My Child is Skin-Conscious: What Can I Do About It?

In an era where image is given more importance than ever before, especially because of social media, looking “perfect” is something many people strive for.

Even children.

And for children with skin conditions such as eczema, this idea of maintaining a certain image can weigh heavily on them. According to NationalEczema, “living with eczema can be downright challenging on our emotional well-being. Anxiety and stress are common triggers that cause eczema to flare up, which then creates more anxiety and stress, which then leads to more eczema flare-ups.” Furthermore, many other scientific studies or journals corroborate the fact that having eczema can affect children’s mental health.

With this being said, the first step to helping your child deal with this condition — apart from managing it on a physical level — is to recognize it for what it is. Contemporary Pediatrics says that “critical to helping children with the psychosocial issues potentially developing from skin diseases is first the recognition that skin diseases can and do cause much suffering in children, and this suffering can have negative consequences that carry into adulthood.”

How can parents help their children navigate this world of eczema with the hope that they can transition smoothly to adulthood, unscathed? Here are a few ideas.

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Be aware of the way you look at them

Children pick up on cues, especially when you appear like you’re feeling overly sorry for them. Refrain from looking at their skin repetitively and obsessively; instead, look at them with love. Avoid asking them also about how they’re feeling all the time and try to divert your conversations towards more “normal” topics like school, their friends, their favorite games or shows, their hobbies, and the like.

Empower your kids to make decisions on their clothes

Not all kinds of clothing are eczema-friendly, but a wide enough range of them are. Look at the options available to your child and allow them to select the kinds of clothes that make them comfortable and at ease.

Educate others

Your child might be embarrassed to admit that they have a skin condition, or what their skin condition is. Their friends might be curious, and it might be worth it to explain to your child’s friends what your child has in a way that they can understand. Your child’s teachers, coaches, and other authority figures should also be kept informed so they can better help your child manage their condition.

Prepare your child

Your child might be ashamed about what they have, but it’s important to reassure him/her that everyone has something that they struggle with; some just manifest these struggles more physically. Help your child reframe the way they view their eczema and instead, prepare them to answer questions from well-meaning friends, classmates, and maybe even strangers.

Be open to outside help

There might be questions or issues beyond what you can answer or manage as a parent, and that’s okay. So if your child might need to see their dermatologist, or even a therapist or psychologist, support them by allowing them to seek consultation.

This applies to any adult suffering from skin conditions-induced anxiety, or even a child. According to this site, “If your skin condition is making you feel low, stopping you (from) doing things or holding you back from the things you want, it is vital to let your doctor or dermatologist know. They will work things through with you or enlist the help of a clinical psychologist with an interest in skin disease." 

To know more about helping your child manage their eczema, contact us today.


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