Are you a sufferer of eczema, medically known as dermatitis? If so, according to fineskin.com you are not alone. Eczema is fairly commonly occurring – approximately 1 in 10 people in the world will be affected by it at some point in their lives.
Eczema symptoms include swollen, red, inflamed patches of scaly skin in various places on the body, including the face, scalp, hands and wrists. Eczema is also known to cause intense itching and can be extremely distressing to sufferers, especially where the patches of skin are outwardly visible, such as on the face, arms and legs.
Triggers of eczema include allergies, to pollen, food, animal fur and other irritants. Suffers usually have higher than normal measurements of histamine in their system – the chemical also responsible for hayfever, which sometimes also coexists with eczema. If you’re not sure if an allergy could be triggering your symptoms, try York Test.
In this blog I will examine some possible alternative dietary and lifestyle changes to help heal your eczema from within.
Firstly, try eliminating any foodstuffs from your diet which may be triggering allergic reactions in the body. Particularly common allergens include wheat, milk, shellfish and also nuts. Try making a diary of foods you eat and tracking this against your eczema symptoms.
Change your skincare products. Many contain skin irritants including perfume and SLS which are known skin aggravators. Try swapping to natural skincare products and read our article on alternative cleansers.
To reduce inflammation in eczema conditions, try increasing your intake of Omega-3 fat rich oils including evening primrose or starflower (borage oil). Good dietary sources of Omega-3s include flaxseed and walnuts.
Positive health benefits can be gained by applying coconut oil directly on the skin to help with eczema. Raw Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid. Virgin Coconut Oil is not only excellent moisturiser for skin but due to high lauric acid content (up to 40-50%) it can also help to reduce irritation which causes itching and the symptoms of eczema.
Vitamin E, either in supplement form or through dietary sources (seeds, nuts and vegetables are good sources), can also help with symptoms of dryness and itching.
Grape seed extract is a rich source of flavanoids which can help to prevent allergic reactions in the body which contribute to eczema. Grape seed extract is available in supplement format.
4. Manage your stress levels
It is recognised that stress can make eczema worse, some sources even cite stress as a direct cause of eczema. When you’re worked up and anxious, your body reacts and levels of inflammation can increase . Try a few simple mindfulness meditation techniques to help restore calm from within. I highly recommend Ruby Wax’s books and work.