Have you tried everything for your eczema and can’t get rid of it?

By Bronwyn Potts, Skincare Specialist – Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market

Eczema can be a frequently occurring condition that irritates and inflames the skin causing it to be blotchy, itchy and red and at times overwhelmingly painful. There are many different types of eczema with varying degrees of intensity and causes.

These may include:
  • Hereditary
  • Immune dysfunction
  • A response to ingredients in body and hair products or clothing
  • Irritants in the environment and home such as cleaning products, furniture and pest control treatments
  • Food and plant allergies
  • Chronic stress
Some of the more common types are:
  1. Atopic dermatitis.
    This is the most common form of itchy, inflamed skin. A response of the body’s immune system to triggers in the environment which are often hereditary.
  2. Contact dermatitis.
    Itching, redness and burning happens when the skin has come in contact with an irritant in a product, plant, clothing, cleaning or other environmental chemical.
  3. Seborrhoeic eczema.
    Are generally yellowish scaly patches (similar to dandruff) on the head or face that can be a genetic condition caused by stress or weather conditions.
  4. Neuro dermatitis.
    Is skin inflammation caused by the scratch- itch -cycle from a bite or other antagonist such as stress.
  5. Stasis dermatitis.
    A sluggish circulatory condition affecting the lower legs usually occurring in women over 50.

Some eczema can resemble psoriasis and rosacea, however these are different conditions and may or may not respond positively.

Also, there are other less common types of eczema that are more medically related that I haven’t talked about in this article.

Unfortunately, there is no immediate solution to a chronic condition of eczema however, there are ways to alleviate and reduce the severity of what may have become at times, an unbearable condition.

Foods can also be triggers and cause persistent irritating flare-ups. The most common reactions are found in alcohol, citrus or seeded fruits, nuts, seafood, colours, additives and sometimes wheat & dairy. If you feel the connection is food related talk to one of our naturopaths to help you with an elimination diet.

There is also a strong link to yeast-sugar related eczema and reducing the intake of these two ingredients can reduce aggressive flare-ups.

The following suggestions are worth trying to see if one or several remedies help in reducing an eczema attack.

  • Take skin strengthening vitamin B supplements.
  • Increase omega fatty acids and fish oils.
  • Include vitamin A and E rich foods.
  • Use a probiotic that contains the lactobacillus rhamnosus strain.
  • Check if your diet is connected to your outbreak- keep a food diary and note when flare ups occur.
  • Reduce sugar and yeast.
Product recommendations

Fusion skin tonic

Ethical Nutrients eczema relief

Nordic Naturals cod liver oil (contains omega fatty acids Vitamin A and D)

  • Use fragrance free products that include ingredients such as shea butter,
    calendula, oatmeal and licorice.
  • Avoid harsh soaps, foaming agents, fragrances and preservatives in your products.
  • Use simple products with minimal ingredient listing.
  • Try not to use exfoliation with active ingredients.
  • Swim at the beach and expose your skin to a little bit of sunshine.
  • Reduce the heat of your shower, as it strips your natural oils from your skin and further irritates it, instead bath in luke warm water and add Himalayan salt.
  • Use cool damp compresses.
  • Apply an all natural oil or cream after your shower while your skin is still warm.
  • Avoid using cleaning agents or household, pest and garden chemicals.
  • Use gloves with cotton liners.
  • Check your washing detergent for sulphates and other skin irritants.

Product recommendations

  • McArthur Pawpaw Eczema cream
  • MooGoo Eczema & Psoriasis cream
  • Bfree Calendula oil

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