Your child dreads waking up in the morning and going to school. It’s not because they don’t like their teacher or the work is too difficult. They just know that soon after they arrive, the bullying begins. As explained in this piece from the National Eczema Association, bullying takes place “in the form of verbal, physical, social, or psychological taunts that are harmful, repetitive, and involve an imbalance of power.” It may occur directly or via electronic means in the form of cyberbullying. The unfortunate reality is that eczema opens up the door for bullying. Since the effects of eczema are visible, those with the skin condition may be identified by their peers as “weird” or “different.” Keep reading to learn more about the relationship between eczema and bullying.
Here are just some of the impacts of bullying/teasing in children:
- Lowers one’s self-image and self-esteem
- Reduces the quality of life and more frequent depression
- Increases anxiety levels and social phobias
- Increases feelings of loneliness
- Discourages contact with friends
Granted, not every child with eczema is bullied. However, if you at all suspect that your son or daughter is being treated poorly at school by their peers, there are steps you can take:
- Keep emphasizing good skin care - Your child may feel as though they will never truly kick the effects of eczema. That thinking becomes more prominent when they’re constantly reminded of their condition by other students. However, don’t overlook the importance of managing their skin. While there may not be a cure for eczema, there are plenty of ways to manage the symptoms. By controlling your child’s eczema, they will hopefully begin to physically feel better, sleep better, and itch less. All of this plays a role in overall mood and ability to cope with stressful social scenarios. Plus, your child may not have to worry about bullies if they exhibit less visible eczema and scratching.
- Practice situation-based responses - Children feel more comfortable dealing with bullies when they’re prepared. As difficult as it may be, try posing as the bully and help your child with the necessary words/actions to stand up for themselves. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the school, either. There should be a zero-tolerance policy for bullying.
- Get others involved - Eczema may be one of the most common skin conditions and yet a lot of people don’t know much about it. With that in mind, it’s never too early to educate neighbors, teachers, students, and other parents about eczema and how it specifically impacts your child. Keep in mind that once young children grasp the notion that everyone is different, they will likely be more accepting. Again, this is why it’s imperative for your child to build a number of strong friendships during their formative years. The older they become, the more they can lean on those friends for support and encouragement.
- Be direct with your child - It’s not always easy to tell when a child is being bullied. For example, they may act completely fine at home but totally different at school. Ask your son or daughter directly if they have been teased, bullied, or left out in any way. The last thing you want is for the bullying to continue for years because you never thought to ask when you had the chance.
- Know your resources - Your child’s school should be accommodating in a situation like this. Even if it’s a 504 plan, remember that your son or daughter deserves a relaxed learning environment just like their peers.
How Soothems Eczema Clothing Can Help
There’s no question that children with eczema have a lot on their plate. That’s why our team at Soothems is doing what we can to help. Our garments are made from TEWLTect smart fabrics which work to preserve skin moisture, reduce itching, control bacterial growth, and soothe the skin during the healing process. Soothems eczema clothing is the result of years of textile research to improve the health of human skin and garment design development to solve comfort and fit challenges.
Soothems is different in that the “magic print” found on our smart fabric reacts to body temperature, causing some color images to “disappear” right before your child’s eyes. The combination of reinforcing healing imagery and visible change works wonders for children with eczema. Products at Soothems include:
- Eczema suits
- Eczema sleeves
- Eczema bottoms
- Eczema sleepwear
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us about our products.