Is your skin firing you up? Eczema and Dermatitis are two words for the same condition and the word “eczema” appropriately comes from the Greek word “to boil over”.
By 2005, one in five people in the UK were affected by eczema at some point and 31.6 million Americans currently have symptoms of eczema.
Eczema is non contagious and includes symptoms of itching, redness, dry thickened skin, blisters and crusts and in some cases, your skin may become so unhappy that it cracks, bleeds and weeps.
Steroid creams have probably been prescribed to you and although they are tempting due to their initial effectiveness you will soon find them obsolete once the quick fix comes to a halt.
In the meantime these synthetic steroids have seeped into your skin and may be causing adrenal suppression which can lead to Cushing’s syndrome, hyperglycemia and glucosuria.
Steroid creams are also thinning out your skin and causing wrinkling and loss of pigmentation so they are not a long term solution.
Aqueous creams are a common chemist purchase for eczema however they dry out your skin and you may react to the preservatives.
Antihistamines can temporarily stop the irritating itch however they are not preventing that insatiable itch.
Eczema is one of the main reasons I began to explore nutritional and lifestyle changes myself once I realised that the short term fixes of prescription drugs and creams were not achieving any long term results.
Below I will share with you 10 valuable tips to help prevent, reduce or eliminate eczema.
1. Krill Oil
Krill are small crustaceans and the word “krill” comes from the Norwegian word Krill and means “small fry of fish”. As they live along the nutrient dense algae at the bottom of our seas they have not accumulated all the heavy metals that are unfortunately polluting our oceans.
Their oil is extracted and is one of the best sources of omega-3 fats you can take to soothe and hydrate your skin from the inside out.
In addition to helping to oil up your skin, krill oil has anti inflammatory effect on joints and reduces pain in rheumatoid or osteoarthritis as well as helping to relieve symptoms of PMS such breast tenderness or cramping.
2. Use a mild soap over an antibacterial soap
Your over usage of antibacterial soaps which contain Triclosan, benzalkonium chloride or chlorohexidine, which work in the same way as antibiotics, is promoting the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Triclosan in particular can trigger eczema.
Not only will triclosan irritate your skin but it is also wreaking havoc with aquatic life where it breaks down into a carcinogenic dioxin compound in our rivers and streams.
Washing your hands properly is more beneficial that taking ineffective short cuts with anti bacterial soap. Let’s get back to basics and cover your hands thoroughly with soap and rub them together vigorously for 15 seconds before rinsing thoroughly.
Dr Bonner’s soaps (like the one in the photo above) contain natural vitamin E from sunflower seeds and organic essential oils.
3. Eat Seed “grains” over gluten grains
Food intolerances are called IgG reactions and can show up up to 3 days after consuming the offending food. 45% of the adult population suffer with a food intolerance and Gluten is one of the most common offenders.
Gluten is a complex protein made up of Gliadin and Glutenin and is found in the following grains; wheat, oats, rye, barley, tricale and spelt and kamut.
Avoiding Gluten does not mean dashing over to the “Gluten Free foods” aisle and loading up on processed gluten free foods. It means sticking to whole foods with only one ingredient. For example an avocado is just an avocado and a cucumber is just a cucumber and a pear is just a pear. If you do occasionally buy something with an ingredients list then you can check to see if it has any gluten grains and be cautious of foods with more than 3-5 ingredients listed as you may be eating unnecessary preservatives, stabilisers or sugars.
Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth are good alternatives to Gluten Grains and are actually all seeds.
Root vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips and turnips help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and are all naturally gluten free.
4. Home made Nut milk over cow’s milk
You may be intolerant to milk sugars, lactose, or you may be intolerant to milk proteins eg. casein.
The lactase enzyme that breaks down lactose is non existent in some ethnic groups such as africans, asians & hispanics.
Is that milk in your coffee? If you’re sipping a flat white, latte or cappuccino with cow’s milk you are drinking a cup or more of milk a day.
Iowa Women’s Health Study, found that women who consumed more than one glass of milk per day had a 73 percent greater chance of developing ovarian cancer than women who drank less than one glass per day.
Milk products are included in biscuits, cakes, sausages, processed meats, chocolate, non dairy creamers, protein powder drinks and salad creams.
Many people think that cow’s milk and cow’s milk products are good for calcium however the reason calcium is not easily absorbable from milk is that is does not contain enough magnesium, which is essential for its absorption.
Good sources of calcium: kelp, dulse, collard greens, kale, turnip greens, almonds, sesame seeds, parsley, brasil nuts, watercress, sunflower seeds, apricots.
Try a cup of home made almond milk. Blend a few handfuls of activated almonds with spring/filtered water and put through a sieve of nut milk bag.
Find out more about the Dangers Of Milk And Dairy Products.
5. Duck Eggs over Chicken Eggs
Chicken eggs are a common food intolerance and for most people. It is the protein in the egg white, the albumin, that your digestive system and skin could be reacting to.
Did you know that you may be able to tuck into a duck egg even if you cannot tolerate chicken eggs?
In addition duck eggs are not mass produced like chicken eggs so ducks are rarely fed soya or wheat which are also common food intolerances.
Duck eggs have more protein, omega 3, zinc, B12 and iron than chicken eggs so all in all a better choice for a cracking protein breakfast or post work out snack.
6. Probiotics to support the immune system
Good skin starts with good bacteria in your gut. Hopefully you will have picked up good bacteria while making the journey into the big wide world via the birth canal and while drinking “healthy” breast milk as a baby.
However not all of us had the same start in life or antibiotics, roaccutane for acne, steroids, contraceptive hormones, stress and mercury fillings may have begun to wipe out your friendly bacteria.
Good skin starts with good
bacteria in your gut
Stress causes dysbiosis so never eat while angry or stressed as it will negatively impact your gut flora. Make sure you are sitting down to eat and that you are eating consciously without distractions such as your laptop or TV. A good tip is to put your fork down between each mouthful and chew each mouthful twenty to thirty times into a bolus (remember biology lesson kids!).
Pre and post natal supplementation with L.rhamnosus containing probiotic reduces eczema in high-risk children (Azad, 2011).
Take probiotics with a human strain of good bacteria, so that they are able to implant in your gut, for at least 3 months to win the battle against candida (Tel +44(0)1663718850 patient of Katherine Ung W2 4BE: Order Ultraprobioplex ND).
7. Vegetables to Alkalise your body
Here’s a quote I like from Andreas Moritz: “Cancer cells and other degenerative diseases cannot thrive in an environment that is not acidic. Even the common cold virus has difficulty surviving in an alkaline environment.” (source).
Ideally your diet will contain 80% alkalising foods. However use the remaining 20% wisely without wasting it on preservative and additive laden foods. Food is pleasure as well as nutrition and the two are not mutually exclusive.
It is important to understand that a food’s acid or alkaline forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic but the end product they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so, lemons are actually alkaline forming in your body. Meat will test alkaline before digestion, but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so animal meat is very acid forming.
Cancer cells and other degenerative
diseases cannot thrive in an
environment that is not acidic
Alkalising vegetable ideas that you can pop in your shopping basket and onto the dinner table:
Beet Greens, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard Greens, Collard Greens, Cucumber, Dandelions, Dulce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Nori, Parsnips, Pumpkin, Radishes, Reishi, Shitake, Sweet Potatoes, Watercress.
White asparagus and Brussel sprouts are a few of the only acid forming vegetables.
For more information regarding this topic, take a look at this fantastic List of High Alkaline Vegetables.
Quercetin will keep you young due to it’s anti-ageing properties and according to the Department of Pathology and Diagnostics at the University of Verona in Italy, quercetin and other flavonoids are “anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic agents”.
Quercetin is a natural antihistamine that will help you battle hayfever, food allergies, asthma and your prickly skin conditions. Histamines are chemicals that are released when the immune system detects an allergy or sensitivity, and they produce those unsettling moments that we experience when our body is having an allergic reaction.
So let those capers come to the rescue to cool and calm your skin with quercetin.
9. Liver detoxification
Nearly every person with skin diseases such as acne, eczema or psoriasis has gallstones in their liver and impure toxic blood (ref Andreas Moritz). Healthy skin can be rejuvenated through cleansing the liver and gallbladder of gallstones.
“Once the liver and colon are clean and the diet/lifestyle are balanced
according to your body’s type and needs, parasites cause no harm in the body”
Parasites such as protozoa, roundworms, tapeworms, flukes and lice could be attacking your intestinal track and inflicting eczema upon you.
10. Shower filter to remove Chlorine
Chlorine is a disinfectant which is added to your water supply to kill bacteria however when you have a bath or shower chlorine can leave your skin red, dry, itchy and blotchy. Chlorine is dehydrating your skin when you have a shower or bath so you may wish to consider purchasing a shower filter (5% discount if state client of Katherine Ung W2 4BE) to remove the chlorine and keep eczema away and when you’re on holiday opt for the real deal with a swim in seawater over a chlorinated swimming pool.
Eczema may seem to be a minor health concern however for anyone that is experiencing that chronic irritating itch and burning desire to scratch and burn, you will know it can affect your mood, confidence and comfort.
So set your intentions of calm, smoothe skin and commit to nutrition and lifestyle changes that will leave you with peaceful skin and the bonus of a healthy glow from within.