Do you experience eczema? It’s that itchy, scaling, dry skin patch that never seems to go away and will often manifest in places such as the hands, arms, legs, ears, eyelids, buttocks, and scalp. Eczema can be really irritating and unsightly and can go out of control especially if you don’t know the cause for the irritation.
Many have already tried topical over-the-counter steroid creams and while they may help, discontinuing use causes the skin condition to return. Consider these five tips for your eczema and see if you notice improvement.
1. It’s something you’re eating
There is research to suggest that certain foods may trigger an eczema outbreak in you and those foods are different for everybody. Consider getting both food allergy and food sensitivity testing (they are different) as the most common food triggers are gluten/wheat, dairy products, eggs, soy, coffee, nuts and corn.
You may want to go on what is typically known as an anti-inflammatory diet where you eliminate these foods for a good three months, then introduce them one at a time and see if any trigger a problem in your skin.
2. Start taking probiotics
Probiotics are the good gut flora in your intestines that helps maintain the balance, fight bad bacteria and infection, and lower inflammation. I would advise against increasing your yogurt consumption especially if dairy products are worsening your problem.
3. Really re-evaluate your chemical exposure
Start reading labels and being really conscious about the products you use to clean your house, do your laundry (dryer sheets or fabric softener), kill weeds, and freshen the air. Be more aware of the products you use to hold your hair in place, dust your furniture, keep your car clean, wash your hands, and dry clean your clothes, etc. All these chemicals could add up to increased irritation, and suddenly you develop eczema.
4. Consider coconut oil
Research shows that coconut oil applied topically to the skin reaction can improve outcomes, reduce dryness and scaling in eczema.
5. Apply lemon juice
Research shows it may be helpful for clearing acne due to its acidic nature.
Anecdotally patients have seen some benefit to applying 100 percent lemon juice to the affected skin area at night and letting it air-dry before going to bed. Warning -- it may sting, but it may work!
1. Eczema, Peanut Allergy May Be Linked. Web. 8 March, 2012.
2. Atopic dermatitis and the ‘hygiene hypothesis’: too clean to be true? Web. 8 March, 2012.
3. Novel Antibacterial and Emollient Effects of Coconut and Virgin Olive Oils in Adult Atopic Dermatitis. Web. 8 March, 2012.
4. Management of Acne Vulgaris: Maintenance Therapy. Web. 8 March, 2012.
Reviewed March 9, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith