There are a great deal of minor skin irritations and conditions that can plague children, from bug bites to rashes to dry skin. More serious conditions, such as eczema, should be treated by a doctor, however.
Colloidal oatmeal are oats ground into a fine powder. Add the oatmeal to a warm bath and soak in the tub for about 15 minutes. This type of bath can help relieve a number of different skin irritations, such as chicken pox, poison ivy, poison oak and eczema. Because the oatmeal is a fine powder, it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the tub like unground oatmeal will. Be careful getting in and out of the tub, however, as it can get slippery.
2. Baking soda paste to relieve bug bites
Use a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with just enough water to make a thick paste. Smear the paste over the bug bite and allow it to dry. This should help relieve itching.
A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which in turn helps keep skin moist. Humidifiers are helpful during the winter months, when skin is dry and eczema can cause itchiness. Be sure to use a cool mist humidifier and clean it daily before adding fresh water.
4. Petroleum jelly
Petroleum jelly is not absorbed into the skin like moisturizers, and instead helps to trap moisture in the skin, keeping it hydrated. It can also be used to help protect dry, chapped or cracked skin. Some people use it as a way to help prevent diaper rash, as it forms a barrier between the skin and the wet diaper.
Itchiness caused by dry skin and eczema can sometimes be relieved with moisturizers. The rule of thumb is that the thicker the moisturizer, the more it will help prevent dry skin. Use creams and ointments for very dry skin and lotions for mildly dry skin. You might also find it helpful to change to a thicker moisturizer during the cold winter months when heaters can severely dry out skin.
6. Ice packs
For bug bites and itchiness from rashes, such as poison ivy or poison oak, ice packs can help. Place ice in a zippered plastic bag and wrap with a towel (never put ice directly on the skin). Have your child rotate - 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. If the rash doesn’t clear up, continues to spread or is accompanied by a fever, talk to your pediatrician.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.