ADHD is not uncommon for individuals suffering with eczema. Recent research shows a link between the two conditions. A German study performed in 2013 reported that children with eczema had a 43% higher risk to develop ADHD or exhibit symptoms of ADHD than kids without eczema. A 2013 study done in the Netherlands discovered a higher risk of skin infections in children that have been diagnosed with ADHD.
One theory on why these conditions are related is linked to the itch and the sleep disturbances resulting from the itching. Eczema can cause intense itching and it increases at night causing sleep deprivation. Studies report the eczema itch can disrupt up to two hours of lost sleep. This can significantly affect daytime and school behavior. This itchiness also continues into the school days and causes the children to not be able to sit still and combined with being sleep deprived it can exhibit as ADHD.
Controlling eczema cannot only affect the child’s sleep, it can also greatly improve their behavior during the day. Many parents report a change in behavior when the child’s eczema is controlled and symptoms are minimized.
Stress, ADHD and Eczema. Stress is a trigger for eczema and unfortunately many eczema sufferers report feeling stressed when they have an eczema flare. Children with ADHD are also more likely to feel anxiety and stress which can trigger an eczema flare. Eczema and ADHD can affect each other and it is important to work at controlling both simultaneously. Having eczema can cause anxiety that can make the eczema worse and the stress can increase ADHD symptoms from lack of sleep and daytime itching and drowsiness. It is important to keep children with eczema and ADHD symptoms on a schedule which includes a healthy diet, a regular sleep schedule and daily skin maintenance.
Daily skin maintenance. The soak and seal method for eczema is a wonderful way to keep eczema skin healthy and prevent future eczema flares. It is recommended daily even if eczema is under control to prevent an eczema flare. If more moisture is needed, wet and dry wrap therapy is the next step in calming itchy eczema and repairing the skin barrier. Below is a diagram for wet wrap therapy. Dry wrap therapy is also effective for mild to moderate eczema. Wet wrap therapy is effective for moderate to severe eczema.
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