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The Organic Salon.com - Dealing with Eczema

For the first time in my life at the age of 32, last Christmas 2005 I developed Eczema.  First of all I did not know what it was, I thought it was an allergic reaction to something.  I was doing my washing at my brothers who uses different powder from me.  Of course it’s a busy time of year, bit stressful, eating and drinking more than usual.  Initially the Eczema was absolutely everywhere apart from my face.  Now it has settled to the creases of my arms and knees, but when it flares up its all over my arms, shoulders and torso as well.

I have been aware of Eczema all my life, I’ve had friends and family members who have suffered so I knew a little bit about what effects it and how to treat it.  The feeling of having Eczema was something making me feel really uncomfortable, tense, stressed trying not to scratch it all the time, my skin looked really sore.  Since I developed it I have done some extensive reading and put together a few facts, tips and some product recommendations in the hope that I can help others in the same position.  I can now get rid of it completely by pretty much following the things I have mentioned below, it takes a bit of time and practice but its worked for me.

What is Eczema

Eczema is the name that is given to a broad clinical variety of common, itchy inflammatory skin diseases.  It can range from redness to a profusion of signs with blistering, weeping and crusting or thickened pigmented areas of skin with scaling.  It involves both the dermis and epidermis layer of the skin some cases of atopic eczema can itch severely, some moderately and some not at all.  Eczematous skin completely reverts to normal on healing.  This means that anatomical damage is confined to the epidermis.  Also known as atopic dermatitis, Eczema forms part of the ‘atopic triad’, a group of disorders including allergies and asthma, all of which are becoming increasingly common.  Eczema is now a worldwide epidemic.  In the UK up to one-fifth of school age children and on in 12 adults suffer from it.

Varieties of Eczema

A major textbook of dermatology lists 25 named varieties, the most common are:

Irritant and allergic contact Eczema
Irritant contact Eczema is 5 times more frequent than allergic contact Eczema.  Any irritant penetrating into the epidermis can produce Eczema.

Seborhoeic Eczema 
The lesions are red (sharply marginated, unlike any other forms of Eczema) and covered with greasy scales.  They appear in areas richly supplied with sebaceous glands.

Asteatotic Eczema
Asteatotic means without fat and this form of Eczema is associated with a decrease in skin surface lipids.

Gravitational Eczema
This is the preferred form of Eczema of the lower leg and related to venous hypertension.

Pompholyx Eczema
Pompholyx (vesicular Eczema of the palms and soles) means a bubble; cheiropompholyx refers to the palms and pedopompholyx to the soles.

Discoid Eczema
Nummilar Eczema, this condition is characterised by discoid lesions of Eczema a chronic inflammation of connective tissue.

Atopic Eczema
Most common type and generally associated with asthma and hay fever, very itchy.  The chronic phase is characterised by lichenification and marked xerosis.

Possible triggers, causes and what can make it worse

The causes of Eczema are many and varied and differ from person to person.  It is thought that the tendency toward atopy is inherited and that it involves an excessive immune reaction to allergens in the environment and what we consume can affect Eczema such things as caffeine, alcohol, food (six common allergens are eggs, peanuts, milk, fish, soy and wheat), pesticides, pollen, dust, certain plants, animal fur, food additives, drugs, industrial and chemicals irritants (such as products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulphate SLES and Parabens, like shampoos and detergents – click here to take you to our glossary to find out more about these, climate, dry air, too much sun, and psychological factors like stress and anxiety. 

Childhood vaccinations mirror an increasing decline in breastfeeding, found to protect against many childhood disorders such as Eczema as well as colds and other infections.  Children more likely to succumb to such diseases and in our germ-phobic culture are more likely to be given antibiotics.  Protecting children from exposure to dirt and germs and preventing disease to take its full course, forms part of the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ idea that says by doing this we destroying the immune system’s ability to respond appropriately to infection and other stimuli.  Antibiotics are sometimes given in combination with steroids as standard therapy for Eczema.  The rationale behind this is that the open sores common to Eczema may become infected.  However, continual use of antibiotics can cause Candida overgrowth which can actually make the Eczema worse.

Make it better

We’ve put together a list of recommendations, some are my own personal recommendations that work for me, some from friends and family some from our sources (see below).  What I found is that you have to find what works best for you, a process of elimination.  We really hope that this list will help to assist you in some way.

All the best
CK Signature

  • The biggest one for me is stress and anxiety.  Over the last 5 years I have encountered many stressful times and even starting up this website sometimes brings feelings of anxiety – ‘am I doing the right thing’, ‘will it work’, ‘the financial strain’, all adds up.  There is no doubt about it that my Eczema is affected by stress.  Doing yoga, meditation and yogic breathing works for me, keeps me relaxed and keeps the Eczema at bay.
     
  • Using any kind of steroid cream was a no no for me, a friend of mine used this for years and commented that her skin became weak and thin as a result.  Good old extra virgin olive oil worked for me when I had to put something all over my body.  I also used the Barefoot Botanicals SOS Skin Rescue cream (which I have mentioned in our recommendations below), this worked for the areas where the Eczema was more intense and localised.  There are many non-steroidal topical treatments for Eczema which are just as effective without undesirable side effects.
     
  • Interestingly I looked up Eczema in ‘Heal Your Body’ a book by Louise Hay, and she says Eczema has this psychological connection: Probable cause - Breath taking antagonism, mental irruptions/turmoil.  She gives a new thought pattern which is, an affirmation to say for this which is: Harmony and peace, love and joy surround me and indwell me.  I am safe and secure.
     
  • Try to avoid pain killers like paracetamol.  An intriguing observation is that Eczema rates have increased in line with sales of paracetamol.  Paracetamol use has already been associated with an increase in asthma and rhinitis in young adults.
     
  • Good food is the key, go organic where possible to avoid pesticides.  In take of fatty acids, milk, meat, margarine, may worsen Eczema.  Supplement with essential fatty acids such as evening primrose oil or borage oil.  A diet high in oily fish is another good way to boost good fats.
     
  • Oolong tea, evidence continues to mount that tea has many benefits.  A Japanese researcher recently found that Oolong tea can help reduce symptoms of Eczema.
     
  • Sun, make sure you’ve got your protection on but sun is great, promotes production of vitamin D and the warmth makes you feel relaxed.
     
  • Massages, be careful with essential oils you may find that some effect your Eczema.  Use something like almond oil.  The healing of massage will help in general and get stress levels lowered.
     
  • Try to avoid acrylic and nylon and fabrics that make you sweat, they can cause irritation and make your effected areas feel more ‘heaty’ and so itchier.  I go for cotton its cooling.
     
  • What are you washing your clothes in?  I go for washing detergents that are more ‘green’ they have less harsh chemicals, which I find, effects my skin.
     
  • What are you washing your body with?  Try to avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate, check out our label search section here in the ‘Info Corner’ for top ten things to avoid and also our glossary.  Products with SLS’s and SLES’s can be drying. 
     
  • Dry skin leads to aged looking skin so the key is to keep your skin nourished with good quality pure products. 
     
  • Try not to over shower or bath too much washing can make your skin dry out, give the natural oils in your skin a chance to work too.
     

Recommendations

SOS Skin Rescue Cream 
SOS Skin Rescue Cream
This cream is my godsend. I’ve been woken in the middle of night with the irritation of Eczema and the SOS Skin Rescue Cream helps me sleep again.
SOS Skin Rescue CreamSOS Skin Rescue Cream
SOS Moisturising Body Wash and SOS Bath Oil Other products we recommend from this range are SOS Moisturising Body Wash and SOS Bath Oil. At least once a week bathing with this oil really helps to nourish your skin again. When you get out of the bath don’t rub yourself dry just dab and let the oil continue to be absorbed. In this case its best to do this at the end of a day when you can put loose clothing on after your bath.
Suki Exfoliating Lemongrass Cleanser  
Suki Exfoliating Lemongrass Cleanser
with chamomile and vitamin c. The key ingredient for clear, healthy skin. Our gentle exfoliate increases cell turnover and unlike damaging glycolics, utilizes natural, safe aha's and bha's, awakening a fresh, new layer of skin safely and gently. Clears and evens skin tone.
Suki Transformative Facial Clay with green tea 
Suki Transformative Facial Clay with green tea, roses and white willow.
Achieve real results with our uniquely powerful facial purifier. An effective cleanser, mask and spot treatment for blemishing, acne, inflamation, and for refreshing and brightening the complexion. Helps rid the skin of blemishes, impurities and toxins, evens tone and reduces inflammation in as little as 5 minutes.
Suki Concentrated Facial Toner with white willow 
Suki Concentrated Facial Toner with white willow, aloe, chamomile and tea tree.
White willow is a highly effective anti-inflammatory for oily, combination, acneic, or blemishing skin, for after-sun care, rosacea and any condition of redness or inflammation. Contains powerful active elements that ensure real results.
Suki Intensive Complexion Brightening Cream 
Suki Intensive Complexion Brightening Cream with enzyme-c, flax and pure rose wax.
Our rich, penetrating formula lightens & brightens the complexion, under eye circles, sun spots & discolorations with our unique, high potency time-release vitamin c. Also provides serious antioxidant action, stimulates collagen production & heals sun damage inhibiting melanin production. Our silky, luxurious 100% clean cream protects delicate facial tissues with pure rose wax, deeply hydrates with organic oils & shea butter, reduces puffiness with yeast extracts & fights environmental stresses.
Suki Velvet Facial Creme 
Suki Velvet Facial Crème with vitamin liposomes and concentrated antioxidants.
Rich & nourishing yet light & greaseless, our 100% clean day creme regenerates, penetrates & protects with fat-soluble natural vitamin c & gentle retinol liposome. Standardized white willow bark reduces inflammation and redness, calming the skin while helping it perform at its highest level.
Suki Intensive Bright Complexion Moisture Masque 
Suki Intensive Bright Complexion Moisture Masque with enzyme-c, flax and pure rose wax.
High percentages of our uniquely potent time-release vitamin c work with your skin's enzymes to increase & encourage collagen production, lighten & brighten the complexion, under eye circles, sun spots & discoloration plus emit powerful antioxidants into the sebum. l-carnitine transports fatty acids into energy stimulating collagen production & heals sun damage inhibiting melanin production. Our formula deeply hydrates, reduces puffiness & fights environmental toxins, naturally protecting you.
Suki Hand and Body Velvet Creme 
Suki Hand and Body Velvet Crème, with organic floral blossoms and shea butter.
Unlike any lotion you have tried, our rich, completely natural hand & body moisturiser softens & soothes skin, removes bumps & dryness & promotes whole body wellness without the dependence & side effects caused by toxic & questionable ingredients. Enjoy!
Suki Hand and Body Butter Cream Salve 
Suki Hand and Body Butter Cream Salve with evening primrose.
Everywhere supple skin is desired, use our diverse, dense balm. Our multi-purpose cream intensifies healing, provides instant moisture & relief from dry skin & chafing. Use for cuticles, elbows, feet & hands, eczema, burns, bruises & stretch marks and for babies too!

This article is not to be taken as medical advice, if you have any concerns at all please consult your GP.  We will always do our best to answer your questions so always feel free to contact us.

Sources of information:  WDDTY, Proof, Todays Therapist, , Heal your Body by L. L. Hay.

 
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