Eczema can be a frustrating skin condition, whether you get it a few times a year or deal with it every day. People can use creams, natural products, and dietary and lifestyle changes to manage or prevent eczema flares, especially in the winter, when symptoms tend to be at their worst.
Natural substances, such as aloe vera gel and coconut oil, can moisturize dry, broken skin. They can also combat inflammation and harmful bacteria to reduce swelling and prevent infection.
What is Eczema
Eczema is red, flaky and itchy skin, which will often crack and weep. The most common type of eczema is atopic (caused by allergies), but people may suffer from contact eczema (flare-ups after touching allergens such as nickel or rubber), discoid (which occurs in coin-shaped patches), or seborrheic (eczema of the scalp).
According to conventional medicine, the cause of eczema is unknown. Not to mention, conventional medicine only treats the symptoms. Doctors may only prescribe medications or creams for eczema relief to reduce itching and prevent infection. However, functional medicine takes a different perspective. Eczema is an external symptom of an internal problem. Functional medicine practitioners work to address the true underlying cause of eczema a malfunctioning immune system.
You see, eczema occurs when you experience inflammation, which is your body’s response to a perceived threat. Your immune system is so stressed by these threats that it goes into overdrive and attacks your own skin cells. Many people who have eczema have asthma and seasonal allergies as well. These are also caused by inflammation and an overactive immune system. In fact, this is so common that doctors refer to this as the “atopic triad.” Not surprisingly, another thing all three of these conditions have in common is that you can treat the inflammation triggering them, reverse their symptoms, and prevent flares.
Get rid of Eczema Permanently
- Moisturize regularly:
When your skin gets too dry, it can become irritated and cause your eczema to flare. Wind, low humidity, cold temperatures, harsh soaps and too much washing without the use of a moisturizer immediately after, all can lead to dry skin. Many people with eczema have drier-than-normal skin due to an imbalance in the topmost protective layer of skin called the skin barrier. When functioning normally, our skin barrier helps keep irritants and allergens out and moisture in. That’s why bathing and properly moisturizing to maintain a healthy skin barrier are key to help control your eczema symptoms. It’s important to understand how and when to properly moisturize, and which products are best to use when you have eczema.
- Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for many conditions, including skin disorders. Vinegar is highly acidic. The skin is naturally acidic, but people with eczema may have less acidic skin than others. This can weaken the skin’s defenses.
Applying diluted apple cider vinegar could help balance the skin’s acidity levels, but vinegar can cause burns if it is not diluted. In contrast, many soaps, detergents, and cleansers are alkaline. They can disrupt the acidity of the skin, which can leave the skin vulnerable to damage. This may explain why washing with certain soaps can cause eczema flares.
- Invest in Anti-inflammatory diet:
If you already eat a whole-foods based diet with organic fruits and vegetables and pasture-raised meats, you may have underlying food sensitivities triggering eczema. In fact, in children with eczema this is the most common underlying cause. In this case, I recommend avoiding inflammatory foods such as gluten, corn, soy, and dairy. Instead, focus on adding foods high in antioxidants, such as richly colored fruits and vegetables. In addition, there are foods with anti-inflammatory compounds including fatty fish, nuts, avocados, and turmeric.
Some cases of histamine intolerance are so extreme, they need to remove meats that were fed a corn and soy diet. To avoid this, look for grass-fed, wild and pasture-raised meats and poultry. Studies show that diets high in fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish are associated with a lower risk for developing eczema, whereas diets full of processed foods increase the risk of eczema flares.
- Change your washing detergent:
sounds so simple but we often forget that clothes are the thing that come into contact with our skin the most. I often found that my eczema got a lot worse as I started wearing more clothes when the cold weather set in. If you think about it, even though most of the detergent gets washed out every time you wash your clothes, they always come out the machine with a fresh clean smell so it must be leaving some sort of residue. There have been many eczema arguments against biological washing powder because the enzymes used to eat the dirt could also eat your skin but nothing has been proved. I would just say that natural is best because even after I got rid of the biological washing powder, there were still some that chafed no end! The Simply pure range because it doesn’t use harmful substances (to you or the fishes in the sea) and it leaves your clothes smelling delightful, it is also recommended by the national eczema society.
- Avoid heat:
Sitting next to a fireplace or near a furnace may feel good, but it can make eczema symptoms worse. The hot, dry air can dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itchiness of eczema. Use a humidifier during the dry winter months and avoid getting too close to heaters and fireplaces.
- Use cocoa butter:
Cocoa butter is great for your skin because Vitamins E among others is naturally found within it. If it is cold pressed, the vitamins will be more prevalent. It also makes your skin beautifully soft and smells like a dream! It’s best to buy it in its most pure form as this guarantees there will be no parabens mixed in but it’s also so much cheaper than shop bought brands. It keeps forever so there is never any need to put artificial preservatives in it anyway.
There is no cure for eczema, but people can often manage their symptoms with home remedies, including natural gels and oils, medicated baths, and dietary changes.