What Causes Eczema?
While no one is certain of what causes eczema, it is thought to be an overactive immune response to irritants coming into contact with the skin. Soaps, detergents, certain types of fabric, animal dander, excessive exposure to hot or cold, and other allergens may cause a flare-up. Stress can also be a contributing factor.
Traditional Treatments for Eczema
Treatments for eczema include steroid creams or orally-administered steroids, antihistamines, UV light therapy, drugs which affect the immune system, and antibiotics if open blisters become infected. If all else fails, doctors may prescribe one of two topical creams – pimecrolimus (immunodepressant) or tacrolimus (immunosuppressant) – with a long list of possible side-effects including bleeding from the nose, nausea, fever, warts, hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lymphoma, and cancer…
How to Treat Eczema Naturally
The majority of eczema cases can be traced to the digestive tract. There are two main culprits:
Eczema and Food Allergies
Some food allergies can develop over time, so even if you don’t believe that you are or if you had not previously been allergic to certain foods, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have an allergy. Try cutting out soy, dairy, peanuts, wheat, tree nuts, shell fish, fish, and eggs, as well as any artificial food colorings or additives (MSG is a big one) from your diet. You can eliminate them one at a time to see which one is causing the irritation. Take notes on how you feel after meals during this process. It should be fairly obvious if you are allergic to one or more of these foods.
Eczema and Dysbiosis
If you’ve recently taken antibiotics, had food poisoning, or if you have chronic digestive problems (characterized by irregular stool, frequent gassiness, and/or stomach aches); it’s more than likely that your intestinal microflora have been compromised. There are literally hundreds of species of bacteria living inside your gastrointestinal tract. When they become unbalanced, harmful bacteria may colonize in their place, impairing your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. What many people don’t realize is that this imbalance of microflora, called dysbiosis can also lead to skin problems such as eczema. Add more probiotic foods to your diet or start taking fermented cod liver oil on a daily schedule. Both are highly effective for reversing this common internal cause of eczema.
How to Heal Eczema Naturally
Of course, these treatments won’t heal your damaged skin overnight. While you wait for the internal solution to take effect, you will definitely want to turn your focus to the external symptoms of eczema. Soothing the dry, itchy, and painful rashes can be tricky. Apply the wrong thing (hot water, soaps, lotions with fragrance, etc) and you’ll only make it worse.
Drying Eczema with Salt
While this advice may seem counter-intuitive, treating the oozing blisters with sea salt spray may help to ease the terrible itching. Or, if you’re within range of a beach, try taking a dip in the ocean. Many eczema sufferers have reported that being immersed in the surf gave them temporary relief from their symptoms.
Bath Soaks To Treat Eczema Naturally
Assuming that you can physically tolerate being submerged in water during a flare-up, there are a couple of herbs and minerals that you can add to your bath to help clear up and reduce the irritation of eczema rashes.
Try a salt bath to relax and soak up some minerals. Add Epsom salts to your water to give your skin a boost of magnesium. Himalayan salt (pink salt) mixed into warm bath water offers a powerful mix of trace elements that will absorb through and improve the health of your skin.
Chamomile tea is not only relaxing to drink, it is also a wonderful bath additive for soothing irritated skin. Add two cups of loose tea to your bath.
Naturally Healing Creams and Salves for Eczema
Eczema blisters can leave scars if not properly treated. Topical healing salves available in most chemists can be used for this purpose, but they may contain unwanted chemicals. For those who would rather have control over what goes onto their skin, try a powerful concoction. This handmade all natural product is based on an ancient recipe developed for the gladiators of the 2nd century to heal their wounds after their ‘games’. A powerful concoction contains extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, calendula and honey and has been helping people with eczema for over 10 years. It also makes a great lip balm and is a great household go to salve.
With proper and constant use of these methods – finding the internal solution while using natural healing for the external symptoms – most people will have better luck controlling and ultimately healing their eczema than with Western medicinal practices. (As always, consult your doctor before starting or stopping any medication.) Remember that healing eczema takes time. Even if you don’t see results right away, stick to your all-natural regime and eventually you will achieve healthier, clear skin.
Take Care + Njoy!
Anastasia Skin Crusader
About the Author
Anastasia Lambadaridis is the founder of save our skin + the world we live in and is ardent about making a difference. Anastasia embarks on educational campaigns targeted at local community groups, parents and business networks… prompting people to make small changes in the home about the way they care for themselves + the planet. Anastasia is also not shy at exposing the truth behind the brands that lead the public to believe that their products are natural, good + healthy.
Anastasia has worked in marketing communications in both government + private sectors + is a specialist in the creation + delivery of behavioural change programs and is currently the Marketing Communications Manager at Melbourne based digital marketing agency BizWisdom. She is passionate about creating unique brand experiences that drive behavioral change. In this fast paced digital age, Anastasia aims to add back the ‘human touch’ in our interactions and connections. Anastasia holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Applied Science, and innately understands social norms and emotional triggers that drive and impact consumer behavior.