Eczema (atopic dermatitis), and the closely associated Psoriasis, are two very common skin problems. Learn how to How to Effectively Treat Eczema and Psoriasis the Natural Way
Both eczema and psoriasis are potentially allergic conditions that can be triggered by environmental factors and dozens of other external irritants like:.
- Laundry detergent
- Household chemicals
- Workplace chemicals
- Animal dander
- Metals (such as nickel in jewelry)
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG), food ingredient check labels
While psoriasis is most often linked with external allergic triggers, eczema is often caused by food allergies. However, although they’re different diseases and have varying triggers, their treatments have many commonalities.
How to Effectively Treat Eczema and Psoriasis
Eczema is “the itch that rashes” meaning, there’s really no rash until you start scratching the itchy area. Hence, the first thing you need to do is to stop scratching! Addressing the itch -- As anyone with eczema will attest, this is easier said than done. But fortunately, there is a really simple natural ways to relieve the itch: I recommend a chickweed based herbal cream at the clinic which works well, also a saltwater compress over the itchy area can be helpful.
You’ll want to use a high quality unrefined sea salt. Simply make a solution with warm water, soak a compress, and apply the compress over the affected area.
Proper skin hydration
When working with any type of skin condition, you need to make sure your skin is optimally hydrated. Skin creams are rarely the answer here, but rather you’ll want to hydrate your skin from the inside out by consuming high quality, animal-based omega-3 fats in your diet.
Your best sources for omega-3s are animal-based fats like fish oil. Also primrose oil can be helpful due to its gamma linoleic acid content.
Plant-based omega-3s like flax and hemp seed, although decent omega-3 sources in general, will not provide the clinical benefit you need to reduce inflammation and swelling in your skin. Secondly, you’ll want to reduce your exposure to harsh soaps and drying out your skin with excessive bathing. Use a very mild soap when you cleanse your skin, especially in the winter to avoid stripping your skin of moisture. I use a Calendula based herbal cream which i provide at the clinic, that will moisturize the area and reduce inflammation and provide an antibacterial effect to the affected area. It important for any creams used to have all natural ingredients.
Taking care of your gut = Taking care of your skin
Many don’t realize this, but the health and quality of your skin is strongly linked to the health of your gut. I recommend taking a high quality probiotic to ensure optimal digestive health. Fermented foods like a good quality yogurt can be used as well.
Diet and skin quality
Food allergies play an enormous role in eczema. In my experience, the most common offending agent is wheat, or more specifically, gluten. Avoiding wheat and other gluten-containing grains is therefore a wise first step.
Avoiding grains in general will also reduce the amount of sugar in your system, which will normalize your insulin levels and reduce any and all inflammatory conditions you may have, including inflammation in your skin.
Other common allergens include pasteurized milk and eggs. I recommend you do an elimination trial with these foods as well. You should see some improvement in about a week, sometimes less, after eliminating them from your diet if either of them is causing you trouble. Basking in the sun – Vitamin D in the form of sun exposure is your best friend when dealing with either of these skin conditions, but it’s especially helpful for psoriasis.
Ideally, you’ll want to get your vitamin D from appropriate sunshine exposure because UVB radiation on your skin will not only metabolize vitamin D, but will also help restore ideal skin function. High amounts of UVB exposure directly on affected skin – but not so much to cause sunburn – will greatly improve the quality of your skin. Vitamin D3 supplementation is generally prescribed initially just to break the cycle of skin flareups
Problems with Conventional Treatments
People who suffer from eczema or psoriasis generally end up using steroid cream eventually. Steroid creams are something you don’t want to use too much of because although they work initially, you will tend to rapidly develop tolerance to them. These creams contain synthetic steroids, which are absorbed into your skin, and can cause changes to the hormonal system in the body. Long term use will also damage the skin.
There are herbal medicines that can be very beneficial for treating these atopic skin conditions, I will cover this another week. Contact the clinic for more information