What are YOU doing about your eczema?
If you’re looking for a bit of advice for eczema treatment, information or reassurance, here is what I did about my eczema. First things first, if you have eczema, it’s your responsibility to do something about it. Don’t wait for your GP or any other health professional to magic it away for you. You will have to do many things to get it under control, which may not be easy, but please make a start, and you could be eczema-free in weeks.
Based on all the things I have done to improve my own eczema I have written a booklet about how to manage your own skin issues, click here and created the Eczema Survival Pack, which contains the book along with lots of other bits and pieces that will help you to control your eczema. Click here.
I had appalling eczema, until I got out of bed one morning and said to myself “enough”. My skin was manageable within about 6 months. If you want to read a bit more about my own eczema story click here.
It wasn’t easy but I had a lot to learn. Here are some of the things that I learnt along the way. They helped me, and different things may work for you, but here are some things to think about:
1. There is widespread belief now from health professionals that many, many illnesses begin due to poor gut health, and poor diet. This is certainly true in eczema. If your gut is not working properly, you will be struggling to digest foods and that will result in problem skin. You can read much more about this in my booklet, but please begin by searching eczema and gut health and think about what you are eating. You are possibly intolerant to many of the foods you are eating, and whilst you are on the road to eczema recovery, you should think about what those foods are. Could be milk, wheat, nuts, soya, tomatoes etc? You can get intolerant/allergy tests done via your GP or privately if your GP is reluctant to refer you. You should start putting in place steps to improving your gut health immediately. Continue reading to see what else you should consider.
2. Whilst your eczema is bad you need to do everything you can not to irritate it further, use an organic natural washing powder (from your health food shop – don’t bother with supermarket ones that say they are for sensitive skin, even they have perfume in). I use Ecover, I find it excellent. I also recommend Surecare which is easily available at most supermarkets.
3. BE CAREFUL what you use on your skin. Personally, I would not use any baby oil or vaseline or any products with petrochemicals in, they suffocate the skin and actually dry it out even more. Obviously, do not use any artificial perfumes or fragrance at all. Try to use all organic and natural products (such as LJ products). Parabens and sulphates also irritate sensitive skin.
4. Read up as much as you can to understand it. Furthermore, go to your library, get books out about it. Read my book, which covers everything I have learnt about over the past ten years.
It covers everything I mention here in much more detail.
5. Cut your fingernails very short, as scratching your delicate skin with mucky fingernails will make it inflamed and sore, and possibly infected. Keeping fingernails short is absolutely central in helping to break the “itch-scratch” cycle. Instead of scratching, try tapping the skin with the pads of your fingers – it will give some relief without damaging the skin further.
6. Recognise when you are stressed and try to break the cycle, go for a massage, or a run or a drink with an old friend, read a really great book, take a long bath, learn mindfulness, whatever you need to do to stop the stress…
7. Drink lots and lots of filtered water, room temperature is best. Chamomile tea is very good at calming both the skin and the mind. There are also some herbal teas that are good for clearing skin, with nettle or other liver clearing herbs.
8. After you have done your research about gut health (see point 1) think about taking good quality supplements, a pro-biotic and high strength fish oil (or flaxseed if you are vegetarian). Go to your health food shop and ask them what they recommend, or speak to a nutritionist/naturopath. I get many of my supplements from Nutri and you can ring them to ask for advice over the phone.
9. Keep dust to a minimum in your home and working environment: house dust mite poo makes most people’s eczema worse. Damp dust otherwise you are just moving the dust around, rather than getting rid of it. Vacuum a lot or have wooden floors.
10. Get out in the fresh air, preferably a park or outdoor space where there are trees. Sunshine is good for eczema in small doses, and staying cooped up in doors in either centrally heated or air conditioned environments is not good as it will dry your skin even more. There is lots of evidence to prove that being in nature is excellent for our overall health.
As mentioned above, you will find endless information about how to manage eczema over on my blog page, and my Eczema booklet really does cover everything (for £5.95) which could change your life.
There may be times when you choose to use GP-prescribed steroid creams to calm an infection or bad flare up, but long-term, this isn’t the answer. It thins the skin, which means when eczema comes back, the skin is even less able to deal with it. Dealing with your eczema is about STOPPING it coming in the first place, instead of trying to fire fight once it’s arrived.
Learn to recognise when it’s on its way and do what you can to minimise it. I have overcome very painful & stressful eczema and now I’m regularly told how lovely my skin is. So believe it is possible to do something about even very bad eczema. There is no quick fix and no cure – it’s hard work but if you’d like to get better, believe me, you can.
I make a very calming skin balm, initially just made for my own and my little girl’s eczema, which has now become an award-winning international best seller. It is made with just seven plant oils, such as high quality organic shea butter, evening primrose oil, organic avocado oil and organic lavender essential oil (it was my daughter that named it “scratchy balm”). It is 100% natural and free from petro-chemicals, preservatives and synthetic ingredients. Since beginning by business in 2009, I’ve now made the magical balm for thousands of others too. Most find it very helpful, as you will see from feedback and testimonials. You will need to do more than just apply this balm. However, if you follow the points above and look after yourself, you may find Organic Scratchy Balm, and my other products specifically designed for very sensitive skin, are very useful in your road to recovery. Good Luck.
Download our Eczema Survival Sheet here. LJ Natural – Eczema Information Sheet 2018
I’ve recently come across this Blog from Dr Chatterjee, a GP who strongly believes in the link between gut health and eczema. If you are not sure if everything I have said here is correct, please pop over to his blog so you can see what he thinks.
Many customers have reported that Organic Scratchy Balm helps to heal molluscum, click here to read more
I have also written a blog about the link between eczema and molluscum which you will find by clicking here.