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5 Key Things You Need to Know About Eczema

Gemma Cockrell

Having eczema can not only be uncomfortable but can cause great emotional stress as well.  I was about 14 when I had my first bout of it, all around my eyes so I looked like a panda! The doctor thought it had been caused by my swimming goggles, but why would I suddenly develop an allergy to them when I had been swimming my whole life?  As I got older the symptoms became much worse resulting in many visits to doctors and hospitals, having to soak in special solutions to be able to peel my clothes off my body and spending many a party hiding myself away.  This situation lasted until I was 22 when I made a big lifestyle change.  I broke up with my childhood sweetheart and the eczema disappeared!  Now I’m not saying that this was a miracle cure and everyone with eczema should break up with whoever they’re with, but what I am saying is that stress plays a very real role in this health condition.

 
Here are the 5 key things I’ve learned:
  1. Eczema, or atopic dermatitis is more prevalent in those with other issues such as hay fever or asthma and often runs in families. I got the eczema and my brother got the asthma!
  2. Eczema can be triggered by environmental irritants or allergens such as substances like soaps, perfumes, or chemicals, food allergies, lifestyle, stress, or climate. The colder the climate, the more likely you are to suffer.
  3. Eczema can seriously impact your sleep and therefore your concentration and overall health.
  4. Skin becomes irritated, dry and itchy and the rash can become scaly and thickened. This is because your skin is producing less fats and oils than it should be and so it can’t retain as much water as normal skin does.
  5. Common irritants include: deodorant, cosmetics, skin lotion, rubber, latex perfume and plants. Soaps and detergents strip away the lipids your skin is producing leading to dry, cracked skin.
 
Things that can help:
  1. Good old Oats! Lying in a bath of crushed oats gently eases the itch and noticeably moisturises the skin. Oatmeal is anti-inflammatory meaning it can relieve the discomfort of inflamed eczema.
How to use:
1 cup of oatmeal
Muslin bag or cloth
Tie the oats in a bag and hang under the taps as you run the bath.  Soak for as long as you like, gently squeezing the bag occasionally to release the milk.
  1. Coconut Oil: This oil sinks straight into the skin, locking in lost moisture. It’s a lipid (fatty acids that are insoluble in water) so will prevent your skin from drying out and becoming more irritated.
  2. Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax and not an oil.  It is the most similar in molecular structure to skin’s natural sebum and is incredibly rich and nourishing.
  3. Nothing really helps more than a good quality body butter – or as we like to call it – custard!! Ours combines 6 fantastic healing ingredients including shea butter, coconut, rosehip, olive and sea buckthorn oils. The content of natural fatty acids, vitamin A and E and antioxidants makes this ideal for calming, repairing and regenerating damaged skin cells.  What’s more, there are 3 different varieties to choose from. 
Find out more about them  HERE
These natural remedies really do work but always check with your GP first if you have any concerns.
 
Lots of love,

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