It’s important to get the help you need to take care of worrying skin conditions
People’s experience of dry or itchy skin, or related conditions like eczema, psoriasis or ichthyosis, can be different. It can affect more than just your physical health: it can have an impact on your whole life, and on your family too. Living with dry or itchy skin, or watching a loved one living with a dry skin condition, can be tough so it’s important to get the support you need.
- Stressing about skin: worrying about your skin and flare ups becomes a vicious cycle. The more you worry, the worse your skin’s likely to get. Many people find if their skin improves, they feel better about their skin, which in turn can help relieve the stress. This is why sticking to your skincare routine is so important
- Dealing with others: sometimes, reactions or comments from other people can be hurtful – these can often come out of a lack of understanding of skin conditions. There may be times when you want to directly challenge someone else’s misconception or lack of awareness. You could explain that it’s not contagious, how your skin works, or why it’s important to put your creams on
- Your relationships: dry or itchy skin can affect your confidence, which can affect some people’s relationships. Many people find that their family and friends want to support them. Try talking to them about how you’re feeling and ways they can help you cope
Kerensa's story (part 2)
“Because my eczema’s around my eyes, I do feel self-conscious and make-up only makes it worse! I think being open about it makes me feel a lot better.”
Karensa’s had eczema since she was very young, and it gets really sore around her eyes
Supporting your child
Supporting a child or teenager with dry or itchy skin brings different challenges. When a child is living with dry or itchy skin it's hard for their parents too, especially if it's flaring up.
- Finding family time: dry or itchy skin can put extra pressure and stress on family relationships. Finding ways to spend time as a family can help make sure everyone feels supported
- School support: school can be difficult for children with dry and itchy skin. They might find it hard to concentrate on their work, or they might have a problem with other children making comments about their skin. Having a good relationship with your child’s school can help to address these issues
- Keep communicating: talking with your child about their skin can keep the lines of communication open, so they know they can come to you with any questions or problems
- Taking the lead: give your child the confidence to take charge of their own skincare routine when they’re old enough. Try finding ways to encourage children to use their topical emollient when its recommended by doctors, like reward charts or a sticker calendar
But don’t forget as a parent you need support too. You might like to ask your GP or pharmacist for more help and advice, or contact an organisation that offers support to parents.