Allergy Testing

Identifying and Naturally Treating Eczema

wooly-socksMany people, all over the world, suffer from eczema.  While symptoms may be experienced year-round, many find that as the temperatures begin to drop eczema symptoms become more severe.  The National Eczema Association provides a description of eczema and just how many people are affected by it,  “It’s important to remember that many people have eczema. Over 30 million American may have it. There is no need to be embarrassed by your eczema. You are not alone. Atopic Dermatitis (which is often called eczema) is an itchy, red rash. It can appear all over the body. Many people have it on their elbows or behind their knees. Babies often have eczema on the face, especially the cheeks and chin. They can also have it on the scalp, trunk (chest and back), and outer arms and legs. Children and adults tend to have eczema on the neck, wrists, and ankles, and in areas that bend, like the inner elbow and knee. People with eczema are usually diagnosed with it when they are babies or young children. Eczema symptoms often become less severe as children grow into adults. For some people, eczema continues into adulthood. Less often, it can start in adulthood. The rash of eczema is different for each person. It may even look different or affect different parts of your body from time to time. It can be mild, moderate, or severe.”  The symptoms of eczema may be painful, irritating, embarrassing and downright frustrating, but you are not alone and there are many ways to treat eczema.

While there are prescription medications for eczema, there are also many natural ways to treat eczema.  It is important to discuss with your physician what options may be best for your individual health.  Often, natural remedies are just as effective or more so for long-term relief of eczema symptoms.  It is first important to understand what may cause eczema to trigger, and thus, symptoms worsen.  while avoidance of certain triggers may completely eliminate eczema, it may not, but it still may dramatically reduce symptoms.  Common eczema triggers include dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat.  In addition to food, many people experience worsened eczema symptoms with the use of chemical and fragrance filled cleaning products, shampoos, and soaps, as well as dust mites and pet dander.  By avoiding common triggers and switching to hypoallergenic products many symptoms of eczema may be reduced dramatically.

Natural topical treatments are not a magic bullet and each option will not work for all, but some may experience significantly improved symptoms after use.  One treatment is something you probably already have in your pantry – coconut oil.  Coconut oil is all the rage right now for everything from cooking to conditioning hair and it is also a great natural skin moisturizer.  Another oil that has been shown to be effective is sunflower seed oil.   When applied to damp skin twice a day the anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to help eczema symptoms.  Additionally, aloe vera gel or calendula cream topically applied may help relieve dryness and itching which will help improve skin’s overall condition.  Many people have also experienced dramatically improved symptoms through the use of Chinese herbs and acupuncture.  While it has traditionally been difficult to study, more and more research is proving just how effective it can be.  WebMD reports on a recent findings that show Chinese herbs and acupuncture are a valid and effective eczema treatment, “Wisniewski and colleagues studied 14 children with persistent eczema who were treated with traditional Chinese medicine at Ming Qi Natural Health Center in Manhattan between August 2006 and May 2008. All of them drank Erka Shizheng Herbal Tea twice a day and soaked in an herbal bath for 20 minutes daily. They also applied an herbal cream to their skin two or three times a day and had acupuncture treatment. At the start of the study, more than half of the participants had severe symptoms on a standard scale that doctors use to gauge eczema severity. After eight months of treatment, most had mild symptoms.”  If you are experiencing eczema symptoms do not suffer in silence, speak to your doctor about treatment options and explore the many natural options that are available.


July 24, 2015
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