As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, the itch of eczema tends to be the most challenging symptom that comes with the ailment. Many parents find that their child starts to itch more just before bedtime or even after they fall asleep. Why is this the case and how do you go about ensuring a restful night for everyone? Keep reading to learn more.
Wet Wrap Therapy for Eczema
Let’s first answer the question of why your child’s eczema flares up at night. It all ties back to the secretion of cortisol, which is the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory hormone. It’s important to know that cortisol is at its highest level in the morning and the lowest at night. So if you find your child scratching in their sleep, it’s because the cortisol has yet to kick in.
Now that you know the reason for all that itchiness at night, let’s discuss solutions. The first one to try is wet wrap therapy. First, apply a damp wrap under your child’s pajamas. This damp wrap works to calm the itch and repair the skin barrier to help alleviate the itch. Research shows that wet wrap therapy can reduce symptoms by up to 70 percent. However, before starting the process, make sure the wrap is FDA regulated and designed specifically for wet wrap therapy. Keep in mind that these garments have features such as built-in hard covers to prevent scratching and potential entry points to itch. Most importantly, consult a healthcare professional to decide if wet wrap therapy would be beneficial for your child.
Other Ways to Reduce Eczema Itchiness
Wet wrapping is the only way to relieve the itchiness of eczema. There are plenty of safe, natural methods to suppress the C-fiber nerve endings that give our brain the itch signal. Here are a few to try with your child:
- Ice - Icing the affected area can numb the C-fibers from transmitting itchy signals to the brain. Consider holding an ice pack over the area for about five minutes. Depending on how well your child tolerates it, an ice bath or cold shower would also do the trick. This makes the fibers slow, meaning they won’t transmit itching signals as quickly to the brain.
- Keep them busy - Have your child do something that requires concentration so they don’t have their entire focus on itching. Maybe it’s an educational game or easy chores prior to bedtime as a way to keep them occupied.
- Epsom salt baths - Epsom salts do wonders for the body. For one, they act as an alkalizing agent that balances your body’s pH and draws toxins. On top of this, Epsom salts soothe the skin. Don’t make it part of your child’s everyday routine, though. Once or twice a week should be more than enough. If you have any questions about Epsom salt baths, reach out to your child’s physician.
- Moisturize - If your child’s eczema is red, inflamed, and burning, you want to provide them with relief as quickly as possible. One way to do that is a water-based moisturizer such as Aloe Vera. The anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties of this moisturizer work to soothe skin, effectively reducing those feelings of stinging and burning.
- Use green clay - For centuries, clay has been used to treat the worst of burns and skin conditions. Clay draws the sting out of the skin, allowing the healing process to begin more quickly. So if your child’s eczema results in extreme burning or itching sensations, don’t be afraid to turn to clay.
- Keep their fingernails well-manicured - It’s hard to scratch when one’s fingernails are short and smooth. Not to mention, punctured skin from itching only makes matters worse. Parents can even go a step further by putting cotton gloves on their child’s hands to prevent scratching.
- Keep temperature and humidity levels comfortable - The itch/scratch cycle can be triggered in environments that are overly dry or humid.
If you’ve tried the aforementioned tips and still have little success managing your child’s symptoms, it’s time to turn to Soothems. Our eczema clothing was developed as a therapeutic treatment to help those dealing with eczema and other skin conditions. Made from a proprietary smart fabric called TEWLTect, Soothems does the following:
- Preserves skin moisture
- Reduces itching
- Controls bacteria growth
- Soothes skin during healing
From eczema suits to eczema sleeves, we have just what your child needs to sleep through the night. Shop Soothems for therapeutic clothing for eczema.