Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a condition that produces dry, itchy or bumpy patches on the skin. It's one of the most common skin issues, but it is not contagious. Eczema can become quite itchy; finding topical relief to ease discomfort and exploring the underlying root cause are key steps for improving skin health. So, what is good for eczema?
The skin has several vital functions, from providing the body with external protection to acting as an absorption channel for nutrients, water and oxygen. In the case of eczema, the skin's protective layer can be impaired due to the body's overactive inflammatory response.
Recurring skin issues are often a sign that something is going on at a deeper level, that can be due to an allergic reaction or sensitivity to certain foods, a gut imbalance, environmental trigger or stress. It could also have a genetic link that can be passed on from parent to child.
When examining the underlying root cause of eczema, an important first step can be identifying specific foods that could trigger an immune reaction. A study published in The Lancet found a strong association between food allergies and the occurrence of eczema. Sometimes eliminating the offending food or foods is enough to help calm the body's inflammatory response. The most common food allergies associated with skin issues like eczema are often dairy, eggs and gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye and barley.
Sometimes, it can be more challenging to determine what's causing eczema flare-ups. Working with a certified health practitioner can be immensely helpful in exploring the possible underlying reason behind your skin issue and then choosing the best support for the associated discomfort. Targeted at-home lab testing can help to identify inflammatory effects that can happen anywhere from a few hours up to a few days after eating certain foods you may not be aware you are reacting to.
Simple at-home lab testing can be invaluable to get a more definitive picture of what may be triggering your eczema. Tests that examine gut health imbalances like candida overgrowth and a food sensitivity test can help identify specific nutrient deficiencies, foods, or accumulated toxins that may be the offending culprit.
According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, gut imbalances like candida overgrowth share a potential connection with eczema. Using a specially formulated gut rebalancing protocol that contains specific enzymes and probiotic support can help reduce excess yeasts or bacterial overgrowth and restore a healthy gut environment.
While you explore the possible underlying causes of eczema with at-home lab testing and dietary changes, it can be beneficial to soothe the itch and irritation of the outer skin with the help of topical creams and soaps. When eczema flares up due to internal or external sources, itchy, red blisters that ooze clear liquid may appear, especially when scratched. Breaking the "itch-scratch cycle" — resisting the urge to scratch eczema patches and preventing new ones from forming — helps head off infection and alleviate symptoms.
Topical skin products with natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and salicylic acid can provide relief. Oatmeal works to calm the rash and itchy skin in general and helps to dry out the flare-up. Salicylic acid removes dead skin and destroys harmful bacteria. Aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, willow bark, chamomile and comfrey are also soothing, plant-derived ingredients to look for in natural, topical creams.
Eczema can be unpleasant, but with a targeted approach to your gut health and itchy, irritated skin, you can manage it well. Check out this podcast to better understand the first step to supporting digestive imbalances, skin issues, headaches and possible auto-immune issues.