Several conditions can cause the skin to be prone to varying degrees of itching: contact eczema, lichen planus, urticaria, dryness in mature skin, etc. Itching is also caused by atopic dermatitis, a common form of dermatosis that affects children and adults , triggering uncomfortable, incapacitating sensations of itching.
Common in infants and young children, atopic dermatitis is a condition of which itchiness is the most irritating symptom: it disturbs the child's quality of life and disrupts their sleep, as well as that of their parents. Calming the itchiness requires local anti-inflammatory medication, specific dermocosmetic care and the adoption of alternative actions.
Things to avoid
- Detergents, soaps, astringents
- Products containing fragrance and alcohol
- Excessive exposure to bad weather
How should itchy skin be cared for?
To properly treat this condition, products must be able to restore skin comfort (relief from dryness, inflammation and itching) but also the skin's innate immunity: this is the active emollients’ role. The ideal choice: "active" biomimetic emollients. Besides their emollient quality and the correction of lipid deficiencies, these emollients contain actives made to fight against:
- skin hyperreactivity
- itching sensations
- skin defense anomalies
Dry, atopy-prone skin
Atopy-prone skin is very dry skin affected by inflammatory flare-ups at more or less close intervals. During these flare-up phases, flaky red patches of varying sizes appear on the skin, and itch a lot. They ooze at first, then thicken and dry up.
It disturbs the child's daily life and is sometimes so intense that it stops not only the child from sleeping but the parents as well.
The skin is always dry, even between flare-ups, and appears pale and rough.
The affected areas
Atopy-prone skin is dry in general, and all over. During these flare-ups, crisis areas appear. Before the age of one, these crisis areas are generally located on the cheeks, forehead, torso and limbs. Later, it is the large skin folds that are affected (folds of the elbows and back of the knees).
What is an emollient?
- Substances containing mineral oils, fatty acids and other lipid components that have a hydrating effect on the skin.
- Their hydrating action essentially results from an occlusive effect where there is limited transepidermal water loss. Because of this, the terms 'emollient' and 'hydrating' are often considered to be equivalent (emollient cream = hydrating cream).