Understanding Eczema by Allison Smith, Office Manager
Eczema has become three more times common in recent decades, mainly due to proper diagnosis. If you suffer from eczema, or what people call an ‘itchy-red rash’, then you understand the pain. To ease people’s thoughts of eczema – it is NOT contagious. The condition is said to have a genetic component. Eczema can first appear as tiny, small red blisters and when scratched can weep or ooze. When a person has chronic eczema, the blisters are less prominent and the skin becomes thick, elevated and scaly. Almost all patients, including myself, complain of the constant itching. When you scratch, the rash worsens and can lead to more inflammation and itching, known as the ‘itch-scratch’ cycle. Though there is no known cure for eczema, in most cases, it’s very manageable.
There are several different types of eczema. It can be brought on by food allergies, exposure to a specific substance, weather and the list goes on. You probably didn’t think your diet can have a direct effect on outbreaks, but it can.
Here are some foods to help reduce eczema flare ups:
Foods with Vitamin A: Orange or yellow colored veggies – apricots, sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, yellow beets, nectarines, peaches, etc.
Probiotic-rich Foods: Kiefer, goat’s milk and amasai
Essential Fatty Acids: Wild-caught fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts, eggs and almonds
Pumpkin or Chia Seeds: These seeds are packed with zinc, which is essential for wound healing and metabolizing fatty acids
In order to make an accurate diagnosis of eczema, it’s important for your physician to take a complete history and examine all of the areas of skin that are affected. To help prevent eczema there are many different and inexpensive approaches to treating eczema.
Basic and natural ways to treat eczema:
- Keep your skin moisturized- Right when you get out of the shower (your skin still has some dampness to it) rub your fragrance-free, all-natural lotion all over your body. Sweat can trigger eczema so it’s important to shower right after sweat-inducing activity
- Corticosteroid creams- Benadryl and Cortaid (or a prescription from your doctor) are known for controlling the inflammation of eczema and help with itching
- Sunlight- Direct sunlight on the skin can reduce eczema by increasing vitamin D, which improves immunity. Evening primrose or borage oil contains GLA, which acts as an anti-inflammatory for the skin. Other oils that help soothe and health the red, dry skin associated with eczema is myrrh, melaleuca, lavender and geranium. Be careful of sunburn though! Wear a SPF.
Try my homemade eczema cream:
Time: 40 Mins, Serves: 25 uses
* A key ingredient is lavender essential oil which health heal dry skin and raw shea butter, which is full of vitamin A.
- Wide-mouth mason jar (or something similar with a lid storage)
- Double boiler (another option is to use a heat-safe container that you can plan in a saucepan filled with some water, such a jar)
- Mixer: hand-held or stand alone
- ½ cup raw shea butter
- ½ cup coconut oil (I’ve read you can substitute with almond or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 30 drops of lavender essential oil
- 8 drops tea tree essential oil
- Optional: 5 drops of geranium or myrrh essential oil
- Using the double boiler (or jar in water) melt the shea butter and coconut oil until they’re combined
- Add the honey and continue to stir
- Once everything has melted together, add the lavender and tea tree oils, continue to blend
- Cover and put in the fridge for a few minutes so that the mixture will thicken and cool down. Don’t put it in too long, you don’t want it to harden too much
- Using the mixer, mix for several minutes until it has a frothy appearance, eventually developing the consistency of a lotion.
- Transfer it to the mason jar or container
- Store at room temp or in the fridge. Keeping it at room temp will make it easier to apply
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.