Is your skin red, dry, scaly and extremely itchy? Have you been diagnosed with eczema? The skin condition eczema is believed to affect over 30 million Americans. So, what is eczema? In fact, eczema isnt a single condition; it is actually a group of skin conditions that includes atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, hand eczema, neurodermatitis, nummular eczema and stasis dermatitis. (1) Finding a soothing, natural eczema treatment can be life-changing for those suffering from this frustrating condition.
Eczema typically first appears in very young children with research finding that 65 percent of cases occur before infants hit their first birthday, and 90 percent of those affected have their first cases before they turn 5 years old. Of further concern is that eczema in children is becoming more and more common. (2) Diseases eczema can resemble includepsoriasis, rosaceaand dermatitis, but its a different condition.
A study conducted by the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center found that 39 percent of Caucasian children develop eczema by 3 years old. Interestingly, this same study found children that have a dog in the home are significantly less likely to develop eczema at any age. (3)
Although initial outbreaks of eczema most often occur in infants and young children, onset can occur at any time. While the majority of the skin conditions that fall under the eczema heading are chronic, it is important to note that contact dermatitis and hand eczema may be acute in nature, occurring due to an exposure to allergens or chemicals.
For many people, the severity of flare-ups will lessen with maturity, and some may even outgrow it altogether. However, eczema can come and go throughout life. Learning how to treat your eczema and identifying triggers that cause flares is the best course of action.
And while there is no definitive answer as to the cause of eczema, and there is no identified cure, there are effective natural treatments, home remedies and essential oils for eczema that may help prevent future flares and ease discomfort during an outbreak. It is important to understand that eczema is an embarrassing, stressful and frustrating condition that often disrupts sleeping patterns. Finding an eczema treatment to help relieve the symptoms must be a top priority.
As a matter of fact, there is a wide range of causes and risk factors associated with eczema. And, eczema symptoms can manifest widely differently between those affected. While a singular cause of eczema has not been established, there are certain common causes leading to the onset and flares. In addition, a wide range of risk factors has been identified.
So far, the medical community has yet to determine a definitive cause of eczema. For some, it may occur due to a nutritional deficiency, while for others it may first arise due to an allergen or other irritant. Here are the widely-accepted causes of eczema:
While many will experience a lessening of symptoms and fewer flares as they age, some will continue to experience eczema symptoms throughout adulthood, such as atopic eczema rashes. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and change from one outbreak to another. Common symptoms include:
While there is no cure for eczema, there are a variety of non-invasive eczema treatment optionsthat can provide relief during a flare-up and some that may prevent its onset. These can includecorticosteroids, but the following home eczema treatment options may be best.
1. Light Therapy/Phototherapy
According to the National Eczema Association, phototherapy helps to calm inflammation, reduces itching, increases vitamin D production and helps fight bacteria on the skin. (4) Adding 1015 minutes a day of sun exposure, particularly during an eczema flare, can provide relief and potentially speed healing.
2. Vitamin D
In addition to increasing sun exposure, supplementing with vitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, eggs and raw milk may help prevent eczema in children and adolescents. Ideally, during a flare you will get 2,000-5,000 IU daily; if your sun exposure is low, consider boosting your intake with a high-quality supplement. Preliminary research shows that low vitamin D levels during pregnancy and during childhood may increase the risk for developing eczema. (5)
Because dry skin is both a cause and symptom, it is imperative to moisturize affected areas at least twice a day. Coconut oil is the perfect moisturizer for eczema sufferers. This eczema treatment is antibacterial and anti-fungal, withantimicrobial properties that provide soothing relief, and may speed healing.
4. Treat the Mind and Body
According to Harvard Medical School, some skin conditions, including eczema, have a psychological component. This is a dynamic is referred to as psychodermatology. Researchers have found that hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relation, focused breathing, cognitive behavior therapy and talk therapy may provide not only relief during a flare, but expedite healing and prevent future flares. (6)
5. Dead Sea Salt Baths
The Dead Sea is known for its healing powers, and researchers have found that taking a bath with salt from the Dead Sea water improves skin hydration, improved skin barrier function, reduced inflammation, and relieved redness and roughness. (7) As eczema flares can worsen when exposed to high and low temperatures, bath water should be just warm enough to prevent a chill. Do not rub the skin dry; pat gently with a soft towel.
6. Cool, Wet Compresses
Applying a cool, wet compress lessens the itching for some individuals with eczema. For young children, dampening snug night clothes may provide overnight relief from itching; however, if the eczema has evolved to oozing blisters, a wet compress may increase the risk of infection, and shouldnt be used.
7. Apply Itch Cream
The intense itching is often the most miserable part of an eczema flare. Try using a natural homemade eczema cream that incorporates Shea butter, coconut oil, raw honey and essential oils toprovide much-needed relief.
8. Licorice Extract
Used topically, licorice root extract shows promise for reducing itching in limited eczema trials. Add a few drops to coconut oil or homemade itch creams for best results. (8)
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Researchers from Norwegian University of Science and Technology have found that when fish is introduced into the diet of young children by the age of 9 months, and fish is eaten weekly, the risk for developing eczema reduces dramatically. (9) Including foods rich in Omega-3s to prevent eczema should be considered. During a flare, these foods are a great eczema treatment that will boost immune system function and speed healing.
Probiotics may help prevent eczema in infants and decrease the severity of flares, research shows. (10)(11) In fact, mothers whotake probiotics during pregnancy and while breastfeeding may prevent eczema from developing in their children. During an eczema outbreak and to prevent future flares, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement of 24100 billion organisms daily should be considered.
11. Lavender Essential Oil
In addition to the intense itching, eczema commonly causes anxiety, depression, frustration and poor sleep.Lavender essential oil is an eczema treatment proven to help reduce these common symptoms thatcan help heal dry skin. Add 10 drops to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or almond oil, and gently rub into the skin. The aroma can help facilitate sleep, when itching is often at its worst.
12. Vitamin E
Taking 400IU of vitamin E daily can help to speed healing by reducing inflammation. In addition, topical application of vitamin E may help to relieve the itch and prevent against scarring.
13. Witch Hazel
If during a flare the rash starts to ooze, applying witch hazel can help promote healing due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Research has found that a cream containing witch hazel and phosphatidylcholine canbe as effective as hydrocortisone in a double-blind trial. (12) During an outbreak, gently dab this eczema treatmentdirectly onto the rash with a cotton pad. Be sure to use an alcohol-free witch hazel as you dont want to cause more dryness.
Foods to Eat to Treat Eczema:
Foods to Avoid:
Eczema is a skin condition that can result is severe discomfort, disruption of sleep, cause anxiety and depression and skin infections. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, the majority of people that have eczema also have Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on their skin. (13) When the rash weeps, or excessive itching breaks the skin, severe infections from bacteria and viruses can occur.
If an infection does occur, following natural impetigo treatments can help to prevent spreading the infection to others and speed healing.
Eczema may make people more prone to heart disease and stroke research highlighted by Harvard Medical School found. The study found that people with eczema smoke and drink more, and are less likely to exercise than those without eczema. All three of these factors are considered risk factors for heart disease and other chronic conditions. (14)
Anxiety, depression and poor sleep quality are real concerns for children and adults alike during an eczema flare. Using essential oils for eczema by diffusing or adding to lotions or creams, may help relieve the emotional toll this condition has on those it affects.
Children are particularly prone to ridicule at school during an outbreak, especially with eczema on the face. It is not uncommon for children with eczema to withdraw from their social circle and become isolated. Be sure to provide plenty of understanding and support.
If youre struggling with eczema or another skin condition, you can visit adermatologist for further help.
The rest is here:
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