How to stop eczema itching?
We want you to get some eczema relief! “Stop scratching” is a phrase that many people with eczema are hurt and frustrated by, especially young children who simply don’t understand the harm and damage it may cause. We understand first-hand how this can cause distress and confusion. Yes, scratching feels amazing, so as a little one with itchy skin of course that is the natural response to chronic and intense itchiness. As a parent, guardian or family member managing a young child’s health, you do everything in your power to soothe and calm the itch, even binding and restricting hands which can be very distressing. This difficult experience is where the idea of creating a safe scratching tool was born. What if there was a product we could offer to a child, that would cool the itch and avoid breaking, cutting, bleeding and scarring? To be able to hand a child instant relief was our mission and we knew the positive impact this could have on the daily lives of families in need. Safe scratching is the new era of breaking the itch-scratch cycle in a way that helps a child physically and mentally when dealing with itchy skin. Instant relief is the focus of safe scratching. We want a child to feel the benefit, to feel the annoying itch melt away and to feel calmer, cooler and more comfortable in their skin during a flare-up.
What are the different types of itching and scratching?
So children feel itchy and scratch for a number of reasons and due to many different triggers:
- The 'after food' itch - Histamine itch can be caused by eating histamine rich foods.
- The 'allergic' itch - Allergies and intolerances can also cause an instant burst of itchiness after eating something that your body does not agree with.
-The 'I'm hot and sweaty' itch - Heat and sweat can trigger the itch sensation and some may feel irritable after exercise or an activity that causes sweat and an increase in body temperature. Increased water loss through the skin will cause the sensation of itchiness.
-The ‘I’m feeling stressed’ itch - Stress is also a trigger and if a child feels distressed or frustrated itching may occur. Stress induced eczema is also very common.
-The ‘I’ve touched something my skin doesn’t like’ itch – contact itchiness can occur when touching something your body does not agree with or that you have an allergy to.
-The ‘it’s bedtime’ itch – itchiness scientifically is more prevalent at night. Your body temperature and the blood flow to your skin both increase in the evening, warming your skin. Your body’s release of certain substances also varies by time of day. At night, you release more cytokines, which increase inflammation. With fewer distractions at night too itchiness can feel a lot more intense and annoying.
Why does scratching feel so good?
Scratching causes low-level pain signals to the brain, which temporarily distracts the brain from itch. These pain signals also release serotonin in the brain, which makes you feel good. But serotonin also resets the itch signal. In some cases, this can create a never-ending cycle. That's why it's common for scratching to make you more itchy, kicking off a vicious cycle scientists call the itch-scratch cycle.
What is the itch-scratch cycle?
Scratching is an immediate response to itching. The itch-scratch cycle is simply when the more you scratch the skin the more frequent and intense the itchiness will become. Itchy skin will cause a child to scratch, when scratching breaks the skin barrier and disrupts the skin, it will lead to inflammation, the itch intensifies and the scratching will continue, until ultimately this behaviour leads to an infection.
How to stop eczema itching and the science behind safe scratching:
There are five scientifically proven methods to calm an itch..
1.Cold: Tiny C-fibres transmit itchy signals to the brain. Cold and itch run along the same nerve fibres, so using cold on the skin can ‘jam the circuits’ and stop an itch in it’s tracks. Apply our safe, regulated cold products to the skin to help soothe that annoying tingly itch!
2.Massage: Massage distracts the brain. If itchiness is bad, massage another body part with our cooling products to create a sensation away from the body part that itches.
3.Focus on another sensation, creating a kind of strain on another part of your body will take your brain off the itchiness. Focusing on playing with a physical product and keeping hands busy can also distract from the itching sensation.
4.Count to ten and breathe: Create healthy habits around scratching. Tell your brain (and yourself) to count to ten when using our safe scratchers, remember to stay calm by taking in deep breaths while you count. Breathe in on one and out on two, repeating until you reach 10 or 20.
5.Get Busy: Whenever you start to feel the need to scratch, do something else. Whether that’s watching some TV, playing a game or getting outside in nature. It’s all about staying and keeping busy. Playing with out products are also a great way to keep the mind and hands busy.
How to Safe Scratch?
We feel there are a lack natural remedies to treat eczema that offer instant relief, so We have invented ‘safe scratching’. We believe that completely avoiding scratching is impossible for young children and can cause a lot of distress for parents and children. ‘Safe scratching’ is instant, cooling relief for itchy skin without breaking the skin and causing cuts, damage, and scarring. Smooth textures and cooling rollers offer cold, massage and distraction to give your child the relief they deserve but all while avoiding the damaging implications of scratching.
To ‘safe scratch’ with the Scratch Star, remove from the fridge (or freezer if you are over the age of 14 and like it a lot colder!), add a blob of your favourite moisturiser to the centre of the metal plate then massage over an itchy area in slow, gentle circular motions. Clean and repeat! If you do freeze your Scratch Star make sure you run it under warm water for a few seconds before using on skin.
To ‘safe scratch’ with the Scratch Attack Roller, remove the ball from the fridge (or freezer if you are over the age of 14 and like it a lot colder!), add a blob of your favourite moisturiser to your skin, or you can add inside the product to use as a moisturiser applicator, massage over an itchy area in slow, gentle circular motions. Clean and repeat! If you do freeze your roller ball, make sure you run it under warm water for a few seconds before using on skin.
How to soothe eczema?
The Scratch Star is a one-of-a-kind product designed to help relieve uncomfortable itchy skin, distract from scratching and cool inflammation caused by common conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It is specifically designed to mimic the sensation of scratching, with bumps ranging from large to small just like your fingernails. The star shape has been designed with the behaviour of scratching in mind, the position of your hand when using the star is the same as when you scratch, so it allows for a smoother transition to a healthier way of managing itchiness. The product is designed to comfortably hold in one hand, and gently massage an itchy area of skin by using in slow, small circular motions. The silicone used is latex-free and is soft to touch and hold. The metal plate is made from medically tested anodized aluminium which is nickel free.
We are striving to modify an existing damaging behaviour, scratching is the only form of instant relief a child currently has (or the use of ice, or cold wet flannels to cool the skin). The Scratch Star offers a safer alternative, that can be used for instant itch-relief, that won’t break the skin, cause cuts and lead to an infection. By breaking the damaging itch-scratch cycle, the symptoms of itching and scratching can be relieved.
Meet our Scratch Attack Roller (Launching in August!)
The Scratch Attack Roller is a roller product designed to help relieve uncomfortable itchy skin, distract from scratching and cool inflammation caused by common conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Open up the Scratch Attack and inside you will find a cooling stainless steel rollerball. Simply roll and massage across inflamed skin for instant relief and distraction from continuous itching. The internal cooling gel keeps it cold for up to 1 hour and the sensory cooling massage works hard to relieve itching and mimic scratching without damaging the skin. We recommend you combine with a moisturiser, and it’s perfect to use as a moisturiser applicator to add cooling to your routine. Its child-friendly shark fin shape and ultra-soft silicone cover make it easy for children to use by themselves so that they feel in control of their skin. The silicone used is latex-free and is soft to touch and hold. The metal plate is made from medical grade stainless steel. Please note that even medical grade stainless steel contains small amounts of nickel, even though it is considered to be hypoallergenic and safe to use. The product is designed to comfortably hold in one hand, and gently massage and roll over an itchy area of skin by using in slow, small circular motions.
The Scratch Star and the Scratch Attack Roller are two new products in the world of managing itchy skin. We hope you love our products, and we are busy behind the scenes working on various innovations to help you manage your little one’s itch. You can find out more about our safe scratching products and our natural remedies for eczema here.