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Oct 4, 2016

Get Relief from ECZEMA Naturally!

Eczema is a general term used to describe varying skin conditions that result in inflamed and discoloured skin. Typically the skin is red, dry, inflamed, and occasionally blisters or crusts form. The term eczema is often times used interchangeably with the term dermatitis, which literally translates to “inflamed skin.” There are many types of eczema, but the most common type is atopic eczema. Thought to be hereditary and triggered by allergens, atopic eczema is most common in children, but can reappear during adult years. There is no cure, but figuring out what causes it to flare up and treating the symptoms is usually the course of action to take.

If you have eczema, your skin is most likely producing less fats and oils than it should be, and the ability to retain water is diminished. The space between cells widens since they aren’t plump with moisture, you begin to lose water from the dermis, and irritants and bacteria can enter easier. This is why things like soaps and detergents can worsen eczema, as they strip away what lipids your skin is producing, and it will breakdown faster than healthy skin would to become dry, inflamed, and sometimes cracked or blistered.

Symptoms of eczema include:

Dry, sensitive skin
Intense itching
Red, inflamed skin
Recurring rash
Scaly areas
Rough, leathery patches
Oozing or crusting
Areas of swelling
Dark coloured patches of skin

Here are some of the most common eczema types:

Atopic Dermatitis
Hand Eczema
Contact Dermatitis
Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dyshidrotic Eczema
Nummular Eczema
Stasis Dermatitis

Foods that Cause Eczema

Additives- Eliminate additives and processed foods, which can make eczema worse.

Foods Intolerances- Avoid any potential allergens, and some common allergen foods include gluten, dairy, shellfish or peanuts.

Margarine and other non-essential fats- These fats can interfere with the absorption of essential fats critical for healing.

Sugar- Increases inflammation and reduces immune function.

Fried foods- Can increase inflammation.

Top Foods for Eczema

Essential fatty acids- Wild-caught fish and flaxseed oil can reduce eczema symptoms.

Pumpkin or chia seeds- These seeds provide zinc, which is essential for wound healing and metabolizing fatty acids.

Probiotic-rich foods- Consume goat’s milk kefir and amasai. These are the highest probiotic foods and can support gut and immune health improving the cause of eczema.

High-fiber foods- Constipation can lead your body to look for other ways to expel toxins, and the skin can become one of the avenues in which toxins are expelled. Aim for at least 30 grams of fiber per day from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut and sprouted grains/legumes.

Vitamin A-rich foods- Increase your intake of orange and yellow colored vegetables, which are high in vitamin A, necessary for skin health.
These home remedies for eczema will focus on strengthening your skins barrier, filling in those gaps, and retaining moisture, as well as focusing on addressing specific troubles like itching and inflammation.

Coconut Oil- a thin layer of coconut oil helps cool eczema itching and pain. Coconut oil does a great job of sinking into the skin and filling in that intercellular space that’s opened up and caused you to lose moisture. It’s a lipid, of course, and fats and oils are what you need to prevent your skin from drying out and becoming more irritated.

Jojoba Oil- While coconut oil is really fantastic, eczema is a highly individual condition, and not everybody finds success with it. If this is the case, or even if it isn’t, try jojoba oil. It isn’t actually an oil, but a liquid wax. It penetrates the skin deeply, and its molecular structure is the most similar of all the oils to that of our skins natural sebum (oil.) It is composed of long chain fatty acids and fatty alcohols and is incredibly rich and moisturizing.

Aloe Vera- Pure aloe gel is rich in anti-inflammatory and healing compounds, and provides a nice cooling sensation to itchy skin. If you have eczema or psoriasis, consider growing your own aloe plant so you can take the gel straight from its natural source.

Glycerin- or glycerol is the backbone of lipids (oils and fats) and is usually a by-product in the soap making industry. What separates vegetable glycerin from regular glycerin is that vegetable glycerin is plant based. It comes from the oils and fats found in things like coconut or palm oil. Regular glycerin comes from animal fats, and is not food-grade quality, as vegetable glycerin can be. Food-grade vegetable glycerin is 99.7% pure, with the remaining 0.3% being water. It is actually a fine thing to work with, and can help restore moisture to dried, itchy, inflamed skin. It is a humectant, which means that it draws water to it and helps seal in the moisture. It is so effective, in fact, if you leave a bottle of pure glycerin out and open, it will eventually become 20% water. When used for eczema it can help fill in the gaps in dry, dehydrated skin, and draw up water from the deeper layers of the dermis.

Baking Soda- Mix 1 1/2 cups of baking soda with 3 gallons of water. Use a washcloth to apply the mixture to itchy skin for quick relief.

Gelatin-Rich Foods- Bone broth is an important part of a healing diet for us, and this is partially because of its high gelatin content. Gelatin is very soothing to the gut and is also great for hair, skin and nail health.

Gotu Kola- The herb gotu kola, used externally, can help ease itchy skin conditions. You can make a cup of the tea, soak a cloth in it, and use the cloth as a compress. To make the tea, steep 1 teaspoon of the dried herb in 1 cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain.

Bonus Remedies

Numerous studies have linked the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil to improvement in eczema and psoriasis when taken in high doses, between 3 and 10 grams a day. Talk to your doctor about taking a fish oil supplement. Meanwhile, olive oil, flaxseed, nuts, and fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and tuna are all good natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Aim for at least three 3 to 4 ounce servings of canned fatty fish per week. (Note: Omega-6 fatty acids, found in safflower, sunflower, and corn oil, have been shown to worsen inflammation.)

Direct sunlight on the skin can reduce eczema by increasing production of vitamin D, which improves immunity.

Evening primrose oil or borage oil contains GLA, which works as an anti-inflammatory for the skin. Take internally or apply topically.

Also, the essential oils of lavender and geranium can soothe and help heal the red, dry skin associated with eczema

Zinc helps your skin heal, and it also helps your body make use of essential fatty acids. Take 30 milligrams of zinc daily. Because zinc can interfere with copper absorption, also take 2 milligrams of copper each day if you continue to take zinc for more than a month.

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