Dreaded eczema. It can be itchy, uncomfortable and worst of all, an unpredictable condition. For some people, the dry, indoor air of winter causes flare-ups. But for others, it's warmer weather where there’s increased sweating, outdoor allergens, and increased exposure to sunlight. This can all ignite a bout of itching, rashes, and other symptoms. Weather aside, let’s look at the exact definition, causes and treatments.
Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. It's one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function. This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness. It’s caused by a combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental triggers and stress. If you have eczema, your immune system overreacts to small irritants or allergens. This overreaction can inflame your skin. Eczema can cause the skin to appear chapped, red, and on darker skin tones it may look brown, purple, or gray.
People can use creams, natural products, and dietary and lifestyle changes to manage or prevent eczema flares, especially in the winter, when symptoms tend to be at their worst. Let’s look at the best natural remedies for eczema and managing flare ups:
Use Chemical-Free Beauty Products
Yes, this is an obvious one but it’s easy to look past this important step because it’s not always easy to find or afford. But it’s worth it because natural skincare is made from natural ingredients that are nutritionally rich and safe for the skin. Not to mention they are environmentally friendly and sustainable. To sum up, when you choose organic or natural beauty products you are not only doing wonders for your skin and internal health, but also making a positive impact on our environment.
Aloe Gel is a wonder
The Aloe plant has shown to be quite a magical one. People have used it for thousands of years for healing and softening the skin. Aloe has also long been a folk treatment for many ailments, including constipation and skin disorders. It’s known to have the following benefits:
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps heal wounds
Our favorite Soothing Gel at the moment is this one from The Olio Store:
It’s an Aloe Ferox rich topical gel, which is effective in soothing, hydrating and repairing damaged or infected skin. It can also be used for sunburn, reducing itchiness, redness and inflammation.
Fill your plate with anti-inflammatory foods
Eczema is caused by a disordered immune system and inflammation, and a flare-up is the physical manifestation of that inflammation. So, to stop flare ups at their source, make sure you’re eating foods that are anti-inflammatory. Some examples of these foods are:
- leafy greens
- beans and lentils
- colorful fruits
- lots of leafy green vegetables
- turmeric and cinnamon
Invest in a High-Quality Probiotic
Eczema symptoms may be treated by adding probiotics into your daily routine. Probiotics change the mix of bacteria in your gut and reduce inflammation. There is one probiotic strain - Lactobacillus rhamnosus - that is well recognised for its beneficial effects in eczema. This particular strain of bacteria is one of the most extensively studied probiotics. Research shows that Lactobacillus rhamnosus can help to reduce the symptoms of eczema such as itching.
You can find this specific probiotic strain in Klean’s 20 billion spore Nourish Probiotic Capsules.
Your Skin Is Thirsty
For people prone to eczema, skin that's too dry can easily become irritated, itchy, and break out in itchy, red patches. You can rehydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water, moisturizing well, especially after showering, and running a humidifier. Add a few drops of essential oils into your humidifier to really feel the zen.
Your skin is important. In fact, each inch of skin is made up of 19 million skin cells, 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, and 1,000 nerve endings. It deserves care and the correct nutrients!