I’m sure that as an eczema parent you would have noticed that with night fall comes an itch so intense that it drives little eczema kiddies, and their parents to distraction. It certainly has nothing to do with the usual bed time delaying techniques which most children are famous for. It is not “put on” by children trying to get out of going to sleep.
Sadly, these little eczema kiddies are often so sleep deprived and exhausted from multiple disturbed nights that all they want is a good night’s rest. But with night fall, comes an itch that often didn’t appear as severe during the day.
Increased itch at night from eczema is one of the most frustrating parts of this chronic disease. But why does this happen? Why is it that eczema seems to get worse just before bedtime or as these little fighters are falling asleep?
The answer is very simple and relates to the body’s secretion of cortisol which is the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory hormone. Cortisol is at its highest level in the morning and the lowest level at night.
Considering your child’s natural rhythms of cortisol production are working against you, what can you do help ease night time itch?
Your child’s bedding
• Children often get warm at night under their covers. Heat can make eczema act up. Make sure not to use woollen blankets and plastic mattress protectors. Stick with soft cotton sheets.
• Consider mattress encasements. Dust mites are a common known eczema trigger and putting a barrier between your child and the dust mites in their mattress can really help if this is a trigger for your child.
Your child’s pyjamas – ensure they are as “irritant free” as possible by:
• Choosing cotton pyjamas.
• Turn pyjamas inside out to ensure that there are no seams rubbing on sensitive skin.
• Minimise the number of fluffy and dust collecting toys that your child has in their bedroom and on their bed.
• If you child has a special sleep teddy you can freeze it periodically to kill off dust mites. Once it has thawed out you can place it in the dryer on air or low for about 15-20 minutes to fluff it up. The dust mite allergens will get vented out in the drying process.
• Night time bathing is useful to wash off environmental allergens from the day.
• An evening bath is often a good wind down for the night.
• Your child can enjoy a bubble bath experience with Happy Little Bodies Eczema Wash & Shampoo which has a slight foaming action.
• Bath in luke warm water. Hot water and eczema are not a good mix.
• Pat the skin gently after bathing.
• Moisturise with Happy Little Bodies Eczema Moisturising Lotion as soon as the skin has been gently dried off. Skin does not need to be dried completely.