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Eczema Don’t scratch it!

Scratching only increases the itchiness of eczema it also degrades the skin and can result in sores, infection and, in the long-term, a dark, leathery appearance.

Adults may be able to better control the urge to scratch but advice from the US National Eczema Association is to avoid telling children not to scratch. The association says sufferers should be encouraged to lightly rub or pinch their skin which may bring some relief while not damaging it. Applying a moisturiser or a cool washcloth to the itchy area may also help.

Local dermatologist Deborah Daly said many eczema sufferers think their conditions worsen at night.

“In fact the itch doesn’t increase at night,” she said. “It’s that in the day they are distracted and for a while forget about the itching. At night when the distractions are gone they feel the itching again.”

The National Eczema Association encourages parents and teachers to be understanding and sympathetic to children’s discomfort and their urge to scratch.

“Understanding and sympathy can minimise emotional distress,” the association say in its guide for teachers.

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Published August 30, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated August 29, 2011 at 7:53 pm)

Eczema Don’t scratch it!

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