What is Eczema and Dermatitis?
The basic definition of dermatitis and Eczema is inflammation of the skin. There are a number of different types of dermatitis which include atopic dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. The terms eczema and dermatitis are often interchangeable, which can make the understanding and treatment of the condition confusing. Most commonly eczema is used to refer specifically to atopic dermatitis. However, eczema is also an inflammation of the skin and can be an acute, fiery rash or a more chronic persistent irritation. Eczema and dermatitis affects all ages from babies to the elderly and can have a variety of appearances. There is often associated itching, burning and pain, and secondary infections can occur when the skin has been broken.
Your body has a number of elimination channels to remove toxins from the body, including; bowels, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin. One of the reasons that Eczema is itchy is because there are toxins that are being expelled through the skin and your body wants those toxins OUT! If you put steroids (cortisone creams) onto the eczema you may stop the appearance of eczema; however the toxins are still in your body and need to go somewhere. Often people who use cortisone creams will develop eczema in different places or the body will produce a new symptom such as asthma or Hayfever in order to deal with the toxins. As naturopaths we aim to support the body to rebalance and remove toxins in a healthy, less uncomfortable and more attractive way rather than suppressing the symptoms and causing further problems. Eczema is a chronic condition and needs to be treated both internally and externally.
What are the Causes of Eczema & Dermatitis?
Eczema and dermatitis are both skin disorders, similar in appearance, and are usually caused by allergies, dietary factors, emotional disorders or metabolic disorders. People who suffer from eczema and dermatitis often suffer from other allergic conditions such as asthma and Hayfever or there is a strong history of these conditions in their family.
Eczema can be caused or worsened by numerous things, including:
Diet - Common problem foods include:
- Dairy products
- Artificial colours and flavours
- Salicylate rich foods
Everyone will react differently with different foods, so it is important to consult a naturopath to help identify what maybe causing the food sensitivities and resulting in eczema in each particular individual.
Common contact sensitivities are:
- Hair Dyes
- Nasal Sprays
- Synthetic resins
- Cigarette Smoke
- House mites
- Pet hairs
Flare ups often occur during times of stress, as a result of a fever associated with viral illness, and during teething in babies. Eczema has also been called diabetes of the skin and results when the body is unable to process glucose correctly.
Foods, Supplements and Herbs that can help Eczema & Dermatitis:
- Hydrochloric acid (to improve digestion),
- B complex,
- Fish Oil,
- Cod Liver oil (the vitamin A in cod liver oil is important for keeping skin soft and healthy),
- Evening Primrose Oil (6 %u2013 8 capsules day),
- Vitamin D,
- Vitamin E (400 IU/day),
- vitamin C (3,500 %u2013 5,000mg/day),
- Zinc (15mg/day),
- Fish like Salmon and Sardines,
- Sunflower seeds
Other Things that Help:
Remember that it is best not to use cortisone creams as these will just suppress the symptoms but not look at the cause of the eczema/dermatitis.
It is often important to look at what is used to clean the skin and what products are being used on the skin. There have been some remarkable improvements in adults and children who use BEST4baby Natural Hair & Body Wash on their scalps and body. BEST4baby Natural Hair & Body Wash is made from all natural and organic ingredients. It gently cleans the skin and hair while supporting the body%u2019s pH and leaves the skin feeling moisturised.
People ask %u201CWhat cream should I use on Eczema?%u201D There have been many people who have had great improvements with a number of BEST4baby products. BEST4baby products have been developed by two Naturopaths with a passion for skin care, they have made a range of skin care products with high quantities of ingredients which can make a difference and which are great on sensitive skin!
There have been a lot of improvements with people with eczema and dermatitis using BEST4baby Calendula Cream. BEST4baby Calendula Cream is fantastic on itchy, red and irritated skin as it contains the herb Calendula which has traditionally been used to soothe irritated and inflamed skin. BEST4baby Calendula Cream also uses other well known ingredients which soothe and calm irritated skin including Oats, Aloe Vera and Carrot oil.
The BEST4baby Balm Butter is another product which has had great success with Eczema and Dermatitis. BEST4baby Balm Butter contains very moisturising oils and butters including Carrot, Almond, Apricot and Coconut Oil as well as Mango and Shea Butter. These ingredients are high in vitamins and minerals which support the skins ability to heal.
%u201CMy 10 month old son had eczema on his face due to a food allergy. I had tried numerous creams which would not absorb into his skin and would leave a thick residue making no difference to his eczema. I then tried the Best4Baby Moisturising Cream which was a light cream that absorbed well on the area. By the following day it had reduced significantly and completely cleared up after a few days.%u201D
%u201CMy Daughter was diagnosed with the beginnings of Eczema. She had a rash all over her arms, legs and face. Within 2 weeks of using the Best 4 baby Balm butter all the dryness had gone. I was so amazed, as we had tried so many other creams%u201D
Ida and Paul %u2013 Hamersley WA
%u201CAfter trying almost every skin care product on the market for men, I tried the BEST4baby calendula cream for my seborrheic dermatitis and after only two days the dry patches had completely disappeared.%u201D
C. Watt %u2013 Perth WA
Other things to consider for people who suffer from Eczema are to reduce and change the way you deal with stress and anxiety. Things that you can try include: Meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga, relaxing walks, counseling, adrenal support (a naturopath or herbal practitioner at BEST4health can suggest specific products and herbs for your individual case).
Every person is different and every case of Eczema and Dermatitis is different therefore what helps one person may not help another. Remember, eczema is merely a symptom, an indicator of something needing attention within your body, so don%u2019t avoid it, take a look! What is it giving you?
When you rebalance your body and emotions you can get rid of the eczema and leave no scars. I know this as I suffered terrible eczema on my legs, arms and stomach. I was told that I needed to put cortisone cream on and to be aware that I would always be left with thick and scared skin. I decided to treat my Eczema naturally and now where the eczema was I have normal, healthy skin!