Living with eczema can be a challenging journey, marked by flare-ups, itchiness, and discomfort. While conventional treatments can provide relief, many individuals seek holistic care to address the root causes of eczema to provide a more comprehensive and effective approach to healthier skin. A holistic approach takes into account the mind, body and spirit to ensure all aspects are being cared for. Ignoring any aspect can lead to an imbalance impacting overall health and well-being. In this blog, we'll explore holistic strategies for managing eczema which encompass lifestyle adjustments, dietary considerations, stress reduction techniques, and gentler skin care options.

What is Eczema? 

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by a compromised skin barrier resulting in dry, red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. While conventional treatments focus on managing symptoms, holistic approaches aim to address the underlying factors contributing to eczema. This includes considering the interconnectedness of eczema with various aspects of health, including immune function, gut health, and emotional well-being. By adopting a holistic perspective, individuals can take proactive steps towards managing eczema more effectively.

Identifying and Eliminating Triggers

Understanding and avoiding triggers is essential for managing eczema holistically. Common triggers include certain foods, environmental irritants, stress, hormonal imbalances, and even weather changes. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to pinpoint triggers, so try keeping a symptom diary to track flare-ups and identify potential triggers. If you are able to identify your triggers, take steps to minimize exposure. This may involve making dietary changes, using gentler skincare products, reducing stress through relaxation techniques, and creating a healthy living environment. 

Support Eczema-Prone Skin with Natural Skincare Products

There are many things to consider with your skincare routine when managing eczema. One of the most important aspects is choosing high quality skincare products that are supportive of skin health. Your skincare products should be free from any known irritants, such as synthetic fragrances, parabens, sulfates, alcohol, petroleum, and dyes to name a few. 

Eczema is a complicated skin condition that requires extra special care. Keeping your skin moisturized with a high quality, organic moisturizer is one of the single best things you can do to prevent flare-ups. Opt for natural, fragrance-free skincare products that won't irritate your sensitive skin. Moisturize regularly to keep the skin hydrated and strengthen its natural barrier function. Natural moisturizers, such as sunflower oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil can provide relief from dryness and itching. Incorporate products with soothing botanicals, such as cardiospermum and calendula into your skincare routine to reduce redness and inflammation. Abby Rose Soothe-X Balm contains these two botanicals and is clinically tested, dermatologist recommended and accepted by the National Eczema Association for being safe and gentle for those with eczema and sensitive skin. The balm is naturally soothing, nourishing, moisturizing and protective of the skin barrier. 

Additionally, avoid hot showers and harsh soaps, as these can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate eczema symptoms. Abby Rose Soothe-X Soap is made with nourishing plant-based oils which leave the skin feeling softer and more nourished. 

Nourishing Your Body from Within

Nutrition plays a crucial role in eczema management, as certain foods can either exacerbate or alleviate symptoms. Incorporating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help support skin health and reduce flare-ups. Focus on consuming whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, and salmon. Include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and zinc, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Try reducing or avoiding processed foods, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, sugary snacks, and foods high in saturated fats, as these can contribute to inflammation and worsen eczema symptoms. It is also recommended to choose organic foods whenever possible. Organic foods are free from harsh fertilizers and pesticides which wreak havoc on our gut microbiome and then eventually our skin. 

Wild blueberries are one of the healthiest antioxidant-rich foods on the planet to incorporate into your diet. They are much smaller and have more antioxidants than the typical blueberries found in your grocery store. They are harvested and then frozen within 24 hours to maintain their nutritional potency. Wild blueberries, found in the frozen section of most grocery stores, are a fantastic nutrient-dense contribution to a smoothie, oatmeal, muffins or pancakes.

A dehydrated body may lead to dry, dehydrated skin. Try starting your day with 16 ounces of lemon water. Avoid or reduce caffeinated drinks and alcohol which are dehydrating to the skin. Stay hydrated throughout the day with at least 8 cups of filtered water. Try incorporating healthy herbal teas, such as lemon balm, hibiscus, chaga, or peppermint.

Enhancing Gut Health

There is growing evidence linking gut health to skin conditions like eczema. Supporting a healthy gut microbiome can help reduce inflammation and improve immune function, which may in turn benefit eczema symptoms. Consume prebiotic fibers found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes to nourish gut bacteria and support digestive health. Some great examples of prebiotic foods would be wild blueberries, apples, bananas, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, asparagus and oats. 

Celery juice is another wonderful addition to your diet for improved gut and skin health. It is recommended to juice at least 16 ounces of celery daily, which is approximately one whole bunch, for health benefits. It’s also important to juice celery alone and not with anything else like lemon, ginger or apple. Even though those are healthy additions, it will negate the benefits of the celery juice on the gut. Drink celery juice on an empty stomach and wait 15-30 minutes before consuming water or food. If you are in need of a reasonably priced, yet very effective juicer; Aicok Masticating Juicer is an excellent choice. 

Embracing Mind-Body Practices

Stress is a known trigger for eczema flare-ups, highlighting the importance of incorporating stress reduction techniques into your daily routine. Mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, reiki, journaling, and going for a walk are effective ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation. These practices not only benefit mental health but also have a positive impact on immune function, sleep and skin health. Quality sleep also plays a vital role in eczema management as it allows the body to repair and regenerate skin cells, reduces inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and minimizes flare-ups. Aim for 7-9 hours a night. By cultivating a calm and centered mindset, individuals can better manage eczema and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.

Seeking Professional Guidance

While holistic approaches to eczema management can be highly effective, it's helpful to work with healthcare practitioners who can provide personalized guidance and support. Integrative dermatology practices, naturopathic doctors, nutritionists, and other holistic healthcare providers can offer valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your individual needs. Be open to exploring a variety of treatment options, both conventional and holistic, to find what works best for you. Remember that managing eczema holistically is a journey, and it may take time to find the right combination of strategies that work for you.

Thriving Through Holistic Management of Eczema

Managing eczema holistically involves addressing the underlying factors contributing to the condition while promoting overall health and well-being. By nourishing your body from within, identifying and eliminating triggers, embracing mind-body practices, using gentle skincare, enhancing gut health, and seeking professional guidance, you can take proactive steps towards managing eczema naturally and effectively. Remember to be patient with yourself and your body, as healing takes time. With a holistic approach, you can empower yourself to take control of your eczema and improve your quality of life.

April 30, 2024 — Yotpo