Mayo Clinic Connect
Dr. Angela Mattke, Dr. Suresh Kotagal, and Dr. Rachel Lloyd talk about pediatric sleep medicine.
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My 4 year old son suffers from atopic dermatitis and most nights is awoken from his sleep 2-3 times/night with itching/scratching/pain. I am concerned about the impact this disrupted sleep may have on his health and growth. Of course we do manage his skin as best we can, but when he has a flare his sleep suffers. Any tips for helping him stay asleep through the discomfort? What impact can the disrupted sleep have on his health?
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director
First of all, I would personally like to say “Thank You” for taking the time to finding more relief to your son’s atopic dermatitis. I have many skin conditions/diseases including chronic atopic dermatitis and have had this conditions since my birth (55 years.)
This is what I would suggest to hopefully help ease some of his pain in regards to his disruptive sleep:
1. Be sure that he is wearing some type of pj’s that breath. Personally, I find anything that is 100% cotton works best or wear nothing at all. What you don’t want is for him to overheat, overheating is enemy number one in my book. When my body temperature rises, so does my itching.
2. I would suggest 100% cotton sheets, pillow case(s) and blanket(s).
3. Be sure his room is dark and cool in temperature (personally, I’d include a fan as well.)
4. I also find that soft music also calms me (Classical music is very soothing, no matter the age.)
5. I truly believe that anyone with atopic dermatitis also needs to make sure that their laundry be washed with a detergent that is free of perfumes and dyes. I also believe that any type of fabric softeners be eliminated from all clothing and bedding as well.
6. Pets in bedroom are an absolute “no” in my book. If you have any, I would keep any pets that you may have out of his bedroom.
As far as his health or growth, I can’t comment on these 2 questions, since I am not a professional/doctor. What I do know is that when my sleep is disrupted (which it often is, I’m up for 2-3 hours) in the middle of the night, my only relief is taking a bath. I also know that the following morning/day I am extremely tired and suffer from “brain fog” as you can imagine. When you’re not getting adequate sleep, it affects everything-mentally and physically, I believe.
I hope this information is helpful. It is strictly from my own point of view-a chronic atopic dermatitis sufferer.
Liked by jhines, Lisa Lucier, Connect Moderator
Hi Deb @empower,
Welcome, and thanks so much for joining the Connect community with some great information which I’m certain that @jhines will appreciate too.
We have several discussions which I thought might interest you, where members talk about dermatitis/atopic dermatitis and severe itching.
– Systemic Uncontrollable Itching https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/systemic-uncontrollable-itching/ where you can meet @acgraves16 @mroreo126
– Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cutaneous-t-cell-lymphoma/ where @lhilly @cindylb and others discuss contact and spongiotic dermatitis.
I’d also encourage you to view the Skin Health group on Connect: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/skin-conditions/
Please feel free to go through the discussions and join in if you wish – we learn so much through shared experiences.
@empower, may I ask if you’ve found any relief from topical applications and/or medications?
Liked by Lisa Lucier, Connect Moderator
Hello and thank you for welcoming me to the Connect community as well as the links you provided.
In response to your question, “May I ask if you’ve found any relief from topical applications and/or medications?” I find very minimal relief to any OTC cortisone creams. At the age of 19, (36 years ago) I was warned by a doctor that I should no longer have any cortisone-period. He opinion was due to the fact that I received cortisone injections (monthly) as well as the prescribed cortisone creams since I was 4 years of age.
The only relief I have ever found was only for a few days and it came from some very heavy-duty prescriptions that were prescribed, due to my atopic dermatitis turning into a bacterial infection. For me, any heavy-duty prescription I’ve ever had takes effect immediately (within hours), then when my prescription is complete, within 24-48 hours, I’m back to were I started in the first place-it’s a horrible cycle for me.
Currently, I am waiting for an authorization to began using a new drug called Dupixent. It is my understanding that this drug is only prescribed to adults. It gives me hope. 😉
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