What can help a child with eczema sleep?

Itchy eczema can cause sleep loss. When eczema itches, it can keep a child awake or wake the child from a sound sleep.

How to reduce sleep loss

If your child has eczema and has problems sleeping, dermatologists recommend that you:

  1. Work with a dermatologist to get your child’s eczema under control. Sleep loss occurs when eczema flares. Getting your child’s eczema under control can help your child sleep.

    When you see a dermatologist, be sure to tell the doctor that your child has trouble sleeping. Most, but not all, kids with eczema have sleep loss. A dermatologist can develop a treatment plan that addresses sleep loss.

    Your child’s dermatologist may recommend the following:

Sleepless nights can cause a child to be misdiagnosed with a behavioral problem or learning disability.

  1. Follow the treatment plan developed by your child’s dermatologist. In the beginning, all the information that you receive can seem overwhelming. The treatment plan can be time consuming.

    It’s important to realize that eczema can be a serious medical condition. Like other serious medical conditions, medication may be necessary to control symptoms, prevent worsening, and treat problems like infections.

    If you have any concerns, tell your child’s dermatologist.

  2. Take time to find your child’s triggers. After spending so much time bathing, moisturizing, and applying medicine to your child’s skin, it can be frustrating to see eczema flare.

    Many things in your child’s environment can cause eczema to flare. What causes one child’s eczema to flare may not cause another child’s eczema to flare. For this reason, it’s important to figure out what triggers your child’s eczema.

    Becoming overheated, wearing wool or another rough-feeling fabric, and using a skin care product with fragrance commonly trigger eczema.

    To learn how to find eczema triggers, go to Triggers: What can cause eczema to flare?

By controlling the eczema, you can help your child fall asleep and stay asleep. You may even get some sleep yourself.

Additional related content

How can eczema affect my child's mood?
Will treating eczema improve my child's health?
Home remedies: What can relieve itchy eczema?

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Simpson EL, Eichenfield LF, et al. “Current issues in atopic comorbidities and preventing the atopic march.” Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2012 Sep;31(3 Suppl):S6-9.<