by © Diana Thurbon
BA. Dip Med. Herb., Dip Soc Science Snr Fellow AANMP
Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist, Meditation Teacher
Keysborough - Melbourne Victoria
Eczema is a disorder of the immune system. It is possible with time, patience and dedication through the use of natural healing principles to completely eliminate this very distressing skin condition, but there is no quick fix. Sometimes during treatment the condition will temporarily flare up again.
Cortisone cream should only ever be used rarely and sparely; it can thicken the skin and if used regularly will eventually make the condition worse.
Eczema runs in families.
It is usually a minor problem or gone by adulthood. Severe eczema is unusual in adults.
If your parents suffered from hay fever, asthma or eczema you are more likely to develop the condition.
Eczema is in most cases an allergic response to a common substance, or substances, a food that is eaten on a regular basis, a washing product- personal or for clothes. Eczema is also made worse by stress – lack of sleep – other illnesses etc.
The gut should be healed so that it is less permeable and toxins are less likely to be absorbed directly from the gut to the blood stream. A supplement like Intestamine, a neutral flavoured powder is suitable for tiny children as well as adults.
Probiotics like Inner Health should be taken to balance gut flora. Herbs may be used to detoxify.
IMMUNE SYSTEM AND SKIN
These should be supported with vitamin supplements, zinc, L lysine, herbs (possibly albizzia and burdock) and fresh vegetable juices.
Omega 3 oils will reduce the inflammatory response. ( It needs time and the correct dosage)
Soap should NEVER be used on the skin. A simple warm water shower or bath is sufficient for daily washing. Sorbalene cream can be used for washing if the skin is visibly dirty. Special shampoos are available which don’t contain chemicals.
Clothes should be washed in warm water with a little natural soap and very well rinsed.
House cleaning should be done with natural products such as bi carb or vinegar.
Never use antibacterial cleaners, mould removers or chemical air fresheners.
Cotton should be worn next to the skin. Sheets should also be cotton or silk.
In babies, foods are the usual triggers. Babies sometimes develop eczema after weaning. If this is the case all dairy products should be removed from the diet for at least 2 weeks as this situation points to a dairy allergy. Be careful that no dairy is eaten in this period – even some milk protein in a lolly could cause a flare up and confuse the result.
The most common food allergens for eczema in children include wheat, dairy, soy, and eggs. With adults- nuts, peanuts or fish may also be the cause of problems. A gluten intolerance sometimes manifests as eczema.
Try an elimination diet. Start by removing the above foods – after 2 weeks test each food one at a time. During exclusion diet eat natural home made foods. Avoid all processed foods, as it’s hard to know if there is a tiny bit of the excluded food in a processed food. It is the food proteins which cause the trouble not the fats or starch.
Some people, react to the chemicals used in processed foods, supermarket breads etc. Be aware that finding out which additive may be worsening your eczema is very difficult as there are so many of them in supermarket foods. Foods eaten by children are among the worst: cordial, jelly, muesli bars, lollies, soft drinks are full of chemicals.
If wheat has been cleared as problem buy your bread from Bakers Delight or your health shop to avoid these chemicals.
Use Calendula cream, natural honey based eczema creams, almond oil, avocado oil or rose hip oil. Cod liver oil is healing when the skin is weeping or broken but unfortunately smells fishy. Likewise Ungvita, it works well but it also has a strong fishy smell.
A warm bath, with added rolled Oats ( 2 tablespoons in a stocking, hanging in the bath water), very soothing and healing.
Eczema improves when dust mites are reduced in the environment. Removing carpet and rugs and using standard dust mite control for the bedding is helpful in eliminating eczema. Children’s stuffed toys often harbour huge dust mite populations.
Eczema that persists beyond childhood points to an immune system under severe stress.
Don’t ‘burn the candle at both ends’ Slow down.
Learn yoga or meditation. Get eight hours sleep a night. Hurry hurry is a sickness that wears out the adrenal glands, destroys immunity, raises blood pressure, increases cardiovascular risk and spoils quality of life. Even if these are avoided going thorough life with weeping itchy skin is horrible and unnecessary. Try to live more simply and more slowly. Mindfulness techniques help to restore immune health.
Eczema is a distressing condition for children and adults but with time and perseverance and the support of your practitioner it can be overcome and health completely restored.
PS: To be part of the useNature Directory, click > list your Healing Business
The information provided in this article is intended for general use and for personal interest only. It should not be used or understood as suggestion or medical advice.