Managing eczema requires a holistic approach. From identifying triggers to making dietary and environmental changes, it's a common condition that can affect your whole lifestyle. The good news is, there are some common themes as to what can help, and it often involves going natural! We've pulled together some tips from people just like you, who have found effective ways to manage.
1. Identifying Triggers
Eczema is, simply, an immune system overreaction. But identifying the particular event/s that are causing that reaction is key to reducing the effects of eczema. Common triggers can be food allergies or intolerances, exposure to certain chemicals, environmental allergies, stress, or illness. It's often a matter of observation or elimination to identify the triggers, and as there are often multiple triggers, this can be tricky! Allergy testing is a good way to identify food or environmental triggers, and is something you can discuss with your doctor.
Diet can play a huge role in healing eczema. Dietary triggers are often related to gluten, dairy, and processed foods, so moving to a more natural, plant based diet is often helpful. Toxins can move into the body through the small intestine if it has been damaged, or if there is an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Probiotics can work to restore healthy gut flora, and can be introduced to the diet through over-the-counter powders, or fermented food and drink such as kombucha, kefir, sourdough, sauerkraut, and kimchi (which have the added benefit of being really delicious!). Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep any toxins moving on out.
Environmental allergies can be to the natural environment, such as animals or grass, or chemical toxins in our environment. Moving to more natural cleaning products, bodywash/shampoo, and limiting or eliminating other chemicals in the home can make a big difference. The skin is our largest organ, and what goes on, goes in! Also, pay attention to the fibres that are coming into contact with your skin through things like clothing and sheets. Natural fibres like cotton and merino breathe and are much less likely to irritate your skin.
Stress can be a trigger on its own, or can go hand-in-hand with other triggers. Not helpful when living with eczema can often be stressful! It's important to be aware of your stress levels, and take time for yourself. Identify what relaxes you, and make sure to build time for that into your life. Is it time by yourself, or time with others? Doing something active, or reading a book? A holistic approach for mind and body is vital.
5. The Weather
Not something we can do much about! But it can definitely have an effect, so it pays to be aware so you can manage. Heat can cause flare-ups to be much itchier, so keep it cool on hot days with ice or a wet cloth. Keep baths and showers cooler. During winter, give skin space to breathe.Winter air can cause skin to dry out and also trigger that eczema itch, so keep an eye out for dry patches of skin and apply moisturiser more often.
6. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Keeping on top of the itch is a vital part of eczema management. It's often scratching and breaking the skin that results in a dramatically worse cycle, and the possibility of infection. Keeping the skin moisturised, and having a balm to apply multiple times a day when it's needed, is so important. By protecting the skin and managing the itch, it gives the skin time to heal naturally.
Beebalm contains beeswax, which forms a naturally protective barrier over the skin to lock in moisture, but also allows the skin to breathe, unlike petroleum based creams. In combination with natural oils, butters and essential oils, it effectively soothes skin and allows it to heal. Our Family Skin Care range has a solution for every member of the family, formulated for the best results for everyone.
Let us know - what are some ways you have found to manage living with eczema?
Rachel and Emma