Eczema – What is this stupid name anyway. It’s hard to pronounce, it’s hard to get the spelling right, and it’s as itchy and painful as hell to deal with. Lets save everyone the spelling and pronunciation trouble and just call it X-ma or Exma.
But come to think of it, ‘eczema’ is actually quite a fitting name for this itchy skin condition. It’s bloody annoying – just like the pronunciation, and it’s a pain in the arss to deal with – just like the stupid spelling of the word.
Eczema is a chronic skin disorder where sufferers have to deal with itching red rashes and dry scaly leathery skin. There may be skin blisters with oozing and crusting. Eczema is generally a symptom of some other underlying condition and sufferers come from across a wide age group starting as young as 1 month to people in their 60s. Eczema is normally more severe for infants and children with the condition improving with age. As you get older you may develop a stronger tolerance to skin sensitivities, which in turn will reduce the extreme bouts of eczema.
Hereditary – Eczema is considered to be hereditary. Studies reveal that a person is prone to eczema if his family has a history of closely linked conditions like hay fever and asthma.
Allergens – Eczema could be aggravated by irritants like smoke, chemicals, detergents, solvents and so on. Even weather conditions could aggravate the condition. Excessive stress, heat and emotional stress also aggravates the symptoms of eczema.
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiency – Cause of eczema depends upon the type of eczema the person is suffering from. Sometimes blood circulation problem in the leg can also cause eczema. Deficiency of vitamin B6 causes eczema.
Natural Eczema Treatments & Remedies
When dealing with eczema, the word steroids or corticosteroids will automatically come to mind. No doubt, many suffers have experienced instant relief with the application of topical steroid creams, helping to calm itchiness and reduce redness and inflammation. In dealing with severe cases, the use of steroid creams maybe the only relief. But in most mild to moderate cases, these strong creams are not necessary. Prolonged use can lead to the skin’s reliance which can even worsen the state of the condition in the long run. Lets not forget the side effects.
Natural eczema treatments using a combination of methods to improve the person’s internal health state, lifestyle patterns, diet, energy balance, psychological well being and the identification of allergen triggers have shown to be very effective in improving this condition.
I would like to take you through 9 drug-free methods that have shown very positive results in reducing and eliminating flare ups. Remember to be patient, as results will not be immediate.
Natural Eczema Treatment #1 -The Food Elimination Process
Start with 3 foods and stick to eating the food for 2 – 3 days. If your body responds well without any flare ups, then you know the 3 foods does not agitate the problem. Introduce 1 food at a time every 3 – 5 days and note any flare ups that occur. Keep a diary of the foods you have eaten, the quantity per meal and the time of each meal. It’s not easy having to eliminate yummy foods from your diet, but in most instances, an allergic reaction to foods is the main triggers for eczema.
– Dairy products, eggs, nuts, preservatives and citrus fruits, shellfish, wheat, caffeine, alcohol, and processed and junk foods are more likely to trigger eczema.
– Consume foods high in vitamin A or beta-carotene and potassium such as carrots, and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
Natural Eczema Treatment #2 – Balance Your Gut with Probiotics
Probiotics or “good” bacteria, are live microbial organisms naturally found in the digestive tract. They are thought to suppress the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, influence immune function, and strengthen the digestive tract’s protective barrier.
Studies suggest that babies at high risk for allergic disorders such as eczema have different types and numbers of bacteria in their digestive tracts than other babies, and that probiotic supplements taken by pregnant women and children may reduce the occurrence eczema in children.
Some studies have found that probiotics alleviate symptoms of eczema only in infants and children who are sensitized to food allergens.
Natural Eczema Treatment #3 – Examine your Home and Personal Care Products
This includes looking into the type of hand wash, bath gels, cleansers, soap bars, cleaning chemicals, dish washing liquid, laundry detergent etc. Washing powders/liquids is usually a common source of skin discomfort which increase eczema episodes.
For soaps and cleansers, Avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulphates (SLS) at all costs. This is a known skin irritant which is found in most, if not all commercial mainstream products. When using SLS on your skin (and backed up through my own personal experience) the natural acid mantle can be seriously disrupted. By using less harsh detergents my skin’s ability to heal itself has become far more efficient. Also avoiding products with petro-chemical derived emollients has also resulted in far fewer rashes & spots.
Natural Eczema Treatment #4 – Increase the intake of Cold Pressed Essential Fatty Acids
Increase the intake of Cold Pressed essential fatty acids. Especially Gamma linolenic acid such as evening primrose oil and Borage oil. GLA has been shown to correct deficiencies in skin lipids that can trigger inflammation, which is why it is thought to help with eczema. Foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados are a good source of GLA. But a higher dose of GLA supplements may be necessary to get noticeable improvements.
Natural Eczema Treatment #5 – Experiment with Herbs & Supplements
Herbs may be used as teas or infusions, topical applications, and tinctures. Herbal remedies may be used for direct treating the skin, for relieving stress, or for cleansing the bowel. Vitamins and mineral supplements such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamin B Complex for promoting skin health and healing.
Taking ginger capsules and drinking ginger tea every day has helped tremendously. Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent and eczema is an inflammatory process. Herbal remedies may be natural but some of them can have very potent effects. So be careful with its use and consult a herbalist if unsure.
Natural Eczema Treatment #6 – Use Natural Herbal Eczema Creams
Gels and creams made from herbal extracts of chamomile. licorice, and witch hazel have been explored to reduce symptoms of eczema. The following are results of some of the preliminary studies.
- A double-blind study compared a 1% and 2% licorice gel compared to a placebo gel for eczema. After two weeks, both the 1% and 2% licorice gels were more effective than the placebo gel, and the 2% gel was more effective at reducing redness, swelling, and itching than the 1% gel.
- A study compared chamomile cream to 0.5% hydrocortisone cream or placebo. After two weeks, the chamomile cream was more effective than the hydrocortisone cream, but was not significantly more effective than the placebo cream. This study was not double-blind, so it cannot be used as proof that chamomile cream is effective for eczema.
- In a German double-blind study, 72 people with moderately severe eczema used either a placebo cream containing witch hazel extract, 0.5% hydrocortisone cream, or the cream alone for 14 days. The hydrocortisone was more effective than witch hazel. Witch hazel was not significantly more effective than the placebo cream.
Natural Eczema Treatment #7 – Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Each healthy lifestyle decision you make is a beneficial lifestyle changes that would drastically improve your eczema condition.
For adult eczema (not infantile eczema), it may well be the symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle. Hence, make simple alterations in your usual activities, such as spending time relaxing, getting plenty of fresh air, eating healthy foods, engaging in regular exercise, reducing stress, having enough sleep, drinking plenty of water – all of which will enable you to experience far more balance within your life and your internal system helping to keep eczema under control.
Natural Eczema Treatment #8 – A Little Ray of Sunshine
A little sunlight is very beneficial for eczema. Grab some rays either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is mild to the skin. All you need is 10 – 15 minutes daily exposure to notice improvements. Sunlight is needed for our skin to formulate Vitamin D.
Natural Eczema Treatment #9 – Wear non-irritating fabrics
Wear cotton clothes that don’t irritate the skin. Wearing synthetic fibres and wool can really set it off and irritate eczema sufferers. This goes for bed sheets and pillow cases as well.
Why am I so bitter about the pronunciation and spelling of the word eczema. Well, I hate this stupid skin condition and by mocking the word, I find it relaxing and helps me to reduce my stress levels.
Related Baby and Pregnancy Articles