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Parents struggle with applying eczema creams, warns study

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Parents employ a range of strategies to overcome the “onerous task” of regularly applying topical treatments to children with eczema, according to UK nurse researchers.

They interviewed 31 carers from 28 families of children with eczema who were aged five or less.

The time consuming nature of treatment application and child resistance to it were identified as major problems to adherance.

Families used a range of strategies to try and “work around” resistance, the study authors said.

These included involving the child in treatment, distracting the child, making a game of it, using rewards, applying treatment during sleep or, in a few cases, physical restraint.

The researchers warned that some carers reduced the frequency of treatment applications in an attempt to reduce child resistance.

“Regular application of topical treatments to children is an onerous task, particularly in families where child resistance develops,” the authors said in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

“Early recognition and discussion of resistance and better awareness of the strategies to overcome this may help carers to respond positively and avoid establishing habitual confrontation,” they added.

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