Distraction Techniques   “At a time when you are both relaxed, create a box of ideas for things to do when they are feeling itchy.  Have fun brainstorming ideas and write each one on a piece of paper – it could be playing their favourite game, drawing, making something, having a fun dance. Then when they are feeling frustrated with eczema, they can pull one of the ideas out of the box to try.  It may not take the itch away, but it will be a distraction and time with mum or dad – and this may help a lot.” Use Cotton Sheets “A child with eczema and find sleeping a problem as their skin will get hotter at night so keep their bedroom cool and use cotton sheets or a light, natural fibre duvet.  If they are having a bath or shower, make sure it is warm water, not hot.  Apply their ointment at least 30 minutes before they get into bed to allow it time soak in to the skin.  Be aware that pets can make skin conditions worse, so keep them out of the bedroom.” Look for Support “It is important to get advice and support and not feel you have to go through all of this alone.  There are lots of different kinds of support available.  You can take a look at the expert advice on the Cetraben website.  If you are worried, talk to your health visitor or GP”

cetrabenIf you’re looking for products to easily incorporate into your child’s routine, Cetraben have just launched their new Daily Cleansing Cream for eczema prone skin. Cetraben Daily Cleansing Cream is a new 2-in-1 product for use as a cleansing soap substitute therefore perfect for using whilst bathing your baby without interrupting their routine. Available from Boots and Boots Online, £7.99 for 200ml.