Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
If you have, it you know it! And if you don’t have it, you can’t begin to understand how it adversely affects one’s everyday life.
What is Eczema?
The inflammatory skin condition presents as areas of dry skin, with itching and reddening. It looks like something that could be contagious but it isn’t. Heat and other environmental factors can trigger it. For some people, so can certain foods but it’s more the environment, plus stress.
It is said to be inherited and can predispose the skin to other nasties such as impetigo, cold sores and warts.
Treatments can be allopathic such as corticosteroids, or alternative such as sea buckthorn oils.
It can first appear in early childhood – mine did but by puberty, I grew out of it. Thankfully. And it can be associated with hay fever, which mine was, but again that became history at puberty. My sister on the other hand still suffers from outbreaks (now in her 50’s) and has the occasional asthma attack which is not an uncommon associate of eczema. She uses our Sea Buckthorn products, with great success, and finds that stress can trigger episodes which change her baby soft beautiful hands into itchy, painfully red and inflamed enemies!
When the skin is itchy, it’s difficult if not impossible to rub or scratch the skin … naturally the skin soon breaks and there is then easy access for germs and bacteria including Golden staph (Staphylococcus aureus).
Habits to adopt:
- Heat seems quite a common trigger so avoiding heat such as hot showers and baths might help.
- Ordinary soap can be irritating to the skin so avoid it or replace it with a quality non-irritating soap such as easy-to-find Castile Soap which is based with olive oils – there are scented and unscented choices … I have used only Castile Soap for years and avoid harsh washing soaps and shampoo … and if ever lacking something to do, can spend an hour trying to read all the information on the label! It’s available from Health Shops and a litre (approx $26) lasts a long, long time.
- Pat the skin dry with a soft, fluffy towel instead of using a coarser towel as an excuse to scrub the skin!
- Applying a natural moisturiser or gentle oils whilst skin is damp might help to hydrate the skin to prevent dryness which leads to itchiness. We have had excellent feedback from people using our Sea Buckthorn Body Glow on damp skin to hydrate the skin, especially during the dry winter.
- Dress for the weather so that layers can be shed if temperature rises or your activity increases.
- Soft cotton and soft synthetic fabrics can be more gentle on the skin than scratchy acrylics and pure wool.
- Dishwasher detergent can be a real nuisance and if unavoidable, hands may need the protection of cotton gloves with rubber gloves over the top – rubber gloves alone are reported as “shocking” and worsen the discomfort.
- Chlorine in pools can exacerbate eczema as it is drying as well as irritating, so one either avoids that pool or applies a gentle moisturiser after swimming. All our Sea Buckthorn topical products are gentle to the skin and in this instance, Sea Buckthorn Skin Rejuve and Sea Buckthorn Body Glow can be helpful moisturisers. Swimming in seawater helps many people – the natural salt and minerals can be very healing and soothing.
- Potent perfumes and highly perfumed shampoos and skin lotions can be like a “red rag to a bull” for eczema sufferers … fortunately, there are some wonderful natural products available which are perfect for compromised skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. We fight to have alternatives to petroleum and chemical products and there are alternatives … read the whole label, not just the two-word catch cry that is skewed to increase market sales!
- Some people have an allergic reaction to some thing/s in the environment so you need to be a bit of a sleuth to identify this. If you have a diary that you can scribble in when you have an outbreak, write what you were doing or where you were, your state of mind, what you’d been eating or the weather … anything pertinent to that event … you may find a pattern emerges that indicates what might be triggering the eczema. One can undergo allergy tests but when one considers the thousands upon thousands of possibilities, it’s good to have a generalised idea of focus.
It has been suggested that eczema may occur when some omegas cannot be used as in a “normal” person. Or that the skin barrier function is compromised as compared with a “normal” person. Because eczema can lead in later life to allergies, hay fever and asthma, getting “on top” of the condition asap to restore the normal skin barrier function may play a large part in preventing later problems.
You will notice that there are several links to our Sea Buckthorn products … that is simply because Sea Buckthorn Oils have been long associated with tissue regeneration and the alleviating of dry skin, dermatitis and other inflamed skin conditions. The way to use the sea buckthorn oils is to:
- take the oil internally via capsules … effects may take up to 4-5 weeks to show on the outer skin layers as it works it’s way through the tissue layers from the inside out. (Sea Buckthorn Complete Vitality soft gel capsules)
- apply the Pure Oils to broken skin (Pure Sea Buckthorn Berry and Seed Oils)
- use a cream for moisturising (Sea Buckthorn Skin Rejuve)
- use an oil blend for full body moisturising replenishment (Sea Buckthorn Body Glow)
I found a lot of useful information over the internet with the following Australian support site http://eczema.org.au
We wish you luck and we wish you well … Linda
We are not healthcare or medical professionals and the information contained here is not to be taken as medical advice. It is recommended that you consult you healthcare professional prior to taking any supplements and always read the label, use only as directed, and if symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.