Parenting Kids With Skin Problems: Three Moms Share Their Best Advice

Many people would argue that being a parent is one of—if not the—toughest job in the world. So when you have a chronically sick kid, it can easily feel 10,000 times harder. I know this first-hand, not from being a parent but from watching my own ‘rents struggle to raise my sister and me after we were diagnosed with a rare skin condition called Netherton Syndrome, which falls under the umbrella of Ichthyosis. At the time, we were roughly three months old and didn’t know how to communicate our pain and discomfort aside from crying about it. As you can imagine, this was extremely difficult for my parents to go through mentally, emotionally, and physically, as they would be up at all hours of the day and night with us while we wailed. 

Throughout our adolescent years, my parents spent so much of their time researching the best treatments, taking us to countless doctors, and consoling us when kids were cruel about our differences. Now, at 26, I can happily say I’m fully independent when it comes to caring for my skin and the emotional toll that comes with it, but I heavily relied on my parents for both physical and emotional support growing up. This is the case for any willing parent who has a child with skin issues, whether it be a condition that’s rarer like mine or your more common ones like psoriasis and eczema. 

When it comes down to it, parenting a child with skin problems is no easy feat. It requires a massive amount of empathy, compassion, and emotional fortitude, and can be extremely mentally taxing no matter who you are. That being said, there are endless amazing parents out there who do it all with a smile on their faces regardless. With this in mind, I went ahead and talked to three moms—my own included—to find out how they’ve navigated having sick kiddos and the best advice they’ve learned along the way. Keep scrolling for their insight. 

  • Educate yourself
  • Know you’re not alone
  • Join a support group
  • Encourage positive self-esteem