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Eczema 101: What Is Eczema?

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

So, you’ve come to the conclusion that you’re most probably suffering from eczema or you officially have a diagnosis from a physician. As difficult or painful as it may sometimes be, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Eczema affects 10-20% of the population and chances are many in your circle of family and friends suffers with this often itchy and uncomfortable skin condition.

We want to be able to help you with all your eczema concerns or questions. If you are new to eczema, or even if you’re a seasoned pro who has read and tried it all, this Educational Eczema Series 101-104 is a must read. Make sure to click through the other posts in the series which together discuss the various types of eczema, as well as causes and natural treatments that are definitely worth trying out.

Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several sufferers, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

Prior to discussing the types of eczema that exist, it’s important to actually understand what eczema is.

What Is Eczema?

Although researchers still do not know what is eczema, studies have finally proven eczema is an autoimmune disease (1), similar to psoriasis, lupus and many other immune disorders. Eczema has also been linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to an irritant which can create a leaky skin barrier. With leaky skin, staph, viruses, allergens, etc., can all enter the body through the skin which in turn triggers inflammation, itchy skin, and all the factors we relate to eczema. On the flip side, eczema often seems to be triggered by what’s going on inside the body and things like the food we eat, how we digest food and if a leaky gut is present or if there is a liver imbalance, to name a few, have all been known to either trigger eczema initially or further exacerbate it.

Types of Eczema

Before pointing out typical symptoms of eczema, it’s important to define the various types of eczema.

Atopic Dermatitis

This form of dermatitis is also referred to as eczema, atopic eczema, atopic dermatitis, and dermatitis. It is most commonly seen in children and creates both dry and scaly patches on the scalp, forehead, cheeks and face. These patches can also be extremely itchy and can ooze pus in some cases. The term ‘atopic’ is used to describe a group of conditions that include asthma, eczema and hay-fever. The term atopic march refers to children who start with eczema and then as they get older also develop asthma and then hay fever/pollen allergies, but many times with eczema symptoms lessening along the way. Children with atopic dermatitis frequently follow this atopic march or progression into other allergic conditions.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

If you experience dandruff or your child suffers with cradle cap, then you or your child are actually suffering from a mild case of scalp seborrheic dermatitis. However, with a more severe condition, skin becomes sensitive, sore, itchy, flaky and even greasy. It can even cause scaling or crust on the scalp, itching and soreness behind the ears, across the eyebrows and around the nose or chest.

Contact Dermatitis

This type of eczema is caused by contact with something in the environment such as pets, dander, dust mites and more. Contact dermatitis usually affects the hands, arms, face and legs. When exposure to the irritant is ceased, the eczema should clear up eventually and not return.

Nummular Dermatitis/Discoid Eczema

This type of eczema is very distinct in that it causes skin to become itchy, red and swollen in circular patches that look like coins. It looks very similar to ringworm, so it’s always best to get checked by your medical practitioner to verify it is in fact a type of eczema.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Small blisters filled with clear liquid identify this type of eczema. It usually occurs on the hands or feet, but can occur in other locations. It is extremely itchy and for unknown reasons, is much more common in women then men.

Hand Eczema

Although this type of eczema strictly relates to only one part of the body, the hands, it is so common that it has its own sub-type. Check out our best tips for healing hand eczema.

To learn more about other types of dermatitis, beyond eczema, make sure to check out our blog post: How to Identify The Type of Dermatitis You Have

Will My Child Out Grow Eczema?

If your child has eczema, it can be so incredibly hard to see them suffer and surely you’re consumed by wondering how you can help ease their discomfort, which we hope you’ll learn a bit more about later on in this Educational Eczema Series 101-104. But if you’ve wondered if your child will one day finally outgrow their eczema, then THIS post is definitely worth a read!

For more information on what causes eczema, make sure to check out this post with video from dermatologist Dr. Peter Lio: What Causes Eczema?

Stay tuned for next week’s post, Eczema 102: What Can Trigger Eczema?

______________________________________

References:

(1) Dupilumab improves the molecular signature in skin of patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. Jennifer D. Hamilton PhD. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Volume 134, Issue 6, December 2014, Pages 1293-1300.

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How to Stop Itching due to Dry Skin, Eczema, Psoriasis & Allergies

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

Have you ever had skin so itchy, you couldn’t think of anything but scratching it raw? If you suffer from eczema, then you’re probably most familiar with the feeling. However, if you’re not suffering from eczema, there can be several other reasons why your skin may be itchy.

This blog post is dedicated to all things itchy! Learn how to stop itching today. Find out what other skin conditions can be causing itchy skin, as well as which products to avoid. Lastly, we’ll share some natural treatments that will ease your itchy skin and decrease scratching.

Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

What causes itchy skin?

Dry Skin

Aside from more severe skin conditions, dry skin is usually the main factor that contributes to itching. Although there are many similarities between dry skin and eczema, there are several differences as well.

The biggest factor in determining whether you have eczema or just dry skin is understanding what may cause your itchy skin. Normally, dry skin occurs when the outer layers of skin become damaged due to the sun, exposure to water (especially chlorine) or dry air (especially with heating units in the winter) or ingredients in products that strip the skin of its natural moisture.

With dry skin, skin usually feels tight and stretched, but can be slightly flaky causing the skin to look a little white, gray or ashy.

Eczema

After dry skin, this is the most common cause of itchy skin. With eczema, the itch can be nearly impossible to tolerate due to its intensity and frequency. Usually the skin will also be red and inflamed or thick and scaly or weeping and oozing. Eczema is usually chronic and is caused by stress, sensitivities to food, environmental or seasonal allergies and/or reactions to topical products.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis, although sometimes incorrectly grouped with eczema, is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that is characterized by red, itchy and patches also known as scales. With psoriasis, cells build up rapidly on the surface of the skin.

Allergies

If your skin is constantly itchy and flaring up due to a reaction to a skin care or cleaning product, food or something in your environment, you may have allergies! Allergies can create hives, rashes and intense itching and can even trigger more chronic eczema if exposed to the allergen for long periods of time. When someone reacts to something topically only with the reaction only occurring on the skin, this is called contact dermatitis.

In order to know what might be causing the itch, there are a variety of tests you can do. First, if you think you might be suffering from a food allergy, it’s best to go see a doctor or naturopath that can help you find relief.

If you feel you might already be suffering from a food allergy or sensitivity, check out our post: How to Identify Your Reaction: Allergy vs. Sensitivity vs. Intolerance Defined.

There are also a variety of allergy tests you can carry out. For more information on those, check out our blog post: How to Know Which Food Allergy Test is Best For You? Or you can work with a physician to undergo an elimination diet.

If you happen to be experiencing allergies from the clothing you’re wearing, then you might have textile dermatitis. The best way to know if a certain material or fabric might be affecting you, would be to carry out a clothing elimination test, similar to how you would carry out an elimination diet.

To learn more about which materials can cause the most irritation, as well as how to run a clothing elimination test, check out our post: Your Guide to Textile Dermatitis: Latex Hypersensitivity & Polyester Allergy Explained.

How to stop itching, what products should you avoid?

Whether you are experiencing itchy skin due to dry skin, psoriasis, eczema or allergies, the following products should be avoided:

  • Artificially scented soap: You’d be surprised how certain added artificial fragrances and perfumes can irritate skin and are best avoided. Essential oils are usually ok and certain types can actually help to heal or prevent dry skin.
  • Harsh cleansers: It’s best to avoid any chemical filled body washes or skin cleansers that tend to be more alkaline and not pH balanced like the skin needs. These will strip the skin of its natural moisture and can definitely lead to itchy skin.
  • Alcohol: Avoid using products that contain alcohol or any sort. While some are slightly less drying than others, all forms of alcohol will without a doubt dry out skin. And if the skin is dry enough and has led to cracked skin, products containing alcohol will also irritate and burn the skin.

What products can help itchy skin?

For Dry Skin

If you know you’re experiencing itchy skin because your skin is mostly dry (or cracking), these products will help you lock in your skin’s natural moisture and provide relief:

For Eczema

With eczema, it’s best to look for a product that is made specifically for the eczema symptoms you’re experiencing.

  • Weeping/Oozing Eczema: EczeHerbal #1 Oozing Eczema Treatment: This formula was made to calm weeping, oozing eczema that looks angry and red.
  • Red Eczema: Emily’s Hot Skin Soother: Chinese herbs have been blended with natural oils to create one powerful anti-inflammatory balm to treat red eczema rashes.
  • Dry Eczema: Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream: This cream gets a second mention because it’s really great for so many types of skin conditions, especially any sort of dry skin.
  • Thick/Scaly Eczema: EczeHerbal #3 Dry Scaly Treatment: Another blend with Chinese herbs, but this time the formulation was created just for combating thick, scaly skin.

For Psoriasis

If you’ve been diagnosed with psoriasis these products will be a total lifesaver for you:

  • Emily Skin Soother’s Liquid Soap Soother: This soap is perfect for those suffering from psoriasis, as it’s extra moisturizing and free of nasty chemicals. Unlike other soaps available today, it won’t strip or dry skin out.
  • Coconut Aloe Moisturizing Serum: Coconut oil is extremely popular among eczema sufferers, but it can also be beneficial for those suffering from psoriasis. Not only does this serum contain coconut oil, but anti-inflammatory aloe vera helps keep skin cool and wounds healed.

For Allergies

If you have allergy-prone skin, check out these products that are great for those with allergies – of course – just double check the ingredients to ensure none of your known allergies are listed.

  • Organic Calendula Salve: This balm is so simple and pure it only has 4 ingredients: olive oil, calendula, beeswax and vitamin E, making it more tolerable and gentle for those with many allergies.
  • Grass Fed Tallow Balm: Unlike artificial balms, this mixture again uses very simple, nourishing ingredients like beef tallow for moisture and itch relief.

For General Itching

Regardless of whether you may be experiencing dry skin, psoriasis or allergies, these products will help all forms of itching:

  • Little Itchy Skin Rash Treatment: This red rash treatment is perfect for soothing any red rash or itchy spot with minor inflammation. Completely beeswax-free and vegan for allergy-prone skin.
  • EczeHerbal #2: Itchy Skin Rash Treatment: If you’re experiencing dry, red and itchy skin, then this is the product for you. This treatment is filled with natural Chinese herbs that are safe for infants, children, adults and even pets!
  • Organic Aloe Vera Skin Soothing Spray: Cooling aloe and soothing calendula can be gently misted onto itchy skin for fast relief with this spray. It’s great to carry in your bag for itch relief on the go!

Wet Wrapping

Something that works wonders for dry, itchy skin is something you may never have heard about, wet wrapping! It’s a popular form of treatment for eczema and psoriasis, but is very effective for many other skin conditions as well. It’s basically all about soaking with water and moisture and then sealing the moisture in for two hours or more using a damp layer of clothing. Read more about wet wrapping in Our Eczema Trials: Wet Wrap Therapy.

Gloves

If you can’t seem to heal your itchy skin from the above recommended products because you’re constantly scratching, make sure to cover your hands and protect yourself from scratching with mittens and gloves! The itch-scratch cycle is no joke. Your skin may start off smooth and normal looking, but once the itching starts, you can scratch so hard that you cause a wound to open up or you’ll create thick skin which will need treatment and time to heal. When the healing begins, the itching may start again and you’re back to scratching mode all over again. So, give your skin the protection it deserves and wear gloves or mittens when you feel the urge to scratch, but it’s most important overnight. If you’re itchy in the night, you will scratch and won’t even know it until you wake up and find the evidence written all over your damaged skin.

Acupressure

You can try acupressure at home! Yes, it’s that easy! And there are a couple of points that when pressure is applied, can really help to relief itching. Check out Acupressure: A Home Remedy for Itchy Skin. 

More Itchy Relief Tips from a Naturopath

Our resident naturopath, Dr. Amy Duong, is an expert in all things skin related. She has a few tips she always shares with her patients to help them soothe their itchy skin naturally. Check her tips out here.

If you continue to experience itchy skin, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible.

How do you stop itching? Let us know in the comments below!

Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.

How to Stop Itching due to Dry Skin, Eczema, Psoriasis & Allergies appeared first on itchylittleworld.com. Come read more about natural remedies for eczema!

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Studies Indicate Children Benefit from Consuming Fish Oil For Eczema

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

By Sabra Way (bio below)

Medical studies can be difficult to understand and use terms we often find confusing or unclear. The following studies discuss ‘allergic disease’ and if children benefit from taking fish oil for eczema.

What is ‘allergic disease’ and how is it related to eczema? Eczema, asthma and allergies (like hay fever) when discussed together are called Atopy. Atopy is just the genetic tendency to develop one of these diseases. All of these diseases share an increased immune response to allergens. So If your mom has hay fever and your father has asthma and your aunt suffers from eczema then your family is expressing atopy. You will be more likely to have one of those diseases if someone in your family has them.

Currently, there is a lot of discussion of the Allergic March and no it’s not what you’re thinking! The allergies don’t just happen in March! Allergic march refers to the order that children get these diseases. It starts with eczema, then allergies, then asthma and finally hay fever. Not every child with eczema will get hay fever but the chances are higher. That is why studies research all of these diseases together. If you can reduce the chances of getting one disease it often means you can reduce your chances for all.

Learn more about Atopic March from our blog post: What is the Atopic March?

The following studies are very practical for you and your family, as they ask the question: Does fish or fish oil help eczema? Yes it can.

In all of the following studies, the introduction of fish oil for eczema was beneficial. However, the most beneficial time of introduction was 6 – 12 months years of age. One study showed that introducing fish within 9 months of life (who had it once a week) reduced their chances of developing eczema (1). It also did not matter whether it was omega-3 fish or not. Just consuming fish reduced the risk. Another study also concluded the same results but in relation to asthma symptoms (2).

One study found that introducing fish to children under a year old held a reduced risk of allergic disease, food sensitization and inhaled allergens (hay fever) during the first 4 years of life (4). In fact it actually decreased the allergic march.

Lastly, eating fish may even be protective well beyond 4 years of life. More than 3,000 children were followed in Sweden with questionnaires about their diet until the age of 12 and given blood tests to determine how allergic they were. The results showed that 80% of children who were one year of age ate fish regularly, at least once a week. If a parent had an allergic disease in this group, the children that ate more fish (more than 2-3 times a month) had less eczema than those who consumed fish once a month (5).

If you or your family suffer from any of these diseases, introducing fish oil for eczema may help reduce their risk of developing other allergies too. Also introducing children to fish earlier (at a year old) sets them up with proper life-long eating habits.

What fish should you feed your family? The Environmental Working Group has a guideline on choosing fish that are low in toxins and high in omega-3 fats. Their top recommendation goes to those clean fish and seafood that are high in omega-3 fat. David Suzuki also has a list of the Top 10 Sustainable Seafood Picks.

Based on these two lists, these are some healthy, sustainable fish choices:

  • “Closed Containment” Salmon – David Suzuki only recommends farmed salmon raised in “closed containment“. Avoid open-net farmed “Atlantic Salmon” which is now genetically modified and not required to be labeled as such. Wild salmon is not a sustainable fish although it is a healthy choice.
  • Wild Sardines – The best are from Canada and U.S.Pacific and are purse seine caught like these.
  • Farmed OystersThis is a good sustainable brand.
  • Wild Mackerel – Best from the US or Canadian coasts.
  • Wild Herring – Best from the US or Canadian coasts. This is a great one.

If your little one simply won’t eat fish at all, try a supplement. Nordic Naturals is a great brand with low mercury levels, no GMOs, and derived from 100% wild cod.

Practical Take-Aways:

  • Introduce your children to eating fish before 1 year of age if possible.
  • Continue serving fish to your family once a week.
  • Choose fish that are low in mercury, sustainable and are High Omega-3.
  • Try a high quality fish oil supplement if your child simply won’t eat fish.

 

Read more about supplements and healing eczema:

Can Probiotics help eczema? Studies indicate YES!

Natural Remedies for eczema: What worked for my son.

 

Bio: Sabra Way is a Medical Herbalist and a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. She writes about herbal and complementary medicine and how it can heal the body when used effectively. An avid reader, she scans medical journalslooking for studies that have an impact on complementary medicine. She is the editor of Galen’s Watch; a journal watch focused on complementary and alternative medicine for complementary health practitioners to stay up-to-date with the latest studies. You can find her on FacebookTwitter, and her website.

 

References

(1) Do early intake of fish and fish oil protect against eczema and doctor-diagnosed asthma at 2 years of age? A cohort study. Oien T1, Storrø O, Johnsen R. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2010 Feb; 64(2):124-9. doi: 10.1136/jech.2008.084921. Epub 2009 Aug 6.

(2) Fish Consumption in Infancy and Asthma-like Symptoms at Preschool Age. Jessica C. Kiefte-de Jong, Jeanne H. de Vries, Oscar H. Franco, Vincent W.V. Jaddoe, Albert Hofman, Hein Raat, Johan C. de Jongste, Henriette A. Moll. Pediatrics, November 2012.

(3) The impact of dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on respiratory illness in infants and children. Hageman JH1, Hooyenga P, Diersen-Schade DA, Scalabrin DM, Wichers HJ, Birch EE. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2012 Dec; 12(6):564-73. doi: 10.1007/s11882-012-0304-1.

(4) Fish consumption during the first year of life and development of allergic diseases during childhood. Kull I, Bergström A, Lilja G, Pershagen G, Wickman M. Allergy. 2006 Aug; 61(8):1009-15.

(5) Fish consumption in infancy and development of allergic disease up to age 12 y. Jessica Magnusson, Inger Kull, Helen Rosenlund, Niclas Ha˚kansson, Alicja Wolk, Erik Mele´n, Magnus Wickman, and Anna Bergstrom. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013; 97:1324–30.

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The 3 Best Natural Oils for Eczema Recommended by Dermatologists

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

As you already know, there are several alternative therapies that can help relieve eczema. From healing your gut with probiotics (see our blog post: Can Probiotics Help Eczema? Studies About Probiotics and Eczema Indicate Yes!) to delving into homeopathic medicine (see our blog post: How Does Homeopathy for Eczema Work?) and so much more…

This week, we look at the top 3 natural oils for eczema as recommended by dermatologist Dr. Peter Lio (1): Sunflower Seed, Coconut and Evening Primrose and how they can be incorporated into a treatment for effective relief.

Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several eczema sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

Natural Oils for Eczema

Sunflower Seed

Each of our bodies produce a type of fat known as ceramides that help protect the skin barrier from infection. Sunflower seed oil makes it into this list of the best oils for eczema as it can stimulate natural ceramide production.

There have been many studies done that show that sunflower seed oil has both anti-inflammatory and skin barrier restoring effects. (2) “Linoleic acid is the major lipid that converts to arachidonic acid, which leads to prostaglandin E2, an inflammatory modulator, possibly via peroxisome proliferative-activated receptor-a (PPAR-a) activation. These anti-inflammatory aspects are very compelling for our menagerie of inflammatory dermatoses,” according to Dr. Peter Lio.

How to use Sunflower Seed Oil?

The best and easiest way to introduce sunflower seed oil into your life, is by incorporating it into your skin regime. Try to find an oil that is cold pressed and organic, which will ensure the maximum nutrients are obtained and not released when processed at high temperatures. Adding a small amount of sunflower seed oil to the skin when wet will help the oil easily absorb.

Emily Skin Soothers makes some great balms featuring Chinese herbs in a sunflower seed oil and beeswax base. Try their Super Dry Skin Soother for thick, dry eczema or their Hot Skin Soother for red, weeping or angry looking eczema.

Coconut Oil

We’ve already discussed several reasons why coconut oil is one of the best oils for eczema in our post: Everything You Should Know About Using Coconut Oil for Eczema; however one standout study worth a mention showed that (3) “topically applied coconut oil decreased staphylococcal colonization [skin that is colonized by staph bacteria] by 95 percent in patients with atopic dermatitis when applied twice daily for four weeks.”

How to use Coconut Oil?

There are several ways you can use coconut oil both externally and internally to help relieve eczema.

When looking for coconut oil, you want to make sure to opt for cold pressed Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Be careful! Not all coconut oils are made equal (and neither are all natural skincare products that include coconut oil). Coconut oil can either be ingested as a supplement or easily added to your diet. Try incorporating the oil either as a cooking oil or in a smoothie for a coconut-y flavor!

Coconut oil pulling is also popular among those who suffer from eczema, psoriasis and allergies. This technique is an old detoxification method that involves swishing around a tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth for at least 20 minutes. Ideally it should be done a few times a week, on an empty stomach.

There are many natural products that contain organic coconut oil, such as this Coconut Aloe Moisturizing Serum that can be applied topically twice daily to heal eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. This serum also contains a small amount of aloe to provide a cooling effect and additional healing properties. For other coconut oil based products, check out Vegaline that helps fight dry, sensitive or chapped skin, as well as diaper rash. Beeseline is also a great alternative to petroleum jelly.

Evening Primrose Oil

Although studies have shown mixed results, Evening Primrose Oil has been used and recommended by several eczema sufferers. This oil contains both omega-6 fatty acids and gamma linoleic acid (another fatty acid).

How to use Evening Primrose Oil?

Similar to other fatty acids, Evening Primrose Oil is best consumed orally. You can find several brands that produce capsules of this oil, such as this one. Also Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to fight against hair loss – a double win!

These oils definitely hold some promises for alternative treatments. If you’re looking to add them to your lifestyle or diet, it is good to know that they are rather inexpensive and easily accessible.

However, it’s important to note that inflammation starts from the inside. Instead of only treating your skin with these oils or taking them orally, we suggest you conduct an elimination diet to find out which foods may be causing your eczema. For more information on success with elimination diets, check out our blog post: Our Eczema Elimination Diet Success (How You Can Do It Too!)

Do you or a loved one use any of these natural oils for eczema? Let us know in the comments below!

And for more from Dr. Peter Lio, check out these posts:

4 Tips for Parents on Managing Eczema In Children

Will Your Child Outgrow Their Eczema?

What Is the Atopic March?

Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.

References:

(1, 3) Peter A. Lio, MD. Alternative Therapies in Atopic Dermatitis Care: Part 2. Practical Dermatology for Pediatrics, July/August 2011.

Peter A Lio, MD. Skin Barrier Benefits of Sunflower Seed Oil. Dermatology Times, July 13, 2015.

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Pityriasis Alba: What You Need To Know About Pigment Loss & Eczema White Patches 

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

Do you or your child have eczema white patches? Spots of skin that seem to have lost their pigmentation? If so, it’s likely Pityriasis Alba, a skin disorder that affects 2-5% of children worldwide.

Pityriasis Alba is a skin condition, often coexisting with eczema, that is characterized by reduced pigmentation in either light skin patches or thin plaque on the face (mostly cheeks or chin), neck, shoulders, arms and much more. It’s often most noticeable after prolonged sun exposure, as the pityriasis alba patches remain pale in color while the skin surrounding it will darken in color.

If your child is suffering from Pityriasis Alba, you’ll want to keep reading this post that shares Dr. Peter Lio’s opinion of Pityriasis Alba as well as Vitiligo!

Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several eczema sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

Pityriasis Alba vs. Vitiligo

Although Pityriasis Alba is quite similar in appearance to Vitiligo, it’s important to note that these two skin conditions are very different. According to Dr. Peter Lio;

“Pigment loss can occur in areas of chronic inflammation, particularly when it is severe. Oftentimes, the hands, wrists, or ankles have chronic damage and actual loss of pigment that is very much like vitiligo. It seems very likely that the chronic irritation causes an autoimmune reaction like vitiligo in those areas, although vitiligo is fairly rare [for eczema sufferers]

Much more common is reduced pigmentation (light spots rather than stark white) which fall under the umbrella of pityriasis alba. This is thought to be underproduction of pigment by the pigment cells when there is nearby inflammation. Usually this is most prominent on the face, upper arms, and trunk, and seems more noticeable in the summer. It is reversible and caused by treatments, but actually improves with treatment.

Stages of Pityriasis Alba

Unlike other forms of eczema, Pityriasis Alba produces minimal itching or none at all. Typically, this skin condition goes through several stages until it is fully healed.

  1. Slightly scaly pink plaque with a papular surface
  2. Hypopigmented (light spots rather than stark white appearance) plaque
  3. Post-inflammatory hypopigmented skin without plaque

How to Treat Pityriasis Alba?

Unlike Vitiligo, the white patches from this type of skin condition actually go away with time; therefore, no treatment is actually required. However, if the skin is dry or itchy, it’s always best to use a moisturizer or balm that can help restore skin.

A great moisturizer to try for dry Pityriasis Alba is the Organic Manuka Honey Soothing Skin Cream, which is both soothing and extremely moisturizing on the driest of skin.

Can Steroid Medications Cause Pityriasis Alba?

Although steroid medication has been known to cause eczema pigmentation loss sufferers, it is in fact quite rare. There are some cases in which steroid injections into the knee or wrist joint have created hypopigmentation, but it is not so common.

Unlike many other forms of eczema, Pityriasis Alba tends to vanish once adulthood has been reached.

Read more about eczema in our most popular blog posts:

Does your child suffer from light skin patches and pigmentation loss due to their eczema? Let us know in the comments below!

Bio: Laura Dolgy is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.

Pityriasis Alba: What You Need To Know About Pigment Loss & Eczema White Patches  appeared first on itchylittleworld.com. Come read more about natural remedies for eczema!

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Going Vegan for Eczema Relief: Should You Make the Switch?

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

Although we often discuss several tips and resources for healing eczema, one of the most important things we touch on again and again is that inflammation usually cannot be 100% cured until we heal from the inside out. Sometimes this means conducting an elimination diet, and other times it’s about changing your entire diet. We’ve discussed many different diets on this blog: Auto Immune Paleo, GAPS, Salicylate Free, and so much more for helping heal eczema. However, this week we’re taking a look at going vegan for eczema relief.

If you’re looking for a new healthy diet for your little one or for yourself, keep reading to find out how veganism can be the right approach. Plus, make sure to check out some of our favorite natural vegan eczema treatments!

Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several eczema sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

What is Veganism?

Before discussing going vegan for eczema relief, it’s important to discuss what is veganism.

Essentially vegans are individuals who remove all animal-based products such as meat, fish and eggs from their diet, as well as animal produced products like dairy and honey. With a vegan diet you are able to enjoy fruits and vegetables, soy based products like tofu, potatoes, grains or other starchy foods, nuts, and seed. Because veganism is so widespread these days, it’s actually very easy finding vegan options as well as animal by-product substitutes or alternatives. Veganism is usually seen as a complete lifestyle change and they not only do vegans abstain from eating animal based/produced products, but they eliminate any product derived from animals all together and don’t wear leather and wool for example.

Many people adopt a vegan diet either for health reasons (such as eczema or high cholesterol), but mostly they adopt the diet due to more philosophical choices such as protesting against animal abuse, industrial farming or environment issues.

How Can Veganism Help Eczema?

In How Eating A Plant Based Diet For Eczema Encourages Healing, blogger Debbie Adler mentions that switching to a plant-based diet radically improved both her and her son’s lives including helping their eczema and so much more.

One reason Veganism tends to work well with eczema is that it eliminates dairy and eggs, which tend to wreak havoc on the immune system and happen to be some of the most common foods that trigger eczema. Not to mention that because many fruits and vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties, this type of diet can actually decrease inflammation.

Many people have found success with a vegan diet. At the end of the day, it depends on what’s realistic for you and your family. If you decided to try a vegan diet, please speak with your physician or nutritionist to make sure you’re getting adequate protein and other nutrients.

Looking for another source about whether veganism/plant-based diets work for eczema and other health concerns? Check out this guest post: Mother’s Intuition Saves her Son from Surgery.

But How About Vegan Eczema Treatments?

If you’re looking to adopt a vegan diet, but have no clue where to start in terms of finding vegan eczema cream and other treatments, know that it’s not impossible!

Many companies have adjusted their ingredients to cater to the vegan community and there are several vegan eczema treatments that work wonders.

To really heal eczema without animal by-products, you’ll want to use products containing natural herbs or plants such as aloe, shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil and avoid any animal rendered tallow or lard or bee derived ingredients like honey, propolis, royal jelly and beeswax, which are hugely common in natural products.

Check out a few of our favorite vegan eczema creams and balms we stand by below!

Calendula Face Eczema Cream

If you or your little one are experiencing facial eczema, but you’re not keen on using any treatment that uses beeswax or honey, this Calendula Face Eczema Cream is a perfect substitute. Not only is it gentle on eyelids, but it contains organic coconut oil, organic calendula, organic aloe juice and so much more.

Emily Skin Soothers Soap for Eczema with Chinese Herbs

If you’re looking for a body wash that is both gentle and soothing, you’ll want to check out Emily Skin Soothers Soap for Eczema with Chinese Herbs. This soap contains natural Chinese herbs as well as coconut, avocado and olive oil. It’s very gentle and works great as a body soap or as a shampoo bar for shorter hair.

Little Itchy Red Rash Treatment

If your skin is constantly itchy and you can’t find relief, this EczeHerbal Little Itchy Red Rash Treatment will be your lifesaver! Made with the most natural Chinese herbs, as well as organic extra virgin olive oil and candililla wax instead of beeswax, this ointment is excellent for soothing any red rash with minor inflammation from eczema. Not to mention that it’s an excellent substitute for bug bites and poison ivy treatments too!

Aloe Vera for Eczema Skin

Lastly, if you’re looking for an on-the-go treatment that can be used on both the face and body, check out this Aloe Vera Soothing Spray for Eczema. Not only does it contain the cooling ingredient aloe, but it also contains calendula, which can help dramatically with itchy eczema skin.

Is Veganism Healthy?

Although veganism is shown to be relatively healthy and there are many nutrients found in plants, there are other certain vitamins and minerals that are lacking in a plant based diet. If you’re deciding to switch to an all plant-based diet, we recommend meeting with your physician or nutritionist to make sure you’re getting the proper nutrients as you make the change – and this is especially important if your child goes vegan.

Are you thinking of adopting a vegan diet for yours or your little one’s eczema? Are there any vegan eczema creams or treatments you love? Let us know and leave a comment below!

Bio: Laura Dolgy is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.

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Why You Should Choose Organic Cotton Clothing for Kids With Eczema & Sensitive Skin

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

By Laura Dolgy (see bio below)

Recently, we shared a few thoughts on both latex hypersensitivity and polyester allergies in our blog post Your Guide To Textile Dermatitis as fabric and clothing sensitivities are becoming more prominent among the eczema community.

We’d like to continue sharing some fabric alternatives for kids with eczema, textile dermatitis and sensitive skin. We tend to lean towards organic cotton clothing for kids (and adults too!), as it is completely chemical free and only contains cotton, which happens to be one of the few fabrics that isn’t known to irritate the skin in any way. This certainly lessens the worry of possible flare-ups.

Ready to learn more about organic cotton clothing for kids? Check out why you should adopt this safe fabric alternative for kids with eczema and sensitive skin!

Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several eczema sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

What is 100% Organic Cotton?

Before going into why 100% organic cotton is an excellent alternative for your child’s eczema, let’s take a look at how this fabric is made!

Organic cotton is grown using methods and tools that have a low impact on the environment. This means that the cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

This type of fabric is quickly becoming the focal point of a new type of fashion known as “sustainable fashion.” Essentially, it is a growing sustainable movement that is meant to be a direct alternative to fast fashion.

Don’t be fooled by the term organic, which isn’t well regulated. Companies can claim their products are organic when they really aren’t. To make sure an item is organic and free of harmful chemicals look for things like these certifications.

STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® – an independent lab testing fabrics for chemicals.

organic cotton clothing for kids confidencetextile

Global Organic Textile Standard – certification for organic fibers

organic cotton clothing for kids textilestandard

Why Choose 100% Organic Cotton Clothing for Kids With Eczema?

Because organic cotton does not use any toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, it is by far the most natural, harmless fiber. Some conventional cotton can actually irritate children’s skin (especially newborns) due the chemicals used in processing and packaging. And most conventional cotton contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the debate is out one whether GMOs are safe. Read more in GMOs And Your Health: What Is The Connection?

The bottom line is that kids organic clothing in cotton is safe from washes, bleaches, toxic colors or scents and has less of a chance of irritating your child’s skin, especially when they suffer from eczema.

Read More: Why Natural Fibers Are Essential For Eczema Clothing

Where Can You Find Kids Organic Clothing in Cotton?

There are several manufacturers that have begun to manufacture organic cotton clothing. For children who suffer from eczema, The Eczema Company is a great store (and resource!). The Eczema Company sells a variety of organic kids pajamas as well as underwear that are made for sensitive skin and do not use any harsh chemicals or dyes. In 100% organic cotton, there is the One-Piece Footed Pajama for Kids, which is the perfect overnight sleepsuit that will allow any damaged or sensitive skin to heal, while providing a restful night’s sleep.

Then there are the Scratch Mittens Pajama Top for Kids, as well as the Footed Pajama Pants for Kids in the same material, great for when you need only a top or bottom or for when your child prefers separates over a one-piece. Similarly to the one-piece footed pajama mentioned above, these organic kids pajamas are a wonderful alternative to skin conditions either present on your child’s arm or legs. Honestly, these organic cotton pajamas are a lifesaver for any child who is continuously scratching from their skin condition. All kids organic pajamas listed here are also latex-free, which is an added bonus for anyone who suffers from a latex allergy.

Finally, these Girl’s Underwear for Sensitive Skin, as well as Boy’s Latex Free Underwear for Sensitive Skin are also 100% organic cotton and perfect for any child who might be suffering from a skin condition or eczema in their groin area. The underwear is also 100% spandex and latex free, which means no flare-ups!

ILW recommends: 4 Ways to Relieve Groin Eczema. 

For everything else – school clothes, dresses, tops, bottoms, etc, check out Colored Organics, which offers a full line of babies to big kids certified organic cotton clothing. It’s all super cute and stylish as well!

Although we love 100% organic cotton because it’s a great alternative for eczema sufferers (especially children), we also love it because of its sustainability. Knowing that you’re able to help your child, as well as the environment is a great feeling!

If you’ve been testing out 100% organic cotton clothing on your child, we want to hear from you! Let us know your results in the comments below.

 

Bio: Laura Dolgy is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.

 

 

 

 

 

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What Is Tencel Fabric & Why Is It Beneficial for Eczema Dry & Wet Wrapping?

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

By Anne McVey (bio below)

Wet and Dry wrap therapy for eczema have been around for decades but not until recently have they become the forefront of eczema treatment. This new surge in wrapping eczema is due to new fabrics entering the marketing that not only treat the eczema but also suppress the itch during treatment. Tencel fabric is the most researched and found most beneficial for eczema wrapping. This article discusses the features of Tencel and why it is so effective in treating and reducing inflammation.

What Is Tencel Fabric?

Tencel is a natural fiber made of renewable raw material wood. It is pure cellulose without any impurities. Tencel is eco-friendly and contains no dyes. The diagram below states the natural state of Tencel.

tencel fabric what is tencel fabric

Why Is Tencel Beneficial for Eczema Dry or Wet Wrapping?

Tencel fabric greatly inhibits the growth of bacteria on the fabric. This feature is wonderful for eczema sufferers as many who battle eczema also battle skin infections.

Learn More: Wet Wrapping vs. Dry Wrapping

The diagram below shows how Tencel retards bacteria and this makes it wonderful for dry or wet wrapping eczema.

tencel fabric bacteria growth

Soft fabrics are important for eczema suffers whose skin is usually very sensitive to fabrics that can rub and chafe the skin. Ideally, Tencel is one of the softest fabrics in the world – it stays soft even when used for wet wrapping when other fabrics often stiffen as they dry.

The diagram below shows how Tencel looks under a microscope versus cotton or wool. Cotton is rough especially when wet but Tencel remains soft and smooth.

tencel fabric textiles

Tencel is naturally itch suppressing. This is an amazing feature for individuals suffering from eczema. Many report immediate relief upon wearing Tencel even dry. Using Tencel for wet wrapping not only treats the skin but stops the itch during treatment. There is no other fabric available that soothes eczema like Tencel.

The diagram below reports research on the itch suppressing qualities of Tencel.

tencel fabric examinations

Wet wrap therapy can stop the itch, bring down inflammation and decrease staph bacteria found on the skin. Many report seeing a huge change overnight. Tencel not only makes the treatment effective but it also makes it extremely comfortable and soothing.

Perhaps the most important feature of Tencel for wet wrapping is its ability to hold water. Tencel holds 50% more moisture than cotton and it lowers the risk for infection. Take a look below at how Tencel and Cotton hold moisture as seen under a microscope.

tencel fabric - absorbenceDr. Frank Lichtenberger, MD, PhD, Medical Director at AD RescueWear states:

“In summary, Tencel’s main features: naturally anti-itch, inhibiting bacteria on the fabric, holding 50% more moisture than cotton, and being one of the softest fabrics available, makes it ideal for wet wrap therapy for eczema. This fabric is also the least disruptive to the natural environment of the skin, which is very important when dealing with skin that has an impaired barrier function.”

 

Check out the line of Tencel WrapESoothe wraps for babies up to adults from AD RescueWear. They make dry or wet wrapping a breeze!

Learn how to wet wrap in a few easy steps!

Tencel Fabric - Anne McVey

Bio: Anne McVey is the marketing Director of AD RescueWear, the 1st and only U.S.company to manufacture and sell ready to wear wet wrap therapy products for the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis in children.

 

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How to Treat Eczema? With Dr. Peter Lio

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

What are some of the current dermatologist recommended methods of treatment for eczema? Find out from Dr. Peter Lio (see bio below). Scroll down to watch the video or read on for a full transcript.

(begin transcript)

How do we treat eczema? This is my favorite question and one I’m very interested in: how do we get people better?

Well we can think about a few different areas. We want to find and eliminate any possible triggers that we can. This can be more difficult than it sounds because some triggers are allergens that we can actually identify, but some are simply irritants and we don’t necessarily know which is going to be a higher yield. Sometimes people are not able to avoid those triggers because of a job or their family situation, so we have to work with them.

Once we’ve avoided the triggers, we like to think of a few different areas:

The Skin Barrier

The first and most important is the skin barrier. We want to support and strengthen that skin barrier because it keeps the water in our skin and keeps out all the allergens, irritants, bacteria, viruses and even fungus that can enter our skin and worsen the disease. Using natural oils and moisturizers can help protect the barrier.

Read More: 10 Natural Remedies You Can Try At Home Today

Anti-inflammatory

The second part is anti-inflammatory. The immune system is there to protect us, but with eczema it seems to be going haywire. It attacks the skin barrier, making itch, which causes us to scratch. We want to slow that inflammation down and there are a number of anti-inflammatory creams that can be used and in more severe cases more powerful systemic medications to help with the itch. There’s also phototherapy or light therapy to cool down the inflammation.

This is very closely related to the itch because we know that much of the itch is caused by inflammation. For the itch you can use things like camphor, menthol and sometimes even pramoxine or topical agents that cool the skin. Many of my patients like to use ice packs. Ice can have a soothing effect on the nerves, which cools the itch.

Read More: How To Prevent Scratching When Itchy Skin Is Relentless In Babies and Children

Bacteria

Finally, we have bacteria, which is a hot topic in dermatology. Bacterial overgrowth seems to be playing a role in atopic dermatitis. We’re trying to understand how to get rid of the staph bacteria (which is creating a toxin called “delta toxin”) that seems to fuel the disease. We do not know everything about this yet and we’re still trying to find out the safest and most gentle way to cure the disease.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a cure yet, but we can get most patients better so that they can resume a normal life, get back to feeling good, sleeping well and most importantly being able to concentrate on the things they want to be focused on, rather than always focusing on their skin.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see NEW videos from Dr. Lio as they are released!

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And for more from Dr. Lio on our blog, check out these great posts:

What Causes Eczema?

Will Your Child Outgrow Their Eczema?

4 Tips For Parents On Managing Eczema in Children

What Is The Atopic March?

Topical Steroid Withdrawal: Myth vs. Fact

 

Bio: Dr. Peter Lio is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology and Pediatrics at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center and very passionate about finding safe treatments that work for eczema. Dr. Lio received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, completed his internship at Boston Children’s Hospital and his dermatology training at Harvard. He has had formal training in acupuncture under Kiiko Matsumoto and David Euler, and has held a long interest in alternative medicines. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Eczema Association. His clinical office is located at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago.

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The Eczema Diet and Your Salicylate Sensitivity

Another great post from itchylittleworld.com – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

By Karen Fischer (see bio below)

When my daughter Ayva was ten months old, a nurse from the local Early Childhood Centre who had seen her a few months earlier exclaimed, ‘Has your child still got eczema?’ I thought: what a rude comment, eczema is a genetic condition and what could I do about it? As soon as the nurse mentioned “Ayva’s eczema might be triggered by salicylate sensitivity”, a light bulb moment happened. I thought: I know how to fix that.

Salicylate sensitivity runs in our family. My teenage years were a series of stressful and embarrassing events thanks to having severe hand dermatitis and psoriasis. I once gargled aspirin (a salicylate medicine) and ended up in hospital with a severely swollen throat. I was diagnosed with salicylate sensitivity, which has now resolved since treating it.

My nine year old son does not have eczema, but a couple of years ago he had mysterious stomach pains which meant he missed about 30 days of school one year, plus he suffered with headaches, constipation, bad moods and the inability to sit still in class. He was a wriggler!

I noticed he acted like a hyperactive ‘silly cat’ after eating apples so I suspected salicylate sensitivity but I still wanted to rule out other factors. So after about a month of seeing gastrointestinal specialists and having allergy tests, X-rays and ultrasounds (and nothing showing up, thank goodness), he was finally diagnosed with salicylate sensitivity.

Two weeks after changing his diet, he was a different child: no more constipation, headaches, foul moods or stomach pains. My little angel became happy and chatty. He was always smart but we noticed his grades dramatically improved when he adheres to the diet. On the contrary, when he eats high salicylate foods, such as blueberries or sushi, he becomes moody and the stomach pains return.

Salicylate sensitivity was first discovered back in the 1960s, when Professor Eric Bywaters reported a patient attacked him with a knife after consuming salicylates. In the 1970s Dr Ben Feingold discovered that salicylates could make children hyperactive and his research confirmed that some children perform poorly at school after ingesting salicylates. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the link between salicylate sensitivity and eczema was confirmed.

Australian researchers from RPA Hospital Allergy Unit in Sydney, tested 936 people with eczema and found the following:

  • Salicylates trigger eczema in 52% of people with eczema.1
  • Salicylates trigger hives in 62-75% of people prone to hives.1,2
  • Salicylates trigger or worsen irritable bowel in 69% of people prone to IBS.1

While some cases of eczema are relatively easy to treat with a healthy diet and skin creams, I have seen hundreds of eczema patients with eczema, who have tried everything, and their eczema persisted until they discovered they were sensitive to salicylates and other chemicals including amines, MSG and food additives. For this group of people, temporarily avoiding salicylate-rich foods changed their lives – they could wear short sleeves again, swim in pools and socialize without embarrassment. And most of them were able to gradually expand their eczema diet to include a wider range of foods.

What are Salicylates?

Salicylates (pronounced suh-lis-a-lates) are a natural pesticide chemical produced by plants for self-protection.

Salicylate Sensitivity Symptoms include:

Topical reactions via the skin:

  • sudden eczema/dermatitis/hives/rashes
  • worsening of existing eczema
  • facial flushing/red skin
  • rosacea
  • psoriasis

Respiratory/Nasal reactions:

  • runny nose (nasal drip)
  • nasal obstruction
  • sneezing
  • asthma
  • flu-like symptoms
  • perfume intolerance

*anaphylactic reactions – a true salicylate allergy can cause immediate reactions and anaphylaxis. In these cases it’s best to seek emergency medical treatment.

Systemic reactions:

  • brain fog
  • headaches
  • migraine
  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • panic attacks

Gastrointestinal reactions:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • diarrhea
  • stomach ache
  • colic/reflux
  • flatulence
  • leaky gut

Behavioral reactions:

  • ADHD/ADD
  • aggressive behaviour
  • poor attention span

In severe cases, salicylate sensitivity can trigger strong feelings of anger, aggression, suicidal thoughts and physical pain (these symptoms can be caused by other factors as well so speak to your doctor if you are concerned).

Foods with salicylates in large amounts

A normal healthy diet usually contains 100mg of salicylates and up to 200 mg if you are vegan. That’s a lot! People with eczema often don’t realize they are sensitive to salicylates, so they continue eating foods high in salicylates and they can suffer for years as a result.

It’s best to reduce your intake of foods with salicylates in large amounts. Please speak with a physician or nutritionist before modifying your or your child’s diet.

Here is a list of foods high in salicylates:

  • Spices
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Coconut
  • Honey
  • Most nuts
  • Most fruits

List of low salicylate foods

Here are a few surprising foods that are good for an eczema diet because they are low in salicylates – eat them in abundance for their healing properties as noted below.

Papaya (and pawpaw)

Papaya is low in salicylates and contains the digestive enzyme papain, which is used in some digestive supplements to aid protein digestion. Papain kills parasites in the gut and after antibiotic use or a bout of illness you can eat a serving of papaya daily to promote recolonization of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Saffron

Saffron is a low salicylate spice which has been used for centuries as a natural antiseptic, digestive aid and antidepressant. For people with digestive issues, adding saffron to your dishes may reduce your symptoms.

Spring onions (scallions)

Spring onions, also referred to as scallions and shallots, are part of the onion family and, like the onion, spring onions contain histamine-lowering, anti-inflammatory quercetin. But don’t get them confused with their onion cousins: the low salicylate varieties have the straight green stem, with no bulb.

Flax seeds

Flax seeds, also known as linseeds, are small brown seeds best known for their rich content of anti-inflammatory omega-3 oils. The seeds are a source of phytochemicals, plus silica, mucilage, oleic acid, protein, vitamin E and dietary fibre for gastrointestinal and liver health.

After changing my daughter’s diet and giving her supplements for salicylate sensitivity (when she was aged two), Ayva’s eczema cleared up. Friends and family suggested Ayva had simply grown out of her eczema. As I am a skeptic, I thought they might be right so I stopped the regime and Ayva’s eczema returned. I put her back on the program and once again her eczema cleared up. After ten years of prescribing a diet low in salicylates to my patients, and after positive feedback, I finally had the confidence to write and publish The Eczema Diet book, which addresses eczema healing via a low salicylate diet and natural skin care.

It has been a long journey developing and refining this diet, but I am so grateful for the lessons that having chemical sensitivities has taught me. Ayva is now 16 years old and has beautiful skin. She does not need to follow the diet anymore but we often eat the recipes from the book just because we really, really like them.

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Looking for Topical Eczema Relief – Check Out these Posts:

Why Manuka Honey Heals Eczema Naturally

The Best Essential Oils for Eczema

Our Eczema Trials: Wet Wrap Therapy

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Bio: Karen Fischer is an Australian nutritionist and the author of five health books including The Eczema Diet and Karen FischerThe Healthy Skin Diet, which was awarded ‘Best Health, Nutrition or Specific Diet Book’ at the Australian Food Media Awards in 2008. She also has a Bachelor of Health Science Degree and special skills in nutritional biochemistry. Karen’s passion is helping people with eczema. After more than a decade treating thousands of patients at her eczema clinic in Sydney, Karen now devotes her time into developing eczema products, including Skin Friend AM, the supplement that helped her daughter’s eczema. Visit her store at Eczema Life.

References

Loblay, R.H. and Swain, A.R., 2006, ‘Food Intolerance’, Recent Advances in Clinical Nutrition, retrieved from:

www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/rpa/Allergy/research/foodintolerance_racn.pdf

Warin and Smith XXX Swain, A.R., Dutton, S.P. and Truswell, A.S., 1985. Salicylates in foods. J Am Diet Assoc, 85(8), pp.950-60.

Bywaters, E., 1968, ‘Comment on salicylate toxicity’, in Lamont-Havers RW, Wagner BM (eds) ‘Proceedings of the Conference on Effects of Chronic Salicylate Administration, New York City 1966. US Dept of Health, Education and Welfare, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Disease.

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