When you or your child has eczema, all you want to do is heal that itchy, red and often painful skin. Eczema are areas on the skin which are red, itchy and often painful. Some people may have large areas with eczema or more contained areas. Common areas for eczema are often on the inner arm, behind the knees or hands and feet.
The creators of Four Cow Farm and Meagan from The Gut Healing Community have helped me create simple steps to care for skin with eczema. These steps will help heal, stop flare-ups and protect the skin.
Number 1. Select Products with Gentle and Natural Ingredients.
Avoid petroleum based derivatives such as Mineral oil, petrolatum, propylene glycol & PEG’s. Steer clear of shampoos and soaps containing harsh synthetic detergents such as sulphates or cocamidopropyl betaine.
Working in childcare and Kindergartens for the past 10 years, I have seen my fair share of children suffering from eczema. Petroleum based topical products can often have an effect on eczema and create flare-ups. Preservatives are another big one. I have had a few mothers including Meagan from The Gut healing Community tell me they were trying a ‘natural’ body wash for their children. Unfortunately, it made their children’s skin worse. When we looked at the bottles ingredients we decided it was the Sodium Hydroxymethylgl
ycinate, a common preservative in many products classed as natural and pure. Once they switched to a more natural wash, the flare-ups stopped.
Number 2. Bathe with a gentle, natural soap in cool water
Hot water can be a potential eczema trigger, it can irritate skin and cause it to flare up. The temptation of a nice hot bath is nice but when you or your child suffers skin flare ups it is always more suitable to bathe in cool or slightly warm water. It is also a good idea to limit baths and showers to just 10-15 minutes.
Be conservative in the amount of soap used and remember, lots of foam is a sign of a harsh soap or wash. Choose natural soaps with no fragrances, preservatives or essential oils.
Number 3. The after bath routine
Pat skin gently with a soft towel, never rub. Apply a gentle moisturiser or lotion onto damp skin immediately. Unfortunately many moisturisers contain oil derivatives such as triglycerides. Choosing a natural option is much more beneficial as they contain more of the natural vitamins and fatty acids which are beneficial for the skin. Dermatologists agree that regular, repeated moisturising is key for skin affected by eczema.
Follow up with a balm or cream designed for skin irritations. One extra little tip is to choose clothing which is uses gentle and all-natural fibres – such as cotton – which are gentle on the skin and allow it to breath.
Number 4. Help the skin learn to function on its own
The skin is a living organ, our largest in fact! So, every now and then, let the skin learn to function on its own by giving it a half-day break from ALL products.
Number 5. Gut Health
Often our skin can tell us a lot about what is going on inside our bodies. Acne, psoriasis, rosacea and eczema, could these be your skins warning signs that something’s not quite right on the inside? Meagan has written a great article regarding The Gut Skin Connection. She explains that Doctors correlate acne and other skin conditions as inflammatory disorders of the immune system. If there is inflammation that originates elsewhere in the body, the signs can be first seen on the skin. Often, common skin conditions are red flags pointing to imbalances inside the body.
It is important to note that not ALL acne or skin disorders are caused by your gut bacteria, however any imbalances in the gut flora could be contributing. Probiotics and changes in diet could be a great step in reducing skin inflammation.