Is your child’s eczema under control? Have you been able to pinpoint your little one’s unique eczema triggers? Understanding your child’s eczema and the reasons for flare ups is no easy task, especially since the specific cause for eczema is largely unknown. However, researchers believe that those who develop chronic and severe eczema do so because of a combination of genes, environmental factors, and yes, you guessed it — stress. In this blog, we will dive into how stress and your child’s eczema condition interact.
Stress, stress and more stress. Nowadays, the some of the uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is causing children and teens with eczema to have stress-induced flare-ups. Also, unrelated to the pandemic, we know that stress is a common eczema trigger, especially in children as they transition into their tween (9-12) and teen (13+) years.
During stressful situations, the body goes into what we call a “fight or flight mode.” In other words, the body increases the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol. High levels of cortisol can affect the immune system causing the skin to respond through inflammation. This inflammatory response is what primes the body for an eczema flare up. That is precisely why reducing stress, whether through exercise, meditation, mindfulness and slowing down our busy lifestyles, can help improve eczema over time.
Note, it is very important to know that tweens and teens with eczema are more susceptible to have this type of inflammatory response due to hormonal shifts that occur during growth spurts. These changes may lead to an increase in severe eczema for some growing tweens and teens. If you plan ahead with the proper skincare regimen and lifestyle changes, you can reduce some of these painful eczema flare ups for your child as they grow.
As a pediatrician and a mom, I understand how important it is to provide the best care for your kids. When it comes to dealing with chronic conditions such as eczema, it can feel scary and frustrating to find answers. Please follow along our Dr. Sylma social media pages to learn more about childhood eczema and receive our best tips on how to treat and manage this painful skin condition naturally.
Here's to your little one's good health + happy skin!