A wide range of skin ailments that cause the inflammation and irritation of the skin are under the term of eczema. To speak in numbers, more than 5% of adults and children and 20% of infants are affected by eczema, and what is even more alarming is that these numbers are constantly increasing due to environmental pollution and dietary triggers.
Eczema is traditionally treated with corticosteroid creams. However, the issue with these treatments is that they only suppress symptoms without addressing underlying causes. Moreover, chemical creams like topical immunomodulators are often linked to cancer.
Nevertheless, the strongest reason to avoid these corticosteroids and immunosuppressants is that they don’t solve the problem, and in addition, patients also become addicted to them.
This means that when patients stop using them, the eczema will return again. And this situation can get even worse, as many people will need to continually use stronger and stronger steroidal treatments on their eczema as time passes and their body develops a dependency for it.
In these cases, the majority of doctors suggest that they don’t know the exact cause of eczema and they’re right because the exact causes can be various. These include fragrances in consumer products, soaps, laundry detergent, dust, cosmetics, processed foods and diet, and environmental pollutants.
The best and most effective way to fight against any skin condition is to allow your body to heal itself, of course, through the assistance of dietary strategies and natural health therapies. These will work with your immune system to stimulate healing.
Foods to avoid
All refined sugars (since they are highly inflammatory):
Stay away from all artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, saccharine, sorbitol and many more). Avoid cane or white sugar, agave, or high fructose corn syrup, as well as chewing gums and diet products, since they all contain poisons.
Other foods that also contain poisons that overload our immune system are night shades- tomatoes, tobacco, eggplant, paprika, all peppers, goji berries and white potatoes.
In addition, avoid shellfish, fried foods, yeast, alcohol, smoking, smoked foods, peanuts. Bear in mind that you also must reduce stress.
This article also gives you some effective natural remedies which can treat even severe cases of skin inflammation:
1. Neem Oil
Neem oil, which comes from the neem tree, is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, anti-viral and anti-microbial. So it kills any bacteria and disease promoting microorganisms on the skin while reducing redness and swelling which causes itching. It’s also high in vitamin E and fatty acids, so it will hydrate your skin and can help restore its natural elasticity.
Neem contains extraordinarily high levels of antioxidants that help to protect the skin from environmental damage. It also contains carotenoids (similar to carotene) which provide high antioxidant compounds that help defend the skin against free radicals. Once absorbed, these powerful properties work to rejuvenate the skin’s cells and restore elasticity.
2. Bentonite Clay Infused Water
Bentonite helps in the treatment of skin conditions by removing toxins, increasing circulation, decreasing inflammation and absorbing excess oil. It is made up of tiny little platelets, each with both, a negative and positive charge. As the clay travels, it expands like a sponge as it absorbs water as it works its way through our bodies. It soaks up as many positively charged toxins in its path as it can hold.
By using it twice a week, it shows significant improvements on problem areas. Please note that in these treatments, toxins rise to the surface, so some skin conditions may seem to get worse. However, it is normal and will subside in a week or two depending on the severity of your condition.
A wonderful and beneficial mixture can be made by mixing it with pure apple cider vinegar or an herb infused vinegar. This treatment should be left on overnight and gives amazing results.
3. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
There is a difference between the modern and traditional preparation of cod liver oil. On one hand, the modern preparation of cod liver oil involves expressing the oil from the fatty tissues of cod fish while it is cooked, and this cooking and the subsequent refining will remove some of the bioactive components of cod liver oil.
On the other hand, the traditional manufacture of cod liver oil, produces a more nutritious and medicinal oil, since the process relies on fermentation instead of cooking.
Nevertheless, both EPA and DHA have anti-inflammatory properties. By contributing to the reduction of inflammation in tissues, omega-3 fatty acids can relieve certain symptoms of eczema such as red and, inflamed skin. Apart from these anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fatty acids are also incorporated into the skin cells, so when the blood levels of omega-3 acids falls, the skin can be easily irritated, and it appears dry and flaky. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency also increases the keratinization of skin cells, as studies prove. Consequently, destruction and accumulation f dead skin cells occur.
4. Topical Creams and Salves
Topical creams and salves can be of great benefit in various skin disorders, but they should contain one or more of the following herbs to help relieve itching and burning, and promote healing. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) cream can relieve itching and liquid witch hazel can help with “weeping” or oozing eczema.
The best choice in these cases is chamomile (Matricaria recutita) creams, however. Nevertheless, the following are also extremely helpful: licorice (Glycyrrhia glabra), Chickweed (Stellaria media), marigold (Calendula officinalis).
5. Burdock Root
You can reduce inflammations and destroy inulin, which has been linked to eczema outbreaks, by using burdock root. This beneficial herb root contains some valuable minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium; and small amounts of zinc, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.
Moreover, burdock root also contains small quantities of many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin-E, and vitamin-C, which is crucial for optimum health. Both vitamin C and E are powerful natural antioxidants help the human body stave off infections.
In case you prefer tea, you can prepare a burdock root tea which is easy to make and drink.
6. Olive Leaf
Traditional remedies made from olive leaf are known for their antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties as well as their ability to stimulate the immune system.
Olive leaf can keep things clean and contained. As an antioxidant, it can break this chain of damage before it sets in and results in eczema. This plant is an excellent antiseptic which means it can help ward off infection and bacteria. In cases of eczema, when you tend to scratch that itch, if the skin breaks, you become susceptible to infection.
Olive leaf extracts possess polyphenols which are potent antioxidants. Actually, the fresh olive leaves liquid preparation was shown to have double the antioxidant capacity of green tea and 4 times the antioxidant capacity of vitamin C.
Moreover, olive leaf has its role in the prevention of damage to the gut caused by harmful free radicals. This ensures that foreign substances including pathogens and toxins that trigger inflammatory reactions never get into the bloodstream.
7. Coconut Oil
Consume Virgin Coconut Oil, which contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids or medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). Unlike trans fats, Virgin Coconut Oil provides good fats and nourishment to dry eczema skin. It also contains lauric acid, which makes up 50% of the fatty acids. Lauric acid has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Virgin coconut oil is very easy to apply with very little touching/rubbing. You should make sure to purchase coconut oil from sources which are organic and virgin, not refined, bleached or deodorized. Many people have found great success using coconut oil as a treatment to cure or heal their eczema or even their baby’s eczema without any medication.
8. Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
This unusual fatty acid is very hard to come by in the diet, but is found in evening primrose oil, black currant and hemp oils. The human body produces GLA from linoleic acid (LA) which is found in many oils, butter and egg yolks. GLA at a dose of 500 mg twice per day for 8 weeks appears to have an excellent effect on skin, hair, and nails.
Beware of genetically modified safflower oils now being promoted as healthy due to their high GLA content.
9. Fermented Foods and Probiotics
Fermented and probiotic foods help in the prevention and treatment of eczema by providing overall homeostasis and support to the immune system, protecting the body from pathogenic bacterial infections, replenishing lost or damaged beneficial bacteria and promoting the balance of alkalinity and acidity in the intestine and.
These foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, miso soup, tempeh, kombucha, microalgae and others all contain beneficial bacteria which defend against the illness and infection caused by harmful bacteria that thrive where there is a lack of beneficial colonies.
10. Colloidal Oatmeal
Believe or not but in 2003, the Food and Drug Administration ruled that products claiming to relieve the irritation and itching of eczema had to contain colloidal oatmeal. For once the agency is acting in the best interests of the public.
When combined with a liquid, this special form of oatmeal acts like a colloid (hence its name). This means that when molecules (the tiny particles of the grain, in this case) spread through another medium (i.e., the bath water), they permanently change the consistency of that medium. The beauty of a colloidal oatmeal bath, therefore, is that the oatmeal particles don’t all sink to the bottom of the tub.
To produce colloidal oatmeal, the oats are very finely ground–pulverized, in fact. This enables the grain to readily absorb liquid. When the colloidal oatmeal is added to bath water, it almost instantly gives a slightly milky, almost slimy consistency to the water–which then coats the skin, moisturizing, softening and protecting it.
Colloidal oatmeal exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, antioxidant, and protective properties that make it a versatile cleanser, moisturizer, and buffer that soothes and protects damaged skin. These properties are a result of the vast chemical composition of oats: a high concentration in starches and beta-glucan creates a water-holding barrier on the skin; the variety of phenols makes it a strong ultraviolet absorber; the saponins act as cleansing agents; and the cellulose and fiber content of oat create emollient, or skin-softening, properties.
Kelp, also known as seaweed, is found in ocean kelp forests and is used as food and medicine in many cultures. These brown algae have a therapeutic effect on the skin and body, greatly enhancing the condition of skin. This natural remedy can assist with the healing of skin cells, helping the eczema-affected skin cells rebuild and become healthier. For medicinal purposes, it can be found in both pill and capsule forms, as a concentrated liquid, and included in other products.
Kelp can be ingested it or a topical concentration of it can be applied directly to affected areas.
12. Transdermal Magnesium
Transdermal magnesium is a powerful tool in the battle against magnesium deficiency and very effective against inflammatory conditions of the skin. Benefits reported by those who use transdermal applications of magnesium relate specifically to its therapeutic application on the skin and its direct absorption into the cells.
Though it is commonly prescribed as a treatment by holistic health practitioners, transdermal magnesium is applied easily and quickly in one’s own home, either by simply spraying directly on the skin, applying as a lotion or a gel, or even more effortlessly through the simple ritual of taking a bath.