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Eczema is an all too common condition and term in my house. Research shows that it affects between 10-20% of children and 3% of adults. Growing up, I always had dehydrated skin, and during the dry winter months, it would become scorched, almost scaly, and it would itch and be irritated. Sometimes I would scratch myself until I bled. As a result, I have eczema patches on my hands and my calves. In addition, I would apply lotions all day long at the slightest sign of dryness. I became a bit obsessive, to say the least. But it has gotten better over the years, and my skin is much smoother and softer than it has ever been, as I have been able to identify some of the triggers that flare up my Eczema, so let’s dig in to see how to treat Eczema naturally.
What is Eczema & How to Treat Eczema?
It is a general term for medical conditions that cause skin inflammation, irritation, and chronic itching. Atopic Eczema is the most common type. Atopic means a group of diseases that are often inherited and are related to other allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever. It causes redness and almost always itchiness. The itch will usually precede the rash that follows and leaves the skin dry, scaly, thickened and irritated and may cause discoloration. The most commonly affected areas are the face, the back of the knees, wrists, hands or feet. In infants, itchy rash can become more severe, producing oozing and crusting on the face and scalp.
Causes of Eczema
The exact cause is not known, but it’s likely caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure. It is also linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to an irritant. There is also a hereditary, familial link with Eczema occurring more in families with other allergies or asthma history. Another cause of Eczema could be a defect in the skin barrier, allowing moisture out and germs in, thus causing dry skin and irritation. Some of the environmental triggers for Eczema include food aeroallergens such as dust mites and animal dander, and new studies show that air pollution is a significant player in the triggering and development of Eczema. Carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitric oxide compounds are associated with eczema flare-ups. I can personally attest to this. My family is originally from Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries globally and one of the most polluted. Every time I visit, my Eczema is out of control, my skin itches and becomes very scaly, and my usual routine of potions and lotions does not help alleviate it. Nothing can really help until I am back home in Canada, and it finally starts to clear up and become manageable again.
Natural Ways to Treat Eczema
Although there is no cure, it can be effectively managed naturally.
- Coconut Oil is my favourite; I use it on my face, in my hair, for my teeth. And I have used it on my eczema-affected areas, and it keeps it moisturized and relieves itchiness.
- Cod Liver Oil– I know it sounds yucky, but it is very beneficial. It is an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and, as such, are supportive of hundreds of processes in the body. The flavoured ones are pretty good.
- Epsom Salt Bath- You can dissolve 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt in a full bathtub and soak in it for 30 minutes.
- Probiotics- These are important for establishing healthy gut bacteria. Can be found in probiotic yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
Although Eczema is a chronic condition, and there is no way to treat Eczema, it can be managed relatively easily with moisturizers and the natural remedies mentioned above. It is best to avoid triggers that cause it.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any other natural remedies to treat Eczema, and let us know how the ones mentioned in the article work for you. Connect with us on Social Media to stay informed about more ways to Live Life Naturally, and make sure to comment below to share your thoughts with us!