If you are one that suffers from eczema (eg-zuh-MUGH), you are not alone. I understand because my husband struggled with the same exact thing for years. The intolerable itching, the red dry flaky skin and the rashes… and the constant search to find relief. It can often get in the way of every day life.
So what exactly is eczema? Who can get it and why? And what should you do now? Learning about what kind of eczema you have and what may have triggered it, is the best starting point to treating and managing it.
Eczema is not just one condition, it is a group of skin conditions. The different types are called atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and hand dermatitis to name a few. Appearing at a young age, eczema affects 65% of cases before the age of one. By age 5, 90% of the cases have appeared. For some reason, children who live with a dog in the home have decreased rates of eczema compared with those who don’t. Eczema can be chronic, acute, allergen related, or chemical related. Eczema is a group of skin conditions that can have different symptoms and causes.
Though there is not any definitive cause of eczema. Some possible causes of eczema may include:
- Nutritional deficiency
- Dry, sensitive skin
- Immune system dysfunction
- Chronic stress
- Allergies to food, soaps, or other things
For many people suffering with eczema, the good news is that symptoms often decrease as you get older. Some types of eczema do continue though, such as atopic eczema, which has rashes. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and outbreaks can change going back and forth. Symptoms can include:
- Small raised bumps that ooze liquid
- Thick, dry, scaly skin that cracks
- Red, brown, or gray patches
- Rashes that are itchy and sensitive
Even though there is no known cure for eczema, there are different treatments available to help bring relief and prevent flare-ups. Some things include:
- Increasing vitamin D – helps fight bacteria
- Moisturizing skin 2 times a day
- Itch cream
- Omega-3s increase immune function that can increase healing
- Essential oil (lavender or clove blends)
- Vitamin E
- Sea salt baths
In the treatment of eczema, topically, you have decide whether or not you will take the natural route, or stick to conventional methods. I recommend using natural remedies because prescriptions can be riddled with negative side affects that may show up now or later with continued use over time, but they also often times are chemically based and just frankly don’t work or fix the problem.
Natural remedies will more often contain the things your body needs which promoting healing. 70% of what we put on our skin, gets absorbed into our blood stream, so I don’t know about you, but I prefer natural products almost for that reason alone, aside from the fact that they really do work.
In my personal journey to discover a topical solution, I found tallow, which is virtually beef fat from grass-fed cows. Grass-fed tallow naturally contains vitamins A, K, D, E and Omega 3’s in it which is just like putting vitamins on your skin. You might be asking, “Are you serious? You want me to put beef fat on my body?” Yes! Tallow has the same consistency as our hair sebum which is a natural skin lubricant and protectant. And, it is more effective than coconut oil for our skin problems because it absorbs more readily into our skin due to a similar molecular structure. It’s what people used for years back in the day before commercialized products came on the market.
Secondly, there are pure essential oils. By adding essential oils to the tallow, healing effects only increase. For more sensitive skin, I recommend lavender. It is soothing and more gentle, but still packs a punch to impact your healing process and soothe inflammation. The other I recommend for those that can handle a little more power, is a clove blend that includes: oils of clove bud, cinnamon bark, lemongrass leaf, orange peel, lemon peel, rosemary leaf and eucalyptus radiate leaf/twig. This oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and is a little more potent than lavender. It also has a numbing agent in it, which helps with itch.
There isn’t anything much worse than feeling tormented by the skin you are in. You can’t run away from it, you can’t turn it off, and you can’t escape it. I know. I understand. I watched my husband be miserable for 10 years while I tried to find a solution. But I didn’t give up. And neither should you.
Now, I know it’s not exactly easy to obtain grass-fed tallow or pure essential oils at your local grocery or convenience store. But the good news is that there are people, like myself, that have decided to share what we’ve learned with others and provide access to this sort of product. We have a passion for natural products that work and just want to share it with those that need it.
For more information on these tallow products, click the picture below:
From the Inside Out
Additionally, we understand that some healing can come from the inside out, so here are some foods that you can eat that help with treating eczema:
- Essential fatty acids from wild-caught fish or flaxseed
- Pumpkin or chia seeds to increase zinc intake
- Probiotics from fermented veggies or kefir
- High-fiber foods, intake should be at least 30 grams or more per day from sources such as veggies, fruits, nuts, and sprouted/soaked legumes
- Vitamin A foods, such as orange and yellow veggies
- Avoid foods with additives, allergens, margarine, sugar
Eating a healthy diet that follows these guidelines can help to reduce symptoms from all the different types of eczema and prevent flare-ups from happening in the first place.