MarcieMom (@MarcieMom) met Dr Christopher Bridgett (@ckbridgett) through Twitter – and learnt that he had a special interest of using behavioural interventions to help people with atopic eczema. DrB trained in medicine at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, then as a psychiatrist in Oxford. He now works in private practice in London. He has co-authored several publications on The Combined Approach, that proposes using habit reversal to stop habitual scratching in atopic eczema. To find out more about behavioural dermatology, click http://www.atopicskindisease.com/articles/PeterNoren to read DrB’s interview with Peter Norén MD, the Swedish dermatologist who created The Combined Approach.
MarcieMom: Welcome Dr B to our second Friday Q&A; a week has passed and we have another question for you.
Moisturizing is important to maintain the skin barrier, particularly when eczema child has a weaker skin barrier that allows for more allergens to penetrate. The recommended guideline is about 500ml per week, that’s a lot and some children simply squirm when parents try to apply the moisturizer. What do you suggest parents can do to get their children to like being moisturized? Or even better, moisturize themselves!
Dr B: The use of a moisturizer – also called an emollient – is central to the care of atopic eczema. The way it is used is very important – much more important than which one is used. Sometimes the better ones are the cheapest – and the best one is the one that is liked and used properly!
With children, as with adults, there are four key words to remember:
Thinly, Gently, Quickly and Often
and with the child it is very important to get it done quickly, and on afterwards to do something fun together, so that fun becomes the focus, not the moisturizing!
Getting the child to do their own moisturizing needs careful consideration: left to their own devices there is a good chance it will not get done properly – perhaps age and temperament come into it. Please see my Topical Tips at www.atopicskindisease.com – DrB.