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Anybody have a child that 'itches' (externally), but with no visible signs?

(10 Posts)
lynniep Mon 23-May-11 16:52:38

DH has said that since he was a child, he's always found that dark colours make him itch. He doesnt know why, but they do. His mum had to sew linings into all his school trousers. Even now if he wears dark trousers to work, he'll put (white) long johns on underneath (even in hot weather - I've told him I can find/make him some lightweight ones but he won't hear of it - I'll leave that topic for now..!)

Anyway, DS1 is exhibiting the same sort of thing. At night and sometimes during the day (when he has time to think about it) he moans and moans that he's itching. I give him a placebo medicine (vitamins) to get him to go to sleep but I think this just keeps him quiet until he conks out from exhaustion as I tell him it doesnt work straight away.

I do tend to believe him although there is no physical evidence that his skin is 'suffering' (unlike poor DS2 who has nasty excema) and I dont think that DH is leading him in any way (DH has OCD tendencies - for him once he's 'decided' something is a certain 'way' then it is. No questions. Its entirely possible when he was a child something black made him itch, therefore everything black makes him itch whether it does or not OR it could be real. I dont know. Neither does DH), so have to assume he's got ultra sensitive skin and try to help him. I've tried changing the washing powder for the kids clothes, and using 'light' coloured sheets on him (I dunno if the dye in 'dark' fabric for some reason might be harsher) I dont really know what else to do.

Anyone else got an itcher? or heard of it?

lynniep Mon 23-May-11 16:54:16

He's 4 by the way.

DeWe Tue 24-May-11 09:45:07

I use non-biological washing powder and no fabric conditioner. Dd1 itches a lot. I know what you mean about deciding though. Dd1 looks at things and says "it'll itch" and there's almost no even trying it on. She'lll touch it with a finger and say "no it itches". If she knows there's a label then it has to come out.
What I do do with her is she has cream by her bed and if she itches she can use it.
Might find Aveeno oil in the bath helps... or it might make it worse.

Elibean Tue 24-May-11 10:08:19

dd1 has occasional eczema, but nearly always has itchy skin without any visible signs - her skin is dry, sometimes slightly rough feeling and just very sensitive.
Especially feels it at bed time!
Do you moisturize his skin after baths/before bed?

lynniep Tue 24-May-11 12:55:41

thanks for the responses! I've started using moisturiser - as well as oilatum in the bath - basically because I use it for DS2 anyway who has very obvious eczema, so I may as well use it for both. DS1s skin is lovely and soft (unlike DS2 which is 'bobbly' and dry) which is another reason I say its not visible. I'm using Surcare for them at the moment.

MarianH Tue 24-May-11 21:41:39

DD had an itch, couldn't have labels in clothes and wouldn't wear certain types of material. She also refused point blank to ever go without a vest, even on very hot days/when wearing special things like bridesmaid dresses. She would scratch until she bled as a tot. Hospital investigated it for a couple of years when she was small before giving up as they couldn't decide what was causing it. When she was 11 she was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a common feature of which is hypersensitivity.

lynniep Wed 25-May-11 08:41:53

Its autism hereditary? It ties in with his dad (DH as mentioned above has the same itch thing - has OCD and shows signs of being on the autism spectrum, although I'm clearly not an expect, its just blatantly obvious to both of us that the way he approaches life is not entirely the same as most! Fortunately none of his habits or compulsions are life affecting (in a negative way, other than story below) so we just live with them. But his insistence on wearning something under dark trousers can get us into hot water.

We once drove for an hour to get him to an interview, and he was going to change into his suit in the car (he can't bear suits in particular. We then discovered he didnt bring his longjohns and had to dash to the nearest supermarket to find something suitable, otherwise he wouldnt have gone to the interview. We did find some trackie bottoms that fit his criteria, and he got offered the job, even though he was late) He turned it down, because he would have had to wear a suit every day. Fortunately hes so good at his job (accountancy - he likes numbers) and took another job where the dress code wasnt quite as strict.

DS1 doesnt really show any other signs particularly (yet) other than this itch thing, and maybe walking on tippitoes, which a lot of kids do. So I guess its a case of just going along with it and trying to help him deal for now

MarianH Wed 25-May-11 11:31:59

They don't know, in my opinion it could well be as I think DDs Dad shows signs of it. It really sounds like your DH could be on the spectrum, and it wouldn't hurt him to consider diagnosis as I don't think it is a negative thing. It is regarded as a disability, so employers would need to make certain allowances, like, perhaps, not making him wear a suit to work. Usual markers are things like being literal, no empathy, can't read expression/tone/body language, obsessions, (for your DS) advanced vocabulary. Walking on tiptoes can also be a sign, but, as you say, your DS is little yet. Many children don't get an Aspie diagnosis until they are a bit older. It's easier to spot autism as they often have delayed speech, but Aspies don't. Apart from that, there isn't anything between the two conditions, although some children are more acute. When I read your first post, your DH really did sound like DD. It wouldn't hurt to get it checked out, as school can be really tough for children with ASCs; they struggle socially and need a bit of support. Good luck smile.

lindipops Fri 27-May-11 13:27:24

My DS used to wake up scratching all over and crying with frustration. There was nothing to see except red raised weals where he scratched. I discovered the miracle of the oatmeal bath. Get an old clean sock, put in a few handfulls of organic oats and tie sock in a tight knot. Then run warm bath with sock in it and you will get a slipperly milky bath. When your child is soaking in it, squeeze the sock over the worst parts - thicker milky liquid.
The itching stops within 15 mins and is soothed quickly. Don't rinse off child, just dab dry and tuck into bed. I was amazed at how quickly he would drop back into a peaceful sleep, skin soothed, for the rest of the night.

The bath is slippy afterwards as there is a soapy quality to the oat milk, so remember to clean bath afterwards.

lynniep Fri 27-May-11 15:24:46

thanks - will try that too! (probably a lot cheaper than oilatum)

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