First, know that eczema (also called “atopic dermatitis”) is a serious skin condition. Eczema causes dry skin that can itch, redden, and crack. In the rash, part of the skin may burst, or the rash may be all over the body. In adults, eczema usually develops on the inside of the elbows, behind the knees, on the hands and behind the elbows. In young children, the rash is most common on the face. However, eczema can occur in most places. Eczema is most common in people whose relatives have allergic conditions such as asthma or hay fever. Up to 30 percent of children have eczema.
The question of what causes eczema is a very common question. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, it may be caused or worsened by:
1) Soaps, laundry detergents and perfumes.
2) Itchy clothes (like wool) can also irritate the skin.
3) Allergens such as pollen, pet hair or dandruff (dry patches of skin), food, hairs and dust mites. (Dust mites are very small, spider-like creatures. They make their homes in mattresses, pillows, and rugs. They can only be seen under a microscope.)
4) Low humidity. In cold weather, the heated air inside homes and other buildings can cause the skin to dry out and become itchy.
5) Heat, high humidity and perspiration. These can make itching worse.
6) Some foods or drinks can cause an allergic reaction in your body.
7) Emotional stress or feeling sad can cause the face and body to become itchy, red, and hot.
“What can I do if food is causing my eczema?” it is asked.
Eating healthy foods on a regular basis can go a long way towards achieving and maintaining the optimum condition and health of our bodies. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Water helps keep the skin moist. However, if you suspect a specific allergy to a food item, do the following: Start by eliminating a particular food from your diet for a while and keep a diary to record the response your eczema may have. Let go of any food item that triggers the condition.
The next healthy step in eczema treatment is to include omega 3 fats in your diet alongside nutritional herbal supplements. Numerous studies show that increasing the consumption of herbs and omega-3 oils improves eczema, psoriasis, as well as other dry, rough, red and scaly skin types that many people suffer from. So be sure to include them in your eczema treatment.
Sulfur is another mineral known to improve healthy skin, hair and nails. Collagen, which is important for the elasticity of the skin, cannot be produced without sulfur. In fact, this mineral helps with eczema and all kinds of itchy rashes. Its antioxidant properties help keep the skin youthful and protect the body against toxins. Some natural sources are: meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, garlic, onions, cabbage, brussels sprouts, soybeans and wheat germ.
I often recommend doing the following:
1) Run your laundry through two rinse cycles and try using a milder laundry soap, as laundry soaps can irritate your skin.
2) Wear gloves when working with cleaning products that can irritate your skin.
3) Wash your sheets frequently in hot water to get rid of dust mites. Use dustproof covers on pillows, springs and mattresses.
4) Wear loose-fitting clothing made of cotton and other natural materials that “breathe”. Wash new clothes before wearing them.
I also highly recommend that skin care is very important to your eczema treatment, so don’t skip this one!
1) Take a shower for less than 10 minutes in lukewarm water instead of hot water only once a day.
2) Wash with a specially formulated gentle “non-soap” cleanser that contains only organically grown and hypoallergenic herbal ingredients.
Vitamin-derived antioxidants from plant-derived ingredients make the best ingredients not only for your “inside” but also your “outside”. For example, vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation and helps maintain the integrity of skin tissue. It is even necessary for wound healing and facilitates the healing of burns. A pure and gentle cleanser packed with nutrients will be right for all skin types, conditions and ages.
3) After bathing, dry your skin gently with a soft towel.
4) Then moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! This is extremely important for your eczema treatment.
Only choose therapeutic body creams that are specially formulated, will stop itching, repair skin 7 layers deep, are hypoallergenic, and work well to treat dry skin.
The most effective specially formulated products are plant-based, have a very rich emollient level and are loaded with nutrients. They must also be able to cope with a variety of skin conditions. Remember, the best moisturizers are also the thickest ones. While your body will respond to healthy foods, your skin will respond fairly quickly to the right natural remedies and products.