Eczema care for those with Autism

Webmasters Comment: The following post has been written by our own Amanda Roberts and Colette O’Sullivan. Both Amanda and Colette are on the CEBD (Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology) patient panel.  This post should be read in conjunction with our disclaimer which can be found at

Children with autism can find treatments for eczema extremely challenging. If at all possible, establish what it is about the treatment that is a problem.  This could be the texture, smell, temperature, stinging or method of application.

There are alternative textures for treatments applied to the skin – usually the choice is a cream or an ointment.  There are additionally gel, lotion or oil formats for emollients (moisturisers). Discuss the problem with your doctor or nurse who will be aware of what options are available for your child.  If the child is able to choose between various examples of real products available for their skin, this may help.

If skin to skin contact is disturbing for the child, there may be a fabric which could be used as an applicator? Ensure any applicator used is clean each time to reduce the risk of the eczema becoming infected.  There is an emollient in a spray applicator.

Gradual acclimatisation to the treatment process may be necessary by breaking the process into small steps. Using social stories may be helpful.


Further information

The National Autistic Society

Skin moisturisers in atopic eczema

Atopic eczema and steroid creams/ointments

What are social stories

Social stories examples


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