Eczema is an itchy, red and sometimes exudative, rash on the flexor surface of the skin. Most commonly, it is found on the legs, arms and occasionally on the trunk and face. Eczema often appears in childhood and can persist into adulthood. Often, those who have eczema also have asthma and allergies.
The cause of eczema is extremely variable, and for this reason, it is classified most commonly as having an unknown cause. In naturopathic medicine, skin reactions are commonly linked to the liver, gastrointestinal tract, and allergens. If you can find the cause of your eczema, you can cure it! Make an appointment with your local naturopath to discuss how you can find the cause of your eczema and how you can treat it!
Here are some tips for managing acute flares:
- Eat clean! Avoid processed foods and foods that don't make you feel well. Decrease meat, alcohol, dairy, hot sauces, spicy foods, fried foods, fatty foods, rich foods, and salty foods while you are trying to clear up an acute exacerbation.
- Stay well hydrated and "When in doubt, treat the gut" (i.e. start a quality probiotic)
- Increase foods rich in Vitamins A and B-complex: black bass, rye, avocados, sea vegetables, whey, apple, cucumbers, millet, rice bran, sprouts.
- Decrease stress- exercise, mediate, yoga, relaxation
- Take luke-warm showers, soap in skin/extremity folds, armpits, groin only. Put moisturizer on after shower. This will keep your natural oils on your skin to aid in healing.
- Increase healthy fats- fish oil, flax oil, nuts, etc.
- Topical lavender preparations can relieve itching equally as well as steroid creams! Curcumin also works well too! Avena sativa (oat seed- aka oatmeal) is a great nervine that helps decrease inflammation of the skin when used topically.
- Herbs to aid in healing and keeping skin hydrated: Calenducal officinalis, and Olea europaea (olive oil).