Perhaps your lot in life is that of an eczema sufferer, but guess what? It needn’t be the end of the world. In fact, once your better informed I’m convinced that you’ll walk away feeling 100% more confident and better equipped to manage this bothersome condition.
Dry, red, itchy patches is what eczema looks like and can be brought on by numerous factors such as stress, dry cold air and even a dip in humidity and temperature.
According to California dermatologist, Neal Bhatia, MD, moisturizing alone may not effectively treat an eczema flare-up because “eczema has an inflammatory component and if you don’t treat the inflammation, you may not get relief from even the best moisturizing routine.” Furthermore, “when one has eczema, there is an alteration in the skin that allows essential water to escape, allowing pollen, dust mites and bacteria to enter,” which results in dry, itchy patches.
So, how do I take the itch out of eczema?
Along with using moisturizing with ceramide-rich creams, non-soap cleansing bars like SheaMoisture African Black Soap Eczema & Psoriasis Therapy Medicated Cleansing Bar ($4.99, cvs.com) – the natural solution to managing eczema and fragrance-free laundry detergent, Dr. Bhatia suggests the prescription-only anti-inflammatory solution – Cloderm Cream 0.1%. Cloderm has a unique molecule, clocortolone pivalate, which provides significant relief of eczema symptoms because it dissolves into oils, is easily absorbed and can be applied on most areas of the body.
Dr. Bhatia further explains that hand eczema is usually the result from contact with an irritating substance, so he suggests that people in this category wear cotton-lined, waterproof gloves when washing dishes. And because sweat can trigger an eczema flare up, to shower as soon as possible after working out.
If you’re a sufferer who’d rather brave eczema sans the prescription, then try The AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Care Kit, a two-step regimen formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal to help soothe eczema-prone skin. This kit also includes Eczema Therapy Bath Treatment, which gently cleanses and relieves skin irritation and Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream, which seals in moisture.
Curious about other treatment options, HKI looked to Lora Condon, author of Spa Wars – The Ugly Truth About the Beauty Industry (13.46, amazon.com) for more information.
“A popular remedy to minimize or eradicate eczema is to take probiotics, lactobacillus or acidophilus – the good bacterias. Antibiotics work by killing the bad bacteria in our body, but they also kill all the good bacteria as well, which is why many women end up with yeast infections while taking antibiotics. Because yogurt contains acidophilus, it is a recommended [food] while taking antibiotics. An imbalance of good vs. bad intestinal bacteria can directly result in eczema showing up on the skin. Find a yogurt or pill with over a billion units and take it daily to prevent or clear up irritations.
Gluten and dairy are also irritants that clog up the digestive track and can bring about episodes of eczema. Try eliminating as much wheat, gluten and dairy as possible for 6 weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Increase fiber and water intake to cleanse the intestinal track and keep toxins moving out of the system before they back up and show up on the skin. Once you’ve started cleansing from the inside, it’s time to work on the actual skin.
Gentle is always better when dealing with eczema and I recommend using essential oils like lavender, patchouli and tea tree. Break a Vitamin E capsule in your hand and mix with 2 drops of each oil and apply to the area twice a day. Another at-home remedy is to take chamomile and Earl Grey tea bags, make a tea, let it cool and dip some cotton into the tea and apply to the area. This is very healing and soothing.Colloidal oatmeal baths also help sooth itching, soreness and irritation.”
For more information on eczema-safe foods, beneficial skin care ingredients, top nutritional supplements and much more, pick up a copy of The Eczema Diet ($16.36, walmart.com), written by nutritionist and former model, Karen Fischer.
Now stop scratching already!
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