Being a mama of two-year-old twins and doing the course I am doing, there are many times that there are crossovers between my personal and professional lives. I learn something from a parent I have met, or a colleague I have worked with or some training I have done and know that I can take that information and it will have a positive impact on my home life. I can also experience something with Biscuit and/or Cracker and it makes me a better public health nurse.
I have been working my behind off at academic work for the past few weeks and one of the essays (yes I did say one of the essays, please feel for me!) was regarding a prescription for topical treatment for eczema. Biscuit and Cracker have always had super sensitive skin and both of them have since been diagnosed with eczema and prescribed triple emollient therapy.
Triple emollient therapy is when a child (I can only speak from experience with children) gets three products- a cream/gel, bath stuff and a soap-substitute (sometimes one product can be used for both the bath and for washing with, it depends on what is prescribed). There are lots of products available on the market, both over-the-counter from your pharmacist or on prescription. It can depend on what the prescriber is used to, what their trust recommends and what the patient (or parent/carer) knows and likes. If you are thinking that your little one needs eczema treatment- remember that the greasier the cream, the better it is. It just may feel a bit slippery on their skin. It took us a couple of different products before we found ones that worked well for us.
I am not writing this post to tell you whether your child needs creams prescribing, or what treatment your prescriber will recommend. If you have any worries or concerns, please see your GP/Health VIsitor/Pharmacist and talk through with them and allow them to assess your child’s skin.
I wanted to write this post to give you tips that I have found out through research, and that we have found useful to know.
1) If you use the bath additive, be aware of how slippery your child will be. Please take extra care. Little ones may slip out of your hand and bigger ones may slip over in the bath or on the bathroom floor.
2) This is one of my Top Tips! We found that, when using a bath additive, our bath was always incredibly greasy and was constantly getting blocked. I have since found out that squirting washing-up liquid round the bath and rinsing it off makes the bath squeaky clean, as well cutting through any grease in the pipes and saving us having to use the plunger to drain the water away!!
3) When drying a child, try and pat them dry rather than rubbing. This is gentler on their skin and won’t rub off any of that moisturising layer from the bath additive.
4) When applying cream to them, smooth it on, rather than rubbing it in, and go in the direction of their hair growth. If you put cream on your arms against the hair growth you can feel that it is not comfortable!
5) As soon as Biscuit and Cracker have had their cream applied at night we put them straight in their cotton pyjamas. We found that you can really smother them in it and the pjs keep it on their skin. PLUS it doesn’t go everywhere.
6) Try to use cotton clothes as much as possible.
7) Use non-biological washing powder and sensitive fabric conditioner. I am waiting for something to happen to my washing machine as we can’t use a well-known product that reduces limescale and helps it to “live longer”.
8) Apply the cream often, we put in on Cracker (whose skin is worse) in the morning, at lunchtime and before bed, plus whenever we see him scratching.
I hope that at least one of my tips may be useful to you if your child has eczema. Let me know if you have any others and I will update my list!
The views and tips listed here are all my own.