natural approaches to eczema
Eczema, Removing the itch
With eczema, removing the itch and other symptoms is crucial to leading a normal life. Here’s how natural health can assist.
Eczema is often diagnosed in infants between 2 and 6 month of age, with 85% of people diagnosed before the age of 5 years. The condition may resolve itself however it can also continue throughout life. This hypersensitivity reaction that is often experienced with other atopic conditions such as asthma or allergic rhinitis (or in those who have atopic conditions in their family history) or those with an IgE food allergy.
Eczema rash experienced by infants and adults may be quite different. Infants may present with moist, red lesions which may crust in places, and these are generally found on the face, neck, buttocks and outer & inner surfaces of the arms and legs. Adults may also have these moist, red lesions on the inner surfaces or the arms and legs, as well as drier, scaly lesions, and thicker patches in other areas. Both infants and children will experience itching which varies in severity.
There can be several causes to eczema such as a genetic predisposition however other factors can be involved:
- altered non-specific immunity (our first line of defence which includes the skin, the protective mucosal layers of our respiratory and gastrointestinal tract (GIT), and the normal bacterial flora present on the skin and surface layers).
- Dysbiosis or an imbalance of the gastrointestinal flora.
- Altered skin barrier function, with the outermost skin layer, becoming thinner and prone to flaking, cracking and drying, which allows allergens & bacteria to enter the skin causing flare ups, infections and allergic reactions.
- Intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’ where the tight junction cells lining the small intestine become damaged and more porous or permeable in a number of ways: inadequately digested food, nutrient deficiencies including zinc and Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats, environmental toxins, excessive caffeine or alcohol intake, chronic use of medications such as aspirin or paracetamol, allergic reactions (histamine release), oxidative stress, inflammation or chronic psychological stress, which allows larger than normal particles to pass through the intestinal barrier to the bloodstream or lymphatic system. The intestinal permeability may then progress to immune system dysfunction, greater inflammation and hypersensitivity reactions. This results in food intolerances and sensitivity, a decrease in the ability to absorb nutrients, overload for the liver, increased free radical production, chronic constipation or diarrhoea, skin rashes or fatigue and mental ‘fog’.
Eczema Treatment Aims
- The naturopathic way is to provide a gentle treatment to heal the causes and remove the triggers of the problem.
- Treating the whole person is paramounts, not just the skin, and often we find other symptoms that may be present in the client.
- Gaining Health Naturally helps you to:
- Identify the triggers
- Relieve soreness, redness, itchiness
- Restore immune dysfunction
- Identify the most effective tests and triggers that are appropriate for you
- Using natural products, herbs, nutrients and dietary changes can assist to relieve symptoms of Eczema for both children and adults alike.
For more information on Eczema head to:
Eczema on Facebook Eczema Association
Eczema Association of Australia NICAN