Question: I have suffered from Eczema for the last 5 years having developed it in my teens. I use steroid creams but am a bit worried as I have heard that they can bleach your skin. Are there any natural ways of dealing with Eczema?
16 September, 2008
Answer: You are not alone, 20% of the population suffer from Eczema at some point in their lives. There is no real cure for the condition and many sufferers are now looking for alternative ways to manage their Eczema with the minimum use of steroids.
The causes of Eczema are varied. If it is not hereditary, it can be caused by irritants, allergens such as nickel, and yeast growths. In later years, the onset of Eczema tends to be associated with poor circulation in the legs.
Fortunately, there are some practical ways to manage the condition as well as some alternative treatments that are steroid free.
Plant steroids are non-chemical alternatives to steroids and can, in some case,s be as effective as chemical steroids but without the associated negative side effects of steroids. Two effective plant -steroid ointments include those made with Cardiospermum or Chickweed
Natural oatmeal in the bath water is a useful tip and to save the mess, works best sewn into a little muslin bag or you can buy pre-prepared oatmeal bath soaks for convenience.
Don’t take baths too often but when you do, add bath oil to the water in order to keep the skin moisturised, and try to avoid soap.
Stay away from woollen clothes and blankets and wear rubber gloves with a cotton inner lining when doing house work.
As far as diet is concerned, some nutritionists believe that avoiding dairy produce may help with the condition, so switch to substitutes such as soya, rice, hazelnut or almond milk and seek out alternatives to your usual cheese and butter.
Goat’s milk is another solution and if purchased fresh from the supermarket will taste similar to cow’s milk which makes life easier with the kids!
There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that Omega 3 and 6 oils are hugely beneficial for improving the symptoms of eczema. Flaxseed oil is one of the richest sources of these oils.