Eczema is a medical condition which affects the skin and is characterized by redness, blisters, and inflammation, causing incessant and severe itching. Although still unconfirmed, food may be an important factor in causing, or at least aggravating eczema and making it worse than it already is.
Eczema is an arbitrary condition which can affect everyone from elderly people to babies. Signs of eczema can appear anywhere on the body and at any time.
Researchers, doctors, dermatologists, are yet to find what really causes eczema, but what you’re eating, the environment you live in, and under how much stress you are at all times can actually exacerbate its symptoms.
What causes flares?
Perhaps the likely culprit that causes flares has been under your nose this whole time. There are some things we consume which the body prefers and needs (it’s different for everyone), and some which can actually worsen a condition like eczema or trigger the appearance of one of its symptoms, like flares.
Below are some things which are thought to aggravate or cause eczema symptoms.
- Allergies (food, seasonal, environmental, or pet allergies)
- Mental, physical stress
- Weakened immune system
- Breast milk
- Unknown cause
Here are 12 foods which can lead to eczema flares.
- All milk products (cheese, butter, sour cream, yogurt, etc.)
- Processed foods such as sausage, bacon, and lunchmeat
- Dairy milk
Treating and preventing eczema
Along with certain foods, stress, pressure, environmental chemical exposure, and other allergies can also result in a flare-up.
Work with an allergist
Working with an allergist will let you know what foods you are allergic to, but the tests are still inconclusive regarding food tolerances.
The standard elimination diet
Elimination diets will restrict what foods you eat, and most people can do this safely at home. But should you suspect an allergy you must immediately see your physician due to risk of anaphylaxis.
Diets such as this one can limit certain foods at one time, while other will omit all potentially harmful foods for around three weeks, then slowly start including them in your diet again.
The aim is to allow your body to recuperate during that period, which will also allow you to better judge your symptoms.
Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements
Vitamins and minerals have countless healing properties and it is essential to include them in your diet, in one form or another, in order to keep your body, both inside and out, at optimum health.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B complex
- Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) or Omega-6 fatty acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids, like fish or flaxseed oil
Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
Dermatologists and physicians prefer this treatment due to its soothing and relieving effect and, while not always convenient, it is natural and harmless to use on children and babies. You can buy readymade products or simply make your own.
You’ll need around 1-cup per bath, add it in the lukewarm water in your tub, and soak for around 10 minutes.
For serious cases, you should always consider taking antihistamine, as these medications will relieve itchiness and reduce inflammation. Antihistamines, however, are not natural remedies for eczema. They take longer to work and long-term use can result in resistance.
Vegetarians and vegans can have different diets, but they will still have to discard the culprit foods and still consume the required amount of nutrients. For instance, soy and soy foods can cause or aggravate eczema symptoms.
Before you start your plant-based diet, be sure you consult a nutritionist, naturopath, or a physician to help you avoid putting your health at risk.
Change your routines and products
You will have to completely change your routines and the products you are using from shampoos, to skincare products.
Bear in mind that natural products may contain components that can affect a flare. In other words, if you are allergic to soy, steer clear of shampoos that contain soy keratin.
- Keep your skin hydrated
- Do not soak in water for a long time; take brief showers
- Pat dry, don’t rub
- After taking a shower, use a moisturizer to seal in moisture
- Use unscented, dye-free skin and beauty products
- Avoid putting on makeup often or switch to mineral-based makeup
- Try using only perfumes made of essential oils and herbs
- Use plain Castile, oatmeal, or goat’s milk soap
- Meditate, do yoga or breathing exercises to lower stress
- Shower after physical activity
- Use natural sunscreens
- Avoid scratching
Most essential oils are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal, and mixing them with carrier oil and applying it directly on affected areas may prove even more effective in alleviating eczema symptoms.
Essential oils to treat eczema
- Tea tree oil
- Rose Geranium
Carrier Oils To Nourish Skin
- Olive oil
- Rosehip oil
- Shea Butter
- Vitamin E oil
- Coconut oil
- Sweet Almond oil
Using Essential Oils
Pick a carrier and essential oil of your choosing. Add three drops of essential oil to carrier oil and mix it well. Rub on irritated area two to three times a day.