What do you think your child would say is the worst thing about their eczema? There’s a good chance they’ll tell you it’s the itch. The National Eczema Association mentions that every person who has eczema must cope with that itch. As you know all too well, itching leads to scratching, which results in the development of eczema and more dry skin. It then becomes a domino effect as dry skin and eczema cause more itching. The “itch-scratch cycle,” as what it’s known, is by no means fun for your child. That said, understanding why eczema itches can help you manage the condition’s symptoms more effectively.
What Causes Eczema to Itch?
The itch in the skin begins when free nerve fibers are stimulated by nerve endings called C fibers. Found in the top layer of the skin, these nerve endings can be stimulated by a variety of factors such as environmental irritants, dry skin, flares, or chemical mediators in the skin. The body responds to the itch by activating nerve pathways and sending messages to the brain. Not surprisingly, the behavior response to the itch is scratching. However, atopic dermatitis is a bit different. With this condition, neurogenic itch and psychogenic itch come into the equation. On one hand, neurogenic itch begins in the central nervous system in response to circulating itch factors. Psychogenic itch, meanwhile, relates to itch that’s stimulated by psychological factors. When it comes to eczema, there are typically unconscious or conscious desires to scratch.
Factors That Cause the Itch
- Skin barrier alteration - Those with normal skin have a resistant barrier that shields the underlying skin from irritants while also preventing water loss from the body. In contrast, those with eczema have an altered skin barrier due to the gene that determines the typical structure of the barrier. Therefore, the levels of natural moisturizing factors are decreased. Cells then shrink because they’re unable to retain water, causing gaps between skin cells. Skin barrier alteration invites the entry of irritants, and of course, the itch.
- Flares - When eczema becomes red and sore, the itch soon follows. Keep in mind that inflammation is driven by several chemical mediators which also contribute to the itch.
- Itching and sweating - Sweat and perspiration induce itching due to altered sensations in the sweat gland nerve endings in the skin. That’s why it’s a good idea to limit the level of your child’s exercise.
- Environmental triggers - Soaps, perfumes, detergents, household cleaning products, and other trigger factors may cause the itch due to allergic and irritant reactions.
How Our Eczema Clothing Helps Limit the Itch
Now that you know why eczema itches, what’s the next step? Soothems therapeutic clothing for eczema is designed for children struggling with sensitive skin conditions. Our proprietary material called TEWLTect protects and soothes itchy skin so that your child can feel more comfortable. Not only that, but the healing power of Soothems leads to a better night sleep for your child and the entire family!
From eczema suits to eczema sleeves, we are proud to be fully committed to delivering products with the utmost integrity, quality, and value. Shop Soothems products today.