The bulk of information surrounding eczema focuses on young children who develop eczema between 4 months and 5 years. But some kids don’t outgrow eczema after age 5 or they may develop eczema in their teen years. We're sharing some tips on how to help teens cope with eczema and develop a good skin care routine to prevent and control eczema flares.
A good skin care routine is essential for all who suffer with eczema, but it’s probably not the first thing on a teenager’s mind. I’m constantly reminding my almost teenage son about the importance of good hygiene! He would rather play baseball or work on his latest computer project. But skipping a good skin care routine can have consequences. For example not showering after playing sports and sweating can contribute to an eczema flare. And if they don't have access to an emollient or other moisturizer throughout the day it can lead to cracked and dry skin.
Eczema can take a different toll on teens than a smaller child. Teens may feel self-conscious of their itchy red skin rashes and stay away from normal socializing. A lack of sleep from nighttime scratching can lead to sleep deprivation which can cause loss of motivation, lack of focus and possibly depression. In addition, many teens feel stress to perform well academically and prepare for college. All of this can make for a perfect storm leading to a bad eczema flare and lower quality of life.
Below we share some tips for introducing teens to a good eczema skin care routine.
Schedule a meeting with your teens physician to discuss the importance of a simple and easy to follow daily skin care routine. The doctor will asses the severity of any existing eczema flare and allow your child to ask questions. Your teen may want to talk about how to maintain their regular level of activities, sports and social involvement while having eczema. Some teens with eczema may also have food allergies and asthma and could feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of managing multiple conditions.
Once your teen and physician have a plan in place, post the written steps in the bathroom or bedroom as a gentle reminder. Adding a favorite photo or inspirational quote or a favorite photo of themselves to the list can lighten the mood and motivate.
Consider asking your teen to shop with you for skin care products. Your teen may be more inclined to use a cleanser and moisturizer regularly if they have a say in which to use. When they find a moisturizer they like they can pack a smaller of tube of it in their back pack or purse.
Check out this helpful article by the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital which gives a good overview of teen eczema.
If scratchy sports uniforms or sweat contribute to your teen’s eczema, wearing eczema sleeves underneath can act as a barrier to itchy fabric and absorb sweat. Wearing eczema sleeves and or gloves at night over emollients or for wet wrap therapy can also act as a barrier to scratching and relieve itchiness.
If your child has severe eczema that is uncontrolled or is having mental health issues because of their eczema or other allergies, talk with their doctor. For more information visit the National Eczema Association website.
Please remember information on our blog is not designed or meant to replace a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.