Eczema Relief

Summer is both a blessing and curse for those with eczema. While itchy patches often recede with exposure to air and sunlight, shedding clothes can be embarrassing and chemicals in suncare products and swimming pools can worsen the condition.

Eczema is not contagious, but more than one member of a family is often afflicted. The current thinking is that the condition has a genetic component…

Eczema is certainly a condition we care much about here at LoveLula, not least because it was the impetus behind our founder, Sonia’s original quest for natural, chemical-free living when her son developed it at an early age. The condition often begins during childhood – but can strike at any age. Most often it affects skin in the face, hands, feet, inner elbows and back of the knees. It is basically a defect in the skin barrier which allows moisture out and germs in. The skin usually feels dry and itchy, which leads to scaling and redness. In severe cases the skin cracks and becomes infected. Typically inflamed areas tend to flare up then settle down. As Sonia found out, symptoms can be made worse by the chemicals in many household products (even those which claim to be ‘natural’), and the prescribed solution is steroids – not exactly what you want to be putting on your newborn’s skin! Equally some of the most common Eczema creams contain Parabens and SLS’s which can not only add to the irritation but dry up the natural oils in your skin. The same harmful chemicals are found in most mainstream daily soaps and moisturisers. SLS is a foaming agent also used in products to clean cars and garage floors! It breaks down skin’s natural proteins, making skin more vulnerable to outside contaminants. Parabens pose multiple health risks, including a link to cancer.
While there is no real ‘cure’ for eczema, treatment with the right products can usually control or ease symptoms and about 2 in 3 children with atopic (allergic) eczema grow out of it by their mid-teens. The first step is to change your shampoo and soaps and read the ingredients labels.Get rid of anything that has Parabens and SLS’s in it – a valuable motto is: “Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.” Choose products that pride themselves on being natural organic to protect, heal and nourish your skin. Bathe less frequently, using warm water and moisturise well, preferably while your skin is still damp as this locks in more moisture. Creams and lotions work well, and oil-based moisturizers are particularly good as they form a barrier that prevents moisture from evaporating off the skin. Moisturising products should be used every day – a common mistake is to stop using them when the skin appears healed. Pump dispensers are better than pots because they are less likely to harbour germs. If you need to use a pot, use a clean spoon or spatula to get the contents out, rather than your fingers. In terms of ingredients, Aloe Vera  is a particularly soothing as found in its purest form in the excellent Santaverde range . Chamomile is another natural ingredient to look out for as it soothes and calms irritation. Calendula is also proven to have skin healing properties and is present in many natural and organic products.   And finally, look out for nourishing Almond Oil to aid repair. Natural Balms  are packed with anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects. Try massaging over your body an hour before having a bath to prevent dryness. Lotions containing antioxidant Vitamins C, E and D might also be helpful as they can protect from free radicals and help with essential fatty acid metabolism. The next step is to look at triggers. For some this can be what you eat. Dairy is a common trigger as are eggs, soya, gluten, citrus fruits and nuts. You should focus on foods that promote gut and liver health and eliminate as many processed and high-gluten foods as possible. For some, natural supplements can help. Washing detergent is another common trigger. Change to non-bio and wear natural fibres against your skin – this includes bedding if possible. It might also help to change to a natural deodorant. Avoid getting too hot or cold as extremes of temperature can also irritate the skin. Stress is another trigger so you are advised to take time out– our range of holistic candles and bath soaks  make a well-earned and relaxing treat. I hope this has been helpful. We are always on the look-out for new natural remedies from all corners of the world and aim to keep our range of skin-friendly products in tip-top condition! Jane x

5 Comments

  1. Claire Parker
    August 20, 2014 / 11:43 am

    For adults suffering from eczema which suddenly flairs up, especially on the face, the cause may be an allergic reaction to formaldehyde which is a chemical found in glues, varnish and nail varnish.
    After years of suffering from painful eczema around my mouth, eyes and on my neck I was diagnosed with a sensitivity to this very aggressive chemical. Ironically, when feeling down about my appearance, I would have a manicure to cheer myself up. Not knowing that the painful skin on my face was being caused by the contact with the nail varnish!
    There is very little information about the causes of eczema and this little known link with formaldehyde should be publicised more. I now use the Zoya nail polish found on the Love Lula site, and although my skin is still sensitive of course and doesn’t respond well to stress, I no longer have to suffer from horrid, red, sore, inflamed skin.

    • Jane
      August 27, 2014 / 4:33 pm

      Thanks for sharing this with us Claire – the more info we can gather on the subject the better. Also glad to hear that you are able to use Zoya nail colours which we all love too. Jane x

  2. Bridget
    August 20, 2014 / 12:08 pm

    How marvellous! I really enjoy the Love Lula site. My daughter, who is now 17, has had eczema since being a baby. We have battled and struggled together. I became wise to steroids and have tried everything. The seaweed baths were the best!! They looked and smelled disgusting! In the end I bathed her in plain water with olive oil added and this seemed to help dramatically. She now uses products from Love Lula for her skin. I just wish natural skin care was less expensive. But I cannot grumble, she looks gorgeous! Thank you.

    • Jane
      August 27, 2014 / 4:31 pm

      Thanks for this Bridget – glad to hear that your daughter is now well and gorgeous! We do try to offer a wide range of products and price points and have new brands joining us all the time through our Boutique so hope you can continue to find products that you are happy with. Jane x

  3. Jo mordecai
    December 13, 2014 / 6:39 pm

    Our baby son (12 weeks) had a reaction to ‘sensitive’ fabric conditioner at about four weeks old. Since then the skin on his face and sometimes his chest flares up regularly despite being extra careful with detergents. We bath him every other day in plain water (no soaps) and cover him in either olive or count oil. Despite this he has hah another flare up, the worst yet. His cradle cap seems to have come back and he claws himself to bits. Any suggestions would be very welcome

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