Living with Eczema.
For those who can slather on a full face of make up in the morning and leave the house with a flawless skin, you are truly blessed.
Many people suffer with hot, itchy skin, often associated with skin dryness, the skin is inflamed and irritated and even make up won’t conceal their misery, this condition, better known as eczema or atopic dermatitis (being atopic, means having a genetic tendency for your immune system to make increased levels of IgE antibodies to certain allergens. An atopic individual is likely to have more than one allergic condition during their lifetime, such as eczema, asthma, hay fever or food allergy.)
Some simple tips to help you cope with Eczema:
- Eczema can be exacerbated by anxiety and other forms of stress. Try meditation or yoga, take some time for yourself. Reflexology and massage are great ways to help you destress, talk to one of our therapists about the many benefits of reflexology. An amazing treatment for relaxation and creating a feeling of well being in the body.
- Keep your nails short and clean to lessen the trauma from scratching. Scratching causes the body to release histamine, which further aggravates symptoms. A hot environment increases itching so keep your home cool.
- Keep the skin soft and supple. This can be done by using emollients, which keep the skin moist and flexible. Emollients soothe and relieve the itch, producing an oily layer over the skin surface which traps water beneath it. The resulting restoration of the skin’s barrier function by emollients prevents penetration of irritants, allergens and bacteria thereby reducing or preventing the development of eczema.These are available from your GP.
- Consider whether anything at work may exacerbate your eczema. What are your triggers? Do you find after something you eat your skin flares up or after using hand soap or a certain shampoo. Keep a note for a couple of weeks and see if you can pinpoint any of your triggers.
- When outside take care not to allow skin to become sunburnt. There are specially formulated sunscreens available for eczema sufferers that do not contain some of the ingredients which may make the skin become more irritated.
- Water can have a drying effect on skin, use gel or cream based cleansers rather than facial washes.
- Seasons of the year (for example, in winter), or even emotional responses (such as stress), may cause eczema to worsen.
- Cider Vinegar has long been used to soothe skin inflammation and burns and it is also a disinfectant. You can use cotton balls to apply the vinegar directly to scaly areas, or apply to larger areas with a clean paper towel dipped in 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Note: Do not use this remedy if your skin is cracked or bleeding, as the vinegar will sting and irritate the area
- Olive oil is another natural oil packed with omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation. Try rubbing some warm olive oil into affected areas of the skin to soften scaly patches. If psoriasis is affecting your scalp, try working some olive oil into your scalp while showering to loosen and remove the dried skin. Adding olive oil to your diet can also help heal your skin from the inside out.
- Flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and they help block a chemical in your body called arachidonic acid which causes inflammation. Grind up a few tablespoons of flaxseed and add to smoothies, oatmeal, granola, or salads. You can also use flaxseed oil as a dressing for salads and veggies.
- Rub a few drops of tea tree oil diluted in a little olive oil, into your dry skin or psoriasis patches several times a day. The Australian remedy is useful for relieving itch and softening plaques, especially if you have a mild case.
- Pure aloe vera is rich in anti-inflammatory and healing compounds, and provides a nice cooling sensation to itchy skin. If you have eczema or psoriasis, consider growing your own aloe plant so you can take the gel straight from its natural source. Pure aloe vera gel can also be found at most drug stores and health food stores.
- Numerous studies have linked the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil to improvement in eczema and psoriasis when taken in high doses, between 3 and 10 grams a day. Talk to your doctor about taking a fish oil supplement. Meanwhile, olive oil, flaxseed, nuts, and fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and tuna are all good natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Aim for at least three 3 to 4 ounce servings of canned fatty fish per week. Note: omega-6 fatty acids, found in safflower, sunflower, and corn oil, have been shown to worsen inflammation.
- Our clients love Dermalogica’s Barrier repair. This unique anhydrous (waterless) moisturiser melts gently into skin to help shield against environmental and internal triggers that cause skin stress.
- Jane Iredale mineral make up is a skincare makeup and will not irritate the skin. Available at Beauty Haven we can advise you on the best product within the range to suit your skin.