Scratch This!

Over the years, however, people have tried to give their input on how to care for Ryan’s eczema. I know for a fact they have his best interest in mind, but as the Mommy who has tirelessly tried new remedies, there are certain things you just don’t want to hear.

My son will be 10 in a few months. For 10 years, I’ve been killing it at the Mom gig! It is my favorite thing in the entire world. In fact, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I’d say, “a Mommy and a teacher.” Lucky for me, I can say I have achieved both of those things. With that being said I have tried it all for Ryan’s eczema. The following things are phrases I’d offer as advice of what not to say to someone with eczema (or caring for someone with eczema).

“Stop Scratching”

This is my favorite. How easy is it for someone who isn’t itchy or feeling the itch to tell someone to stop scratching. I am a silly person. I make up songs or dances for anything in life. We have a “no scratchies” jingle we sing to help distract from the itch. “No scratchy the eczy” (you can sing it to any tune of your preference. We favor the tune to the song "We Are Family.")

“I am sure it will go away.”

This is something someone would say who is trying to be nice and probably doesn’t know what else to say. To a person in the middle of a flare-up, all we hear is “it is never going to go away.” A really bad flare-up feels like an eternity.

“Did you put cream on that?”

I can’t even count how many times someone has asked me that. An eczema flare up is like any other condition… a fever gets Motrin, a bloody cut gets a band aid, a stomachache gets ginger ale. An eczema flare-up gets cream! So, yes, I did put cream on it.

“My cousin’s neighbor uncle’s sister has eczema and she….”

Again, someone here is trying to be nice, but, someone with a flare-up doesn’t necessarily want to hear about what worked for someone else… especially if they already tried it. Not everyone is the same. People’s skin will react differently to certain products.

Is that contagious?”

This is a valid concern. I realize that. I guess for this one we have to follow the golden rule of “say what you mean, mean what you say, just don’t say it mean.” Words can be powerful. My 10-year-old has heard it all. In his worst flare-ups, he has been asked- "why his skin looks that way," "if he will give it to anyone," etc. If someone asks if their skin is contagious it alienates the person with eczema. Simply: be kind and use your judgment.I appreciate everyone who tried to help Ryan’s flare-ups. I know it takes a community like this to get through certain things. We are all in this together!

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