Eczema is prevalent and according to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology up to 18% of children have eczema; and this research was only conducted on diagnosed children and did not include adults. Eczema is an inflammatory, non contagious skin condition that creates the skin to be red, scaly and oozy, and itchy. There are many types from cradle cap to seborrheic dermatitis, however, atopic ( meaning a from of allergy) is the most common.
Many years ago, I had a parent bring her newly adopted baby girl to me with a severe case of eczema. She had spent her first months in an orphanage but had now arrived in Hawaii with a thick scaly itchy patch behind one of her ears. It was not very pretty and the new mom was distraught. Luckily, the mom was on board and committed to do anything that would help her baby. It only took a few short weeks of changing her diet, applying soothing salve, and allowing everyone to feel relaxed to have it almost completely clear up. Below are the 3 main things we did:
- Removed dairy and gluten from her diet ( she didn’t eat sugar) ( we found these to be her eczema triggers)
- Cut fingernails short to avoid infections from scratching ( eczema is itchy)
- Applied herbal salve daily
- Supplements: fish oils and probiotics
- Castor oil packs
Below are the 3 three main causes of eczema, that I have found, that need to be addressed when treating and eliminating eczema.
One may not think of stress playing a role in eczema, or any disease for that matter, but it plays a very large role. Our bodies do not want to be sick and one of the first things it will do in a stressful situation or if there is an unwanted substance in the body, is push it out through the skin. Any type of stress – whether it be emotional, physical ( kids learning to talk, crawl, taking tests) weather changes or holidays – can add to skin flare – ups.
What to do:
I suggest to most of my patients to keep a food mood stress diary. Understanding how food makes you feel allows for a clear awareness that is necessary to make changes in your everyday diet. Discovering stress triggers can be extremely helpful tools and solutions ( exercise, yoga, meditation, or simply taking time outs and enjoying yourself) to better react with the stress that you have or may forsee.
2. Diet & Digestion
Eating a diet of processed foods, or simple carbohydrates, the body will not be getting the nutrients it needs. In my practice, I have found that when people remove these foods plus either gluten and dairy or both ( especially gluten) from their diet, their skin immediately clears up.
What to do:
First, begin eating a whole colorful diet. Second, give yourself 2 weeks and begin by removing gluten completely ( stick to brown rice). Add probiotics ( learn more here) to help with your digestion. During the 2 week trial, make note of any changes, and after the 2 weeks is up, eat gluten all day. Again, note any changes for up to 72 hours. You will be surprised with the results. You can repeat this with dairy or any other suspected food sensitivity.
Creams, laundry detergent, soaps can all be very irritating to the skin and promote the inflammatory eczema. Being a ( label) detective to find out what could be the cause of your skin eruptions ( or your childs) is the first place to begin when treating eczema.
What to do: I happily stumbled upon a company, yoreGANICS, whose mission is to create products that are hypoallergenic and soothing to everyone’s skin. Their clever and brilliant twist was to use soap nuts. Their products are all gluten free, cruelty free, natural and USDA certified organic, hypoallergenic and free of synthetic chemicals, preservatives, parabens, lanolin, coal tar, SLS sodium lauryl sulfate, steroids, detergents, mineral oil, petroleum, fragrances, dyes, alcohol.
Visit their site to learn all about eczema, and the best ways to treat it topically.
If you have any questions of need support with treating it, please feel free to email me.
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