5 Ways to Cure Eczema from the Inside Out
Eczema is a skin condition, but it has more to do with the inside of your body than the outside. Use these 5 methods to cure your eczema from the inside out.
Eczema is a stubborn, painful condition that can affect your entire life. While about 60 percent of children grow out of their eczema, many adults continue to suffer from the itchy, red patches of skin. Severe eczema can lead to scaring, bleeding, and continued skin pain. Bad cases can keep you at home or indoors when you would rather be out and about.
There are billions of products out there targeted as topical eczema treatments (although most of them actually make the condition worse), but as eczema is a condition with many possible causes, it can be hard to identify the right topical treatment for you.
Luckily, there is a way to fix eczema from the inside out. Eczema is generally caused by inflammation, skin allergies, and nutrient imbalances. When you fix these issues, you will find that your eczema disappears without trouble or fuss. Find out the 5 best ways to cure eczema from the inside out below:
Researchers have found that eczema and food allergies are closely related. In 2013, researchers from King's College London found that babies with eczema had an impaired skin barrier, which increased their likelihood for developing allergies to ingredients like eggs, peanuts, and milk.
The study looked at over 600 breastfed babies, and noted that when eczema symptoms grew worse, the baby was more sensitive to that allergen. This led the researchers to believe that many food allergies are caused by skin barrier deficiencies rather than intestinal bacterial imbalances. If you have eczema, what you eat could be to blame. Food sensitivities involve IgG antibodies, which cause eczema symptoms within 48 hours of eating the offending food. Simply changing your diet could drastically reduce your eczema symptoms.
The easiest way to determine if you have a food allergy is to undergo a litmus test by eliminating foods for 14 days. Common food allergies include: nuts, grains, eggs, milk, and raw vegetables.
Additionally, adding digestive enzymes to your diet may help prevent allergy-related eczema from popping up on your skin.
Stress is bad for the skin in multiple ways. There is an entire branch of medicine known as psychodermatology that examines the role that the mind can have on the skin. Stress is bad for the skin in several ways.
First, your sleep is disrupted, meaning that you have unregulated hormones. When you have lack of sleep or stress, the body places all remaining power, so to speak, on essential bodily symptoms. Fighting skin infections and sensitivities are not as important as keeping your heart running, so the body is likely to ignore problems in the skin area.
Second, stress causes the skin to become more permeable, which means more bacteria can enter through the skin. This creates a protein that activates the immune system, which causes problems like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
In fact, the connection between stress and skin troubles is so strong, there have been multiple studies on it. A study in 2003 conducted by Stanford University examined the severity of facial acne in college students during finals. Students under more stress had more acne.
In 2007, a study conducted by Wake Forest University conducted a study on teenagers with the same results. The easiest way to prevent stress from causing eczema and other skin problems is to learn to consciously relax. You can do this simply by noting how your body is positioned. Your body reacts to stress in physical ways- with tense shoulders, a clinched jaw, and general tightness everywhere.
By consciously relaxing, you can trick your mind into letting go of some of the accumulated stress. Keep your mouth open, your breathing relaxed, your muscles relaxed, and your mind clear. This will help your skin fight eczema more effectively. Regular exercise is another simple method to quickly relieve stress.
Did you know that the nutrients that you eat play a huge role in the clarity of your skin? Often, eczema is a sign of nutrient deficiencies or a sign of chronic inflammation from eating inflaming foods. The following nutrients have been closely associated with an increase or reduction in eczema symptoms:
One of the easiest things you can do to balance your nutrient levels is to add fish oil to your supplement routine. In 2010, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology examined children under the age of 2 who ate fish at least once a week with children who did not. This study found that children who ate diets rich in fish and omega 3 fatty acids had less likelihood of developing eczema. This could be due to the natural imbalance of omega fats that most people have. The modern diet is high in omega 6 acids but low in omega 3 acids. Ideally, the body should have more omega 3 acids than omega 6 acids. When it does not, chronic inflammation can occur, leading to an overly sensitive immune system- which may be why eczema can be reduced with an increased intake of omega 3 fats.
Zinc is one of the best minerals for boosting the immune system, partly because it increases the production of anti-inflammatory compounds in your body. Inflammation is one of the triggers that makes eczema worse- which is why zinc is effective for improving eczema symptoms. In 2006, a study on elderly women eczema was published in the British Journal of Dermatology. The researchers looked at women with low serum zinc levels with eczema. When the women were given oral zinc, their eczema symptoms improved.
Individuals with eczema are often low in essential minerals and selenium. Studies show that supplementing with these minerals and nutrients can often reverse or reduce eczema symptoms. Selenium is a beneficial anti-oxidant used to control inflammation caused by the immune response. This anti-oxidant may help fight free radical build-up in the skin which could reduce inflammation.
In 2005, researchers from Japan instructed study participants with eczema to drink sea water for a period of 6 months to up their mineral intake. After the study ended, the researchers tested the participants for mineral levels and eczema symptoms. The eczema symptoms improved in 27 out of 33 patients, and their essential mineral levels were much higher, including selenium levels. Sea water also decreased the mercury and lead concentrations in study participants.
One cause of eczema symptoms is the over-production of histamines. These are created in the liver, but are triggered by excessive inflammation in the body. Reducing both inflammation and histamine production may help reduce eczema symptoms. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, milk thistle primarily works with the chemical silymarin. Silymarin is an anti-oxidant and also reduces inflammation in the liver. The effects of milk thistle are so strong, it is often prescribed to repair damage from alcoholism.
GLA is a fatty acid that is useful for reducing inflammation, smoothing the skin, and repairing blood chemistry. In Europe, GLA is routinely used as a supplement to reduce eczema symptoms. However, there is some debate that GLA may not improve all eczema symptoms (or at least not by itself). Studies have found conflicting results. Some children seem to benefit from the use of GLA, while others do not. This suggests that GLA may be effective for some causes of eczema but not others. However, it cannot hurt to try it an see if it benefits your particular eczema case.
Your body has a unique pH that determines the acidity or alkalinity of your body as a whole. If this balance is off, either externally or internally, your skin could be more susceptible to eczema and other skin conditions.
When your body is acidic, you have more hydrogen than oxygen. The opposite happens when you have an alkaline residue. Both too much hydrogen and too much oxygen can be bad for your body and lead to exzema. The ideal pH is about 7.3 or 7.4. The body treats levels below this like toxic materials, which it stores in fat tissues. After that, the body uses pH-balancing nutrients to balance the body’s natural pH. This could steal nutrients from other vital parts of the body, and eventually excretes the toxins through the skin, leading to rashes and eczema.
If your skin is too alkaline, the bacteria on the skin that fight infections cannot survive, reducing your total skin immunity- which can also cause eczema. The easiest way to reset the pH balance in the body is to switch to alkaline shower filters and alkalinizing water filters for your drinking water. You can test the pH of your body with pH test kits available online, which can help you determine if you need more acids or more alkaline foods in your diet (most people are too acidic when they eat the traditional American diet full of carbs and protein).
Many health experts believe that much of the eczema symptoms seen today are either caused by, or influenced by inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to invading pathogens, which is healthy. The area becomes inflamed, which stimulates the immune system to fight the infection. Once the infection leaves, the inflammation goes away.
However, many of today’s children and adults are chronically inflamed due to the imbalance of nutrients and fats in the body. This causes the body to react poorly to everything, as in the case of autoimmune diseases and sensitivities. Many medical professionals believe that chronic inflammation is the cause of many of the modern diseases and problems seen today- including the rise in allergies and eczema symptoms. Reducing total inflammation can help keep eczema under control by preventing the body from reacting so strongly.
Even if you are truly allergic to a certain food or eczema trigger, if your body is not in a constant state of inflammation, your reaction will not be as bad. Some health professionals even believe that allergies and eczema can be completely cured by balancing the right nutrients and fats in the body.
One of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation is with the use of green tea. Many of the supplements listed above also fight inflammation. When your body pH is balanced, that too, can reduce inflammation. Green tea is particularly effective in healing skin conditions thanks to its ability to regulate a protein that controls the life cycle of skin cells. This ingredient is known as EGCG, and it prevents skin cells from dying as quickly and encourages faster cell turnover. This may be the last puzzle piece in preventing painful eczema flare-ups. Topical green tea may be just as effective as internal.
If you have eczema, there is no need to despair. There are many ways to improve eczema and prevent the dry, itchy patches from popping up on your skin. In addition to using beneficial topical treatments (avoid water-based cleaners), you may have more luck curing the problem from the inside out. Rather than simply mask the symptoms of the condition, these steps will help you address what is really going on inside your body and stop eczema symptoms for good.
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