Eczema is an itchy, painful, uncomfortable skin condition that has been called a global epidemic. This chronic skin disease is characterized by dry, red, itchy skin that can often weep and bleed. Eczema may also be referred to as atopic dermatitis and can affect up to 25 per cent of people around the world.
Eczema is known by its rash. The eczema rash can affect different areas of the body and may range from mild to severe. Eczema is uncomfortable and itchy. It may cause sufferers, especially small children, to scratch skin until it bleeds.
Some of the most common symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry, sensitive skin
- Chronic rash
- Rough patches
- Weeping patches
- Swollen skin
Discoloured skinIt is clear to see that while eczema is inconvenient, it can also affect quality of life. A child with eczema may not be able to keep from scratching. A child who grows up with chronic eczema may suffer from embarrassment as they try to keep the condition hidden and under control.
ECZEMA ON THE RISE
My Virtual Medicine Centre confirms that in 1940, only 4 per cent of the global population suffered from eczema.1 Nowadays, the number has skyrocketed to anywhere from 8 to 25 per cent. Eczema may be related to a number of allergic disorders, including hay fever and asthma. Eczema is most likely to appear among infants and children, though research now suggests that childhood eczema can continue into adulthood.
Why is eczema a global epidemic? Doctors still cannot agree on the reason for the increase in eczema diagnoses. A number of physicians point to the “hygiene hypothesis.” These physicians believe that parents today overprotect their kids from dirt and germs that are necessary to build the immune system. When the immune system is not stimulated at a young age, it is not able to fight off irritation and inflammation – evidenced in chronic skin conditions like eczema.
There are a few interesting factors that support the hygiene hypothesis. Supporters of the theory cite the fact that children who grow up on farms with diverse germ exposure at a young age rarely ever develop eczema. Children born to large families with greater exposure to childhood disease are less likely to be diagnosed with the skin condition.
Other researchers believe:2 “The ‘atopic eczema epidemic’ has developed in industrialized countries within the last four decades. The disease has a strong genetic influence, so environmental factors must be responsible for the dramatic increase in disease prevalence.”
Without a known cause and without a cure, treatment for eczema is frustrating for families around the world. There are a number of over-the-counter products that are recommended to soothe irritated skin. Yet in the most severe cases of weeping eczema, topical lotions do little to help and can make matters worse if they contain irritating chemicals and fragrances.
A severe case of eczema may require a visit to a paediatrician. This may lead to subsequent referrals to dermatologists and allergists to get to the root of the disorder. In an attempt to control a painful eczema outbreak, a doctor may prescribe topical hydrocortisone cream. This topical steroid is used to treat skin inflammation and may come with side effects like nausea, heartburn, dizziness, headache, difficulty sleeping, and acne.
Topical steroid use still leaves eczema sufferers between a rock and a hard place. Hydrocortisone cannot be used for a long period of time as it thins and compromises the quality of the skin. Long-term use may also lead to steroid withdrawal, infection, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and atherosclerosis.
5 STEPS FOR CHRONIC ECZEMA RELIEF
When you focus on the health of the body as a whole and treat eczema from the inside out, you can find relief. This five step eczema plan is critically important for young children with eczema to relieve pain, itching, and discomfort that could plague them well into adulthood.
Eczema relief is simple but requires a commitment to your health:
- Take hemp seed oil by mouth each day to support healthy cell growth.
- Take curcumin daily as a potent anti-inflammatory to ease pain and inflammation.
- Take “The Miracle Enzyme” Serrapeptase daily to further calm inflammation.
- Apply protective CoQ10 cream to the skin daily to replenish vital nutrients and protect against irritation.
- Use HealthPoint electronic acupuncture at liver 3 and stomach 36 to target underlying digestive issues that can trigger inflammation.
EAT TO BEAT ECZEMA
What you eat matters on the road to eczema recovery. If your child is suffering from eczema, now is the perfect time to make important changes to their diet so they can learn really healthy eating habits that will stick with them for the rest of their life:
- Cut out all starchy carbs, such as pastries, cookies, cereals, white rice, breads, potatoes, and pasta.
- Cut out processed foods and dairy products.
- Eat up to 14 portions of fresh or frozen veggies a day; 50 per cent raw juiced and organic, if possible.
- Eat 3-5 portions of beans, nuts, and seeds (soaked and mashed nuts and seeds).
- Eat 3-5 portions of dark-skinned fruits; 2 avocados a day are highly recommended.
- Enjoy healthy oils like hemp, krill, and olive oil.
- Drink 8 glasses of distilled or filtered water a day with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
- Take 3-5 teaspoons of sea or rock salt a day in food or with a little water.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. Changing what you eat and supplementing with anti-inflammatory nutrients can offer much-needed eczema relief.
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1. “Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema).” myVMC.
2. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2003 Jul;2(3-4):202-10.5. www.paulingtherapy.com