Going back to school can be a tough time for kids with skin conditions. After a summer of fun away with family or with your closest friends, the time comes, eventually, to return to the classroom, with all the playground drama that comes with it. Children of all ages can feel self-conscious about their skin. The late-childhood and teenage years are prime-time for acne, spots and other skin imperfections to surface as the young ones go through puberty and see their bodies change. With that in mind, we wanted to address the two biggest skin conditions that affect children at school – eczema and acne – and suggest a few of our top tips for kids themselves to use and also some that parents can take note of to help their children navigate the playground and enjoy their time at school.
- Layers: make sure your child can regulate their temperature effectively by dressing them in layers when they go to school. Breathable, natural fabrics, such as bamboo, cotton, hemp or linen are a must, and be sure to avoid sweaty synthetics or itchy-textured fabrics, which can cause friction, perspiration and irritation, resulting in more scratching.
- Make water fun: It might sound like quite a challenge, but the more enticing you can make your child’s means of hydration, the better. Get them a cool water bottle or put pieces of fruit or cucumber in to help flavour it slightly and make that little bit more appetising.
- Make lunch healthy: If allergies play a part in your child’s lunch time and they have o bring their own to avoid specific allergens in the canteen, pack the lunchbox with fruit and veg, but, just like the water bottle, make it enticing for your young one. A Japanese-style Bento box is a great way to pack in a variety of flavours and healthy elements, while making the meal itself interesting.
- Use the time you have with them: You can’t control what they get up to at school, but just before they go and immediately afterwards are in your complete control. Make their skincare routine a normal part of going to and coming home from school, to get them used to doing it. Be consistent! If you have older kids, they could even take their Daily Nourishing Spray to school with them, to soothe and cool them when their skin begins to itchy in a sweaty classroom on a Friday afternoon.
- Consistent Skincare: make sure you keep your child’s skincare routine consistent every day. Much like with Eczema tip number 4, above, it’s a great idea to work it into the beginning and end of the school day. Make it the last thing they do before they go and the first thing they do when they come back.
- Get that diet down: food is a big trigger for acne flare-ups. Make sure you identify those trigger foods and work them out of your child’s meals. Make the food healthy too! Pack it with fruit and veg and try and keep carb contents low as that is likely to spike their blood-sugar levels and could cause a flare-up by itself.
- Sweet dreams: if you child is going full-tilt at school, surrounded by friends and living their best life, make sure they can bring those levels down at night and get a good long sleep. Sleep allows our bodies time to recover and recuperate. Our cell growth accelerates when we sleep, contributing to the healing of acne-affected skin. Stress can also have a huge effect on the acne-prone, and there’s nothing better for beating stress than a good night’s sleep.
- Manage stress: leading on from sleep, it is vital to manage stress when you’re awake too. A heavy workload with projects left to the last minute can massively increase the stress level of your child. Make sure your child plans ahead and gets their work done in good time, allowing time for relaxation also. Stress can be a bit part of an acne flare-up, so avoid it as best you can by getting work done in good time and sticking to your homework routine.
Many tips for one skin condition also apply to the other. The most important thing is that your child is comfortable and healthy. It’s vital to foster an environment of self-acceptance and confidence in your child, but we all know how kids can be. The pressure to fit in is strong and the price for standing out can be high. Keep one extra thing off of their mind by helping them keep their skin in check, so they can live it in confidence!