The transition from fall to winter can bring with it a skin condition known as eczema. Eczema, also known as dermatitis, causes irritation or inflammation of the skin (which can vary depending on the individual). It is a condition that is mainly seen in children with recurrences later into adulthood.
Eczema flare ups can be brought on by using or wearing wool or other scratchy materials, the use of harsh soaps or detergents; overheating or profuse sweating; and sudden changes in humidity or temperature.
The symptoms of eczema can range from mild dryness and discolouration of the skin, to scaly and itchy skin, to crusting and bleeding. It has the capacity to cause nearly unbearable discomfort and severe itching and incessant scratching can cause the skin to split and bleed making it susceptible to infection.
Those suffering from eczema either have a diminished ability for their skin to retain water or to produce sufficient levels of fats and oils. The lack of moisture causes the space between cells to widen leading to loss of water from the dermis.
If you suffer from eczema there are several natural remedies for the condition which help to strengthen the skin’s barrier and retain moisture as well as natural treatments for the itching and inflammation.
Aloe Vera and vitamin E
Two of the best natural skin soothers are pure Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. Aloe helps to condition and hydrate the skin while vitamin E has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in relieving eczema.
Toxins can often contribute to dermatitis therefore detoxifying the body by drinking water and herbal tea is beneficial to prevention and treatment.
Fish oil is rich in N-6 and N-3 fatty acids which help maintain normal skin function. Taking fish oil (either in capsule or liquid form) can help alleviate the itching associated with eczema.
Open up the refrigerator door and pull out a stick of butter to sooth dry and itchy skin. Oleic and stearic fatty acids in butter are not only moisturizing but help to repair damaged skin and reduce inflammation.
Turmeric with its powerful antioxidants has been shown to help reduce inflammation in some skin conditions and speed up wound healing time. Taking a tablespoon daily can help achieve these benefits. It can either be made into a tea or used in meals.
Adding mineral, vegetable or olive oil to warm bath water helps to soothe and moisturize the skin. The addition of milk or oatmeal to bath water can also help soothe the awful itch of eczema. Further, avoiding the use of harsh soaps and hot temperatures when bathing is also helpful.
Coconut oil is not only a great healing measure but preventative one as well. As a lipid, it prevents dryness and irritation in the skin. Rubbing coconut oil onto the skin helps to fill the intercellular space that causes moisture loss.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is very useful for soothing skin inflammation. Soaking a cotton ball and applying it directly to scaly areas of the skin helps reduce inflammation. It should not be used if the skin is cracked however as that will cause further irritation.
Stress is the underlying cause of many health conditions and can also be linked back to eczema. Because stress can affect the immune system and slow the healing process it can cause a flare up of eczema or slow its healing time. Stress management can reduce your susceptibility to many health concerns.
Many of the services offered at Total Wellness can assist with or enhance these natural remedies for the treatment of eczema. Contact us at (604) 738-3858 to learn more about a personalized program that can help treat the cause of your eczema.