Stop scratching

How many of you constantly tell your kids "DON'T SCRATCH" and how do they react? It's easy to say don't scratch but at the same time we know how it feels when you have a little itch.... I'm just annoyed with my mother constantly telling my 5 year old don't scratch and getting mad when she don't stop... Frustrating parent with a mother. Who THINKS she has cracked the code of Eczema!!!!!

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My 8 year old suffers from severe eczema and there are times when the scratching is constant. At times she scratches until she cuts her skin open. It's awful. Sometimes I find myself getting mad at her for scratching. I have to stop myself, take a step back and realize that if it was me, I would be scratching until I was bleeding too. It is hard not to tell them to stop. There are times when she is scratching without even realizing it. I just say her name and she knows why. It doesn't always work though.

I know where you are coming from with your Mom. My Dad finally came to the realization that getting mad at her for scratching doesn't do any good. He was constantly scolding her for scratching no matter how often I would tell him not to. They are so uncomfortable as it is, that getting mad at them just makes it worse.

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For anyone at the NEA patient conference recently, remember that they said it's not a good idea to tell kids to stop scratching. What's better is to acknowledge their discomfort and be sympathetic. I can't remember what the recommendation was, maybe to distract them. Maybe it was to ask them what they needed to quiet the itch, if they're old enough to answer. Soak, cream, whatever. I think getting mad at someone for scratching at this unbearable itch makes it worse. If you don't have eczema, or something like it, you really have no idea what the itch feels like. You might think so, but you have to feel it to understand. Energetically, from Chinese medicine, qi, or life energy, has stopped flowing in that area and scratching and breaking the skin actually is a release. We still shouldn't do it because the bacteria on our hands can get into the skin and it's just obviously a bad idea. Sometimes, I just have to scratch, even though as an adult I know it's the wrong behavior. The goal when someone is itching shouldn't be to scold them, but to do something to help them stop. If I were a little kid, I don't know if I could. And even as an adult, please help me stop so my skin won't hurt.

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Thank you for reminding me how uncomfortable it must be. It is hard to understand if you aren't actually experiencing it first hand. I am sorry for anyone who has to suffer that unbearable itch. It truly breaks my heart.

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my mom always told me to stop scratching and she would sometimes screams.. iwould get frustrated because she thinks its sooooo easy 2 stop. i just wish she would realize it isn't dat easy!!!!!!!!!!

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I'm so glad you took that comment the right way. I was concerned that I came off angry and self righteous. Really, sometimes ya have to scratch. As an adult, I know it can hurt me, I know if I create sores on my feet I might not be able to walk or dance without pain, and I can promise that it is not something that people with eczema want to do. Itching is a miserable feeling. If I were a kid, I would want my parent to do anything physically to help quiet the itch, be it soaks, lotion, medicine, ice, anything to make me feel better. And I would want a hug, and some understanding that I feel so horrible. Because anyone that is scratching themselves to bleed is very uncomfortable, even if they aren't really aware of it. So don't yell at someone who feels like that, or scold them. They hurt enough already. Like I read somewhere else re eczema, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Well, maybe on my worst enemy, but mostly not anyone. I'd rather have really bad tooth pain.

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circlingtiger,

Thanks for the suggestions... I saw you mentioned Chinese medicine... Have you ever tried Chinese medicine to help your Eczema? I'm thinking to try it for my 4yr old daughter. If you happen to have any experience, I'd love to hear. Thanks in advance.

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I've had acupuncture, which is Traditional Chinese Medicine, xbw. I think it can be quite helpful for itching and inflammation. It helped get me through the spring of 2011 when I had my patch testing which was uncomfortable. It's also quite calming. I'm doing it now in conjunction with dietary changes. Overall, the inflammation is getting better but I've been pretty itchy lately. Could be heat, allergies, who knows. At the conference, Peter Lio talked in one of the sessions about people doing acupressure on themselves on a point called LI11, large intestine 11, near the elbow, which he said can be helpful. I've never taken herbs for this. My minimal experience with Chinese herbs for other problems hasn't gone well due to gastrointestinal reactions and possible allergic reactions. They are strong, so one has to be quite careful.

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Thank you so much for the info, circlingtiger. That's very helpful.

I recently tried Honeysuckle water(boil Honeysuckle in water) on my daughter's whole body. After several applications, I think it helped more or less to reduce the inflammation and night time itchiness... We have to find some treatment other than steroid for her since it didn't work well all the time.

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I didn't find topical steroids to be very effective. Plus I have contact allergies and my last dermatologist had me using a steroid cream and tar foam which contained allergens, and said not to worry about it. But it made my skin worse! Maybe I needed a stronger dose of a non-allergic steroid cream for shorter duration. So I gave up that doc and stopped the meds. I'm trying other things and have appts with new docs to see.

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I was at the confrence and I do recall the topic on.itching as well I.just wish my.mother was there to be told this cuz she thinks she doing her a favor

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Yeah, I know. I tell people you have a better chance telling me to stop breathing! I have tried not scratching, it goes away for a second then returns like someone stuck me with a pin. I also don't understand why Cortaid has parabens in it. That defeats the purpose

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Has anyone tried shea butter? I have heard that it helps with the itch if there is lavender oil in it. I am trying not to use steroids on my daughter anymore but she is so itchy.

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I stopped steroid cream. It seemed worse at first but settled down. Shea butter is a great moisturizer, not sure of the impact on itch. My acupuncture wants me to soak in water with lavender oil, but I'm afraid due to contact allergies to stuff like that. I think it's supposed to help with itch. Stopping the itch. If we knew how to do that, .....

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Thanks. I am going to try the shea butter on her. It is 2 weeks with no steroids and she is so dry and itchy. I will try anything at this point. We are trying to go to National Jewish Health in Denver. I am hoping that they are on board with us trying their program without steroids.

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Itchylittleladybug ,

My grandmother always told me not to scratch, but it didn't help at all. My Mom used to tell her to leave me alone because she has atopic dermatitis too...

If your daughter suffer from allergies maybe you could see what she touched or ate before. Other factors may affect her like heat, humidity, emotions (if she is scared or sad or someone is fighting around her, etc).

I use anything cold and apply it (an ice pack or cold glass of water, etc) to relieve the itching or ground oatmeal and water (if she is not allergic to oats or gluten, etc).

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tanddi, National Jewish Health came up at the conference and sounds good. I'm opposed to steroid creams also, though even the doctors at the conference said they're safe. What they were discussing is the idea of a serious blast of strong steroid cream at a high dose for a few days to stop a flare. I'd go for that. A short term treatment, especially if it helps settle things, seems like a good idea. I'm just not into ongoing applications of steroid cream.

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My daughter (3 years old) also itches constantly, particularly at night or when her hands aren't occupied. My husband is always telling her not to scratch, but I am working on convincing him that isn't helpful. We have tried to teach her to rub with the pads of her fingers or her knuckles, but she says that doesn't make it feel better. When we ask her what will help the itching stop, she says nothing. She doesn't like soaking (although we make her daily) or wet/cool cloths. She lets us put aquaphor on, so at least there is a barrier, and she sometimes lets us rub. We have tried socks on her hands and feet (she takes them off). We also do wet pajamas, but ends up taking her pajamas off at some point in the night to make scratching easier. We have tried taping socks or bandages to her pajamas, but she just takes the tape off. The nights when we are able to keep her pajamas and socks on, her skin looks and feels much better in the morning. But more nights than not, she cries for her pajamas to be off and then takes them off herself. Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to get her to keep socks/pajamas on?

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I'm with your daughter. I hate having stuff on my feet, which would protect me from nighttime scratching of the eczema which is there. I spoke with people at the conference and some had lifelong eczema and had developed approaches to secure gloves onto their hands for the night. I hope someone can help. My acupuncturist suggests patting the itchy areas, but I don't find that to be very useful. I think we have to find a way to make the itch go away, or accept the itch without scratching. Might not be possible.

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I wish I had a solution for you. I can't believe you have had to resort to taping socks to her pajamas. It is actually a great idea. My heart breaks for her (and you). What about pajamas with feet. I know that they are usually for smaller kids but maybe they have them for her size.
My daughter also pulls up her pajamas so that she can scratch harder. She is so itchy but normally she can sleep at night. Last night was the first time that it kept her up. I actually spent half the night in her bed just trying to distract her and relax her. She was miserable. She has never really cried about it but last night she was crying saying that it wasn't fair and that she is tired of being itchy. I was so angry that no one can help her. I just don't understand why more research isn't being done to help people who suffer from this. But, I tried to remain calm and just focus on what I can do for her.
Have you tried ice? My daughter fights it but when she lets me put ice on her, it seems to calm the sking down so that she isn't as itchy. I take a few of the soft ice packs and place them on different areas and than move them around. I have this ice pack that is supposed to go around wine bottles. It fits around her thighs and is soft. I am going to buy more so that I can do more than one part of the body at once. I wish they had one that could fit around her torso. I will have to do some research to see if I can find something like that.
Also, if I squeeze the area that is itchy real tight that helps. I wish I had 10 hands so that I could do her whole body at once.
Unfortunately, many times she fights everything and I can't blame her.
Good luck with the pajamas.

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I hate that we did it but we had to give in and give her steroids. Her skin was so dry that is was flaking off, breaking open and bleeding behind her knees. That has never happened before. We will try it for 3 days and then back off again. Hopefully we will get to National Jewish soon. I am hopeful but very sceptical (part of my nature). I am sure they are going to try and convince us that steroids are the way to go but we will see if they have an alternative.
By the way, this sight has helped me more than any doctor ever has. It is so helpful to know that we are not alone.

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