This often-debilitating skin condition affects between 10 to 15 per cent of the Australian population, with up to one in four children developing eczema before the age of two.
A complex disease, eczema affects the skin, causing itching, dry and cracked skin, hives, blotches and redness. Skin affected by eczema is also more vulnerable to bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and viruses such as the cold sore virus.
“Eczema can develop for a number of reasons, including climate, lifestyle, hygiene and genetics and can become easily infected, causing pain, inflammation and lack of sleep,” says Caroline Robertson, naturopath at Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market.
“It isn’t contagious and, frustratingly, there is no single factor which causes an eczema flareup. It can be kept well-managed, but it is often stressful and costly to get under control,” adds Caroline.
image via pinterest
7 tips and products for combatting eczema:
1. Watch your diet:
Reduce or avoid sugar and yeast, instead opt for oily fish, vitamin A and E rich foods and omega-3 rich foods like flaxseeds and walnuts. It can also help if you keep a food diary to track when flareups occur.
2. Try supplements:
Take skin strengthening vitamin B supplements such as Herbs of Gold Activated B Complex. it can also help if omega fatty acids, hemp oil and fish oils are increased, we love Nordic Naturals cod liver oil (contains omega fatty acids Vitamin A and D). Probiotics with the lactobacillus rhamnosus strain, such as Ethical Nutrients Eczema Relief, are also great.
3. Avoid irritants:
Harsh soaps, foaming agents, fragrances and preservatives in skincare or washing detergents are best avoided.
4. Turn the heat down:
Reduce the heat of the shower, as it strips natural oils from the skin and further irritates it. Instead, bath in lukewarm water and add Himalayan rock salt
5. Keep skin moist:
Apply fragrance-free products straight after bathing that include calming ingredients such as shea butter, calendula, lavender, oatmeal and liquorice
6. Look at your gut health:
Often any issues occurring in the gut can reflect itself in our skin, so following on from the above, you can also look to increase your gut friendly foods such as nourishing bone broth & probiotics.
7. Seek medical help if necessary:
Make sure to consult a healthcare professional or one of our in-store Naturopaths if the issue persists, they can also assist in identifying environmental, dietary or other allergens that may be contributing to your skin problem.