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Does Body pH Cause Eczema?
Do you suffer from eczema? You may be suffering from altered body pH that is leading to the development of your skin condition. The following tips will help you regulate your symptoms and avoid pH-related eczema.
Did you know that the pH of your body could be causing your eczema?
Studies show that a pH imbalance in the body can contribute to dry skin and eczema. Both a body too-high in acid and too-high in alkaline foods can cause eczema to flare. The key is to maintain a balance that is ideal for the human body and eczema symptoms should disappear. If you suffer from eczema, you may be surprised at how effective balancing your pH will be at clearing eczema patches.
Your skin responds with eczema when something is wrong inside the body, and skin that is too acidic and too alkaline can both lead to eczema in different ways. Find out more about the body’s pH and how it can lead to eczema below as well as other simple steps you can take to cure eczema.
When you eat, your body uses the food to function. This is done through a process known as metabolizing. When food is absorbed, it leaves behind a residue that mixes with body fluids. Under most conditions, protein and carbohydrates leave an acid reside and vegetables and fruit leave an alkaline residue. Your body is acidic if you have more hydrogen than oxygen. Your body is alkaline if you have more oxygen than hydrogen. pH actually stands for “the power of hydrogen.”
The pH scale, if you remember from high school chemistry, ranges from 0 to 14. The ideal pH for the human body is more or less equal parts hydrogen and oxygen- somewhere between 7.3 and 7.4. Surprisingly enough, it only takes slight changes in pH to affect the body negatively.
When you body is acidic, it starts to treat the acids like toxins. The body prevents the acid from damaging your body’s tissues by storing the acid in fat tissues. But when your fat tissues are full of acid, the body then takes acid-neutralizing nutrients from elsewhere in the body (like calcium) to neutralize the acid. The body may also hold onto additional fat cells to increase the acid-storing capacity, which could lead to weight gain. As a last resort, the body leeches the acid through the skin, which can cause problems like acne, dry skin, rashes, and eczema. On the reverse side, if your body is to alkaline, you will also have problems.
The normal pH of the skin is acidic, with a range between 4 and 6.5. This is called the “acid mantel” of the skin and is used to protect the body from bacteria. Basically, you are covered in acid to kill of invading particles. But, if the acid mantle is not functioning properly, due to the use of too many skin products or because the body is to alkaline, then your skin can become damaged. This can also lead to cases of eczema because the body must deal with a greater number of infections and bacteria on the skin.
According to pH tests, most skin care products are too alkaline for the skin. Most soaps, for example, have a pH near 9 to 11. This means that by simply washing your skin, you could be making your eczema worse.
A study conducted by the University of Modena researched the differences in skin pH on children with eczema versus children with healthy skin. The researchers found that the pH of children with eczema was drastically different from that of healthy children, and that the pH of a child with eczema was different through every layer of skin- even in areas without current outbreaks. This clearly shows that your pH levels is directly tied into the health of your skin and whether or not you will see eczema outbreaks.
If the right balance of pH can cure eczema, why not try to balance the pH of your own body? You can find the pH of your body by using a simple pH test kit purchased from any drug store. Simply wet the paper test with your saliva then compare it to the pH chart on the box. Balance Your pH Most people with unbalanced pH in today’s society are too acidic. That is because many modern foods are high in acid, like meat and carbohydrates. An acidic body will not only cause problems like eczema, but can lead to other problems as well.
Once you test your body’s pH, you can then determine whether you need to eat more acidic foods or more alkaline foods. Since the body leaches minerals when it is too acidic, it is important to up your intake of iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in addition to adding more alkaline foods to the diet.
Remember, you want to focus on foods that have an alkalizing effect in the body. Some acidic foods actually have an alkalizing effect the body, like lemons. While trying to alkalize the body, avoid acid-producing foods.
If your body’s pH is too alkaline, you can adjust it by adding more acidic foods to your diet. Avoid alkalizing foods while trying to increase the acidity of your body.
A few herbs may also help balance your body’s pH. According to the book “The Ultimate pH Solution” written by clinical nutritionist and doctor Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, a variety of herbs are useful for balancing the pH of the body. These herbs include:
If you suffer from eczema, you should never use alkaline products on your skin. This will make your skin break out more often and in larger patches. Look for skin products that are called “pH balanced” or search each individual product for a pH between 4 and 6.5. You can also switch to natural products, such as oatmeal and coconut oil, to cleanse your skin without alkaline soaps and bases.
You may find that, at first, simply balancing the pH of your body is not enough to cure eczema symptoms. This is because years of damage can contribute to eczema symptoms and can take some time to clear.
Additionally, not all eczema is caused by a pH imbalance. Some eczema can be caused by allergies, a genetic propensity for the condition, stress, an imbalance of gut bacteria, hormone levels, and autoimmune disorders. No matter the kind of eczema that a patient had, research has shown the following supplements to be helpful in the treatment of eczema.
One possible cause of eczema is excessive inflammation in the body. Omega 6 fats cause inflammation in the body, while omega 3 fats control inflammation. A 12-week double blind study conducted by Norwegian researchers from University Hospital in 1999 found that supplementing with omega 3 fats reduced itching, scaling, and inflammation in study participants.
Milk thistle controls histamine levels in the body like a natural antihistamine. Milk thistle supports the liver and helps prevent the liver from creating more inflammatory substances and histamines that could contribute to eczema.
Olive leaf contains antioxidants known as "oleuropein" which reduce the inflammation caused by food allergies. An Italian study conducted by the Institute of Pharmacological Sciences in 1998 found that olive leaf was able to reduce allergic responses in certain cases.
Cooking vegetables kills some of their alkalizing abilities. It is the enzymes in raw fruits and vegetables that provide the most benefit for balancing the pH of the body. In addition to consuming more raw fruits and vegetables, you can also add a digestive enzyme to your supplement routine. These enzymes will help your body break down food properly and may even be able to help negate some of the acid-building properties of acidic foods.
Other Possibly Helpful Herbs:
Studies have linked pH balance to a reduction in eczema symptoms, just like the Italian study cited above. Your body does not know how to handle excessively alkaline or excessively acid environments in the body, which can lead to the development of eczema. While pH is not the only cause for eczema, if you balance your skin and body pH, you will most likely see a reduction in eczema symptoms. With just a few simple steps, you can completely balance your pH and see clearer, less painful skin within just a few weeks. The right balance of foods, supplements, and skin care products can help you achieve this delicate balance.
"The Ultimate PH Solution"; Michelle Schoffro Cook; 2007
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