Eczema

eczema treatment
Psoriasis on the elbow

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis is a skin condition which causes skin irritation and itching on the upper layers of the skin, the epidermis. It is charactered by red scaly areas, dryness and there can be watery fluid weeping from the affected areas.

Typically, eczema causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and even cracked and leathery. Eczema can appear on any part of the body.

Eczema is a chronic problem for many people. It is most common in infants, many of whom outgrow it before adulthood.

What Causes Eczema and Treatment Options

For most, summer is about enjoying the outdoors, firing up the barbeque, heading to the beach, pool parties, picnics in the park and eating out on hot summer nights. So much fun! But for others, it’s an itchy nightmare. Because for eczema sufferers the heat can cause havoc with their skin, increasing inflammation making their life miserable. But heat is just one of the factors that eczema suffers have to deal with.

What Causes Eczema

There are many things that can be triggered eczema including:

  • Environmental factors eg heat, air pollution, smoke and humidity.
  • Intestinal imbalance e.g. leaky gut.
  • Food allergies e.g. gluten.
  • Genetic predisposition.

It can flare up and calm down over time and also be affected by:

  • Emotional stress.
  • Bacterial skin infection.
  • Sweat.
  • Wool clothing.
  • Pets.
  • Hormone fluctuation.
  • Dust, mould, pollens.
  • Chemicals found in personal care products eg shampoo, soaps and skincare.

Note: Refer to the EWG website to their section called Skin Deep to check if an ingredient in your personal care product could be a known irritant.

How To Treat Eczema

With all of these contributing factors in mind, a holistic approach to treating eczema is essential.

Prescription Medication
There are prescription medications available but these will only treat the symptoms and not the cause and there are drawbacks to using them. Dr Elizabeth Lipski, author of Digestive Wellness state that “eczema starts from within the body and needs to be addressed systematically. The most common treatment for eczema is cortisone cream, which suppresses your body’s normal immune function. It’s very effective; however, there is often a rebound effect after you stop using the cream, and your symptoms return worse than before”.

Natural Eczema Creams
Creams that contain natural plant-based ingredients such as chamomile, calendula, olive squalene and vitamin e are soothing and healing for the skin without negative side effects.

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