What is Eczema & How to treat it naturally?
Skin problems such as eczema and dermatitis are more common than you think. In the US there are 15 million people suffering from it, world wide this number is 100’s of millions, however, luckily eczema is not contagious. There are two types of Eczema: Exogenous and Endogenous. Exogenous means the eczema is caused by some external factor, while endogenous is due to an internally caused factor, and is usually hereditary. Dermatologists differentiate between Eczema and Dermatitis, however this is not very useful for treating this condition holistically. For the purpose of this article we will treat the terms eczema and dermatitis synonymously.
Avoid irritating your skin - use only 100% natural and organic skin care products made by qualified Medical Herbalists and Aromatherapists with decades of experience on your skin, and avid aggravating your eczema & dermatitis
Eczema & Dermatitis
Eczema and Dermatitis: How to treat Eczema and Dermatitis Naturally?
Two types of eczema
Eczema due to external or exogenous factors (usually referred to as Contact Dermatitis) is usually treated by eliminating the irritant in the external environment, which will usually result in the successful treatment of eczema.
Endogenous eczema, or atopic dermatitis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder featuring blisters that dry to become scaly, itchy rashes due to excessive loss of moisture in the epidermis (upper layer of the skin). This results in the loss of the ‘Acid Mantel’, which serves to protect your skin and thus there is an increased risk of infection from bacteria and viruses.
Signs and Symptoms of Eczema:
Eczema occurs episodically; that is it flares up from time to time and does not cause any problems at other times.
Symptoms of an acute flair up of eczema commonly include:
Generally, infants may develop red, oozing, crusted rashes on the face, scalp, diaper area, hands, arms, feet, or legs. The rash may affect large areas of the body. In older children and adults, the rash often occurs (and recurs) in only one or a few spots, especially on the hands, upper arms, in front of the elbows, or behind the knees whenever an acute flair up occurs. However, it is not limited to these locations and has been known to occur on other areas of the skin.
Although the color, intensity, and location of the rash vary, the rash is always itchy and leads to uncontrollable scratching, which sets up a cycle of itching-scratching-itching, which exacerbates the problem.
Causes of eczema include:
There are a number of risk factors which can cause eczema:
Your health care professional will be able to make a diagnosis from a combination of factors: a) the appearance of the skin and b) a series of questions relating to your personal history and your family’s history. You may be asked questions about stress in your life, diet, medications you’re taking, chemicals you are using or are exposed to recent changes in your life, etc.
Prevention of Eczema
Learn as much as you can about eczema. It is always a good idea to inform yourself of what it is you are dealing with, what research is being done and what new information is uncovered. The Internet is a perfect medium to quickly and easily find quality information from a variety of sources. The more you know about your eczema, the more likely it is you can find helpful information and pick and choose from information which is most relevant to your situation.
Emotional balance is very important. Stress, nervousness, anxiety, irritability and depression all cause chemical changes in your body, which can trigger eczema to flare up. Techniques such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, autogenic training can help to minimise emotional swings.
Dietary considerations are essential to reducing flare-ups and may include foods such as peanuts, some types of fish, eggs, soy and many other foods, which could be aggravating your eczema.
Consult a qualified health professional to help you identify ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food for you to use/avoid in your diet.
Some studies, although somewhat controversial, suggest that children who are breast-fed for at least the first 4 months after birth are less likely to get eczema, especially if the mother has avoided cow’s milk in her diet. In addition, studies suggest that babies whose mothers were using probiotics during pregnancy and while breastfeeding were less likely to develop eczema up to 2 years of age.
There are primarily 4 factors, which when used in combination result in excellent results when treating eczema:
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