Article by Guest Author, Robin Adler – Toxic Beauty
Have you ever thought about how to treat eczema? If you’ve ever been troubled with this skin disorder, you know how frustrating and unpleasant it can be. I’ve witnessed the results of eczema closely through one of the children in my class. Little Tommy came to class every single day with dreadful welts and patches on his skin. Right after lunch, he’d scratch and regardless of how many times I’d tell him to quit, he continued to scratch. He’d weep too as the sores were very painful, made worse by all the scratching he was doing. It made me feel sad to see him in pain and discomfort and it made me ask myself…just what causes eczema and how can it be dealt with naturally?
What is Eczema?
Right before we jump into the causes, just what specifically is eczema? Here is a straightforward definition from Dr. Melissa Conrad Stoppler:
“Eczema is a term for different types of skin inflammation (dermatitis). The symptoms of eczema commonly include itchy, reddened, dry skin.”
So primarily, any sort of rash can be viewed as eczema. It can range in severeness from just a tiny patch of itchy rash to big areas of the body. The most typical areas of the body impacted by eczema are the face, neck, and the interiors of the elbows, knees, and ankles. Nearly everyone has suffered from a skin rash at one time or another in their lifetime that ultimately goes away, but constant rashes and skin sores are considered severe eczema.
What Causes Eczema?
Specialists say eczema is hereditary, and that it’s more prevalent among members of the same family. Others assert it’s caused by external or dietary factors. I agree with the second perspective as I’ve seen this up close. My student had lots of food allergies and although his mom tried to keep him far from certain foods, this was not at all times possible. When he came back from the noon meal, his itchiness was much more intense and I tend to think it was because he had the wrong foods at lunch. We’ll get more into the eczema/nutrition link in a bit.
Some physicians say eczema is an external reflection of inflammation inside of the body and is a consequence of a weakened immune system. Components within the body which bring about eczema include bad nutrition and a body full of toxic substances.
The signs or symptoms can also be worsened by environmental issues, such as when cosmetics, detergents, and clothing come into very close contact with the skin. I think most people get some sort of irritation when using traditional personal care products, because these kinds of toxic materials are damaging to both the skin and inside the body when they get assimilated. When people get a rash or reaction, they tend to not make the association between the irritation and their skincare products. When I was younger, I would get frequent rashes under my arms from the deodorant I used and I never ever thought it was from my deodorant.
A great deal of the cases of eczema can be avoided by making the switch to natural or organically produced skin products.
So what are the choices in treating eczema and can it be healed?
There are several approaches to managing eczema, including both pharmaceutical drugs and more natural methods. An approach I would not encourage is to use medicated creams and prescription medications. Such “remedies” only cover up the symptoms, without seeking to treat the root causes. Both over the counter and RX medicines also come with a multitude of side effects you may experience and it’s just not worth the risk.
So if medicated creams and drugs are ruled out, what can you do when you have a flare-up? Here’s a few better options for topical relief:
Use a natural, calming lotion, such as Calamine. A good brand is Cal-Al by Aubrey Organics, which blends calamine and aloe or a cream/gel containing calendula, which is an anti-inflammatory.
Use a therapeutic balm such as Sweet Blessed Bee Magic, Badger Balm, or Hawaiian Healing Salve by Lanikai.
If you are oversensitive to creams with essential oils, use pure organic, virgin coconut oil – it’s exceptionally healing in so many ways.
If you are affected with eczema, there are a number of things you need to stay away from such as:
- Bathing too much – when you do bathe, take brief showers/baths in warm, not hot water
- Allergic foods – including wheat, dairy, corn, and rice
- Scratching – I know, it’s hard not to!
- Excessive sweating – it makes the itching worse
- Irritants, such as skin creams, perfumes, and soaps
The Eczema/Nutrition Relationship
Although I find some credibility in the eczema/heredity link, I think the most significant factor with the chance to make it worse is your eating habits. Tommy himself demonstrated how his skin condition worsened after he ate wheat products and drank milk at lunch time. For me, I usually see an increase in skin redness and itchiness if I consume a food I know I shouldn’t. If you know you’re reactive to wheat, gluten, dairy, or various other foods, it’s best to stay away from those foods at all costs.
On top of that, people’s eczema’s problems are worsened simply by a bad diet. If your diet is full of processed foods, your eczema will worsen, guaranteed. The most beneficial diet for someone with skin inflammation is to eat whole foods, including organic fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed meats, along with sources of healthful fats, such as coconut oil, fish, and nuts. The intake of healthy fats is crucial. Eczema Natural Healing site says,
“…it has been scientifically proven through clinical research that individuals with eczema appear to have deficiencies in essential fatty acids.”
You may want to take a look a the book, “The Skin Cure Diet: Heal Eczema From the Inside Out.”
Additionally, those affected with eczema most likely have a buildup of harmful toxins in their bodies, which may consist of pollutants, heavy metals, chemical based pesticides, and drugs. The best defense to oppose this is to do a comprehensive detoxification program, which may include juicing whole fruits and vegetables. One effective detox program I’ve used before is made by Dr. Natur, which is a high quality brand readily available online. It really works!
In conclusion, the most effective option on how to treat eczema is to look within. Eat a nutritious diet and do a detoxification program and you should see progress. If outbreaks still occur, you can use a pure cream which will give fast relief.
About the Author: Robin Adler is an organic beauty blogger dedicated to helping women choose safer cosmetics. It’s her mission to help every woman become a vigilant label reader and delete toxic cosmetics and personal care products from their lives. Please join her at Toxic Beauty Blog to learn how to go green with your beauty routine. Download her free report- Label Lies: Secrets of Organic Cosmetics at http://labellies.us.
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