Natural Remedies For Eczema
Eczema is that red, itchy, sometimes oozy rash that forms on the skin ranging from mildy annoying to straight out debilitating. The reason doctors cannot cure eczema is because they often prescribe topical ointments in the way of steroid creams, petroleum lotions, antihistamines and anti-itch creams. These creams do cover up the rash like a band aid and provide some relief, but they do not address the reason the rash exists.
Reduce Your Toxic Load
Eczema is an allergic reaction that occurs when a person suffers from digestive issues. Young children have a more sensitive digestive system and more often experience eczema. Especially from the drastic change, one moment babies live in a safe womb, then after birth their systems are bombarded with creams, clothing soaked in chemicals, soaps, and airborne toxins. Some of us adults never grow out of that chemical sensitivity. For exterior protection, the best approach is to go as toxic free as possible. Read labels to avoid products with petroleum, parabens, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate and all fragrances. Instead try using food grade products such as coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil as natural moisturizers. Do not over bathe the skin and avoid harsh soaps that further dry out the skin.
Digestion is Key
Eventually, we need to address the root cause within the body to heal the external symptom of eczema. The digestive issue causing the external symptom is known as leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut occurs when the digestion has been compromised. Either prolonged stress, a poor processed food diet, or too many NSAIDs or antibiotics have disrupted the natural amount of stomach acid necessary to properly break down food, toxins, and bacterias. The large particles of undigested food bump into the delicate small intestinal lining and break through into the blood stream. The immune system attacks these foreign particles and this produces autoimmune responses in the body. You probably recognize these responses as headaches, inflammation, respiratory problems, brain chemical imbalances, and skin eruptions such as eczema.
As with all symptoms, we need to do two things.
- Avoid the stressors - Remove the toxins that are aggravating the stomach and skin
- Strengthen the defenses - Build a healthy food foundation with a nutrient dense diet
Avoid the Stressors
We discussed removing toxic chemicals from your home, clothing, and beauty products. We need to remove food triggers but we are all bio-individuals so it could be cow's milk triggering one individual and wheat for another. You may want to start with a general detox like the Food Foundation Detox which simply removes processed foods and the most common stressors. For a more personalized elimination diet, please do not hesitate to ask for one specifically written for your individual needs.
Strengthen the Defenses
To strengthen the defenses, we want to avoid stress especially when eating. Your grandmother knew best when she told you to sit down and chew your food slowly. Of course we also need the food entering your mouth to be nutrient dense whole foods that fuel your body and get broken down into appropriate vitamins and minerals. Probiotic foods or supplements are important to create a healthy gut flora with more good bugs than bad. Vitamin D is important for a healthy immune system. Do try to get your vitamin D from the sun, real food sources, from supplemental vitamin D3, or from fermented cod liver oil. Avoid foods that are "enriched" with synthetic vitamin D2 which is not the correct form necessary in the body. And drink plenty of pure clean water to stay hydrated.
Eat More Butter
Finally, the fun part. We need enough healthy fats in the diet to provide the necessary fatty acids to lubricate the skin. Yes, we need to eat these as well as rub them on the skin. In fact, eating them will have a stronger effect. Again, I find myself trying to advocate real butter. I am on a mission to heal the world one stick of butter at a time. It is a health food in so many ways. For those that find cow's milk to be an allergen, try pastured lard, organic coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil. There are so many delicious fats to choose from.
Plan of Attack
When treating the symptom of eczema, begin with removing all unnecessary toxins in the diet and home. Soothe the burning skin with a healthy food grade fat such as pure coconut oil, and begin focusing on proper digestion. Relax and eat a healthy diet when you feel hungry. If you are unfamiliar with what a healthy diet is, I strongly recommend you sign up for our Food Foundation Detox. Finally, if the problem persists, you may want to work with a holistic practitioner who can evaluate what part of your digestion system and/or immune system are compromised. In the case of eczema, we truly need to heal from within.