Eczema is an itchy, red rash that can appear all over the body and in particular, occurs among people who have very dry, sensitive skin, commonly seen in babies or children from a very young age.
When we think of Eczema we think an allergic response to foods, chemicals, or other substances such as topical perfumes or soaps. Quite often we are missing one piece to the puzzle - the gut!
Something we should consider treating is the inflammation in our gut, caused by the possible food intolerance's, chemical exposure or stress and consider a treatment plan that not only eliminates the irritant, but helps reduce the inflammation in our gut.
Most parents like the idea of treating their children's skin conditions naturally, and I absolutely would agree! Looking at not only natural topical treatments but natural supplements which can be taken that are natural, safe & effective too.
So lets look firstly at what we need to eliminate/challenge in our diets, before looking at ways to heal the gut and treat the eczema.
The common Food Culprits to challenge:
I suggest to all my clients in clinic, start by choosing ONE food culprit eg. dairy and eliminate for 15 days before re introducing on the 16th day if you aren't sure it's the trigger.
The food which can be the irritant, can often be the food they LOVE eating.
Quite often you will hear statistics being thrown around through the medical field that only 2% of Dairy allergies are accountable for eczema - seems very small chances when you think of it like that, right?
Now lets think more about food intolerance's rather than allergic, could your child be intolerant? Could that dairy be an irritant, driving inflammatory markers in the gut, creating an imbalance of bad bacteria and a poor environment?
So lets look at Ways to Heal Eczema from the inside out
The gut is the centre of good health, it's the key to healthy skin, mood and hormones, so when the gut terrain is disrupted it creates a problem called "Leaky gut". People think leaky gut syndrome only affects the digestive system, but in reality, it can lead to many other health conditions such as:
What exactly does Leaky gut mean? Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a fly screen with tiny holes, now when you have leaky gut, the fly screen has larger holes in it allowing things such as bacteria, undigested food or parasites to penetrate when once before it wasn't able to, this creates a compromised immune system, inflammation and a poor gut barrier and of course a number of health problems mentioned above.
We are all about creating products that are natural and effective for families to use topically and of course our Skin Therapy Bath Milk is the perfect addition for Eczema prone skin when it comes to Bath time and showering, but I'd like to remind everyone, I am a Naturopath and I do treat everything holistically which means looking at all avenues of treatment. Something we are passionate about is educating families on the importance of gut health and why.
3 Basic principles when it comes to healing the gut and reducing inflammation
# 1 Remove - Remove foods and any other factors which could be causing damage to your barrier.
-Foods such as Grains, dairy, sugar, processed foods and additives. Check out The additive Free Pantry for a full list of preservatives to avoid
-Medications or Infections. Antibiotic use or prolonged parasite or bacterial infections.
-Stress - mental or physical stress - Getting enough sleep to help regenerate and repair as sleep deprivation is a physical stress.
#2 Repair - Start rebuilding the mucous membranes ( the fly screen) which creates the protective barrier of the gut with particular nutritional supplements .
In clinic I use a Gut repair Powder as a starting point which consists of Glutamine/Licorice/Aloe Vera along with extra support from the following.
1.Glutamine - is an essential amino acid supplement that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and repair of your intestinal lining. This can be purchased as a powder and added to water.
3. Aloe Vera
4. Fish Oil
5. Vitamin D
#3 Rebuild- with probiotics and gut healing foods
1.Probiotics are very important to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and crowds out bad bacteria. You will need a good probiotic which contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus specific for Eczema treatment and be taking at least 20 + Billion IU daily along with gut healing foods.
2. Gelatin Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar serves up a great Gelatin "Gut Lovin" Gummie Recipe - Click Here
3. Bone Broth is a great way to get Collagen & Glycine into our diets, two essential amino acids that can help heal your damaged gut barrier.
We mentioned earlier the food irritants and the food elimination process, this will in turn take the burden off the digestive system so it will allow the Gut to start healing. Keep in mind, nothing is a quick fix so that dry, eczema prone skin will be likely to stick around for a little while until the gut starts to repair and inflammation reduces. In the meantime, this is why we've create our Skin Therapy Bath Milkto help ease the itchiness and soothe dry skin.
Our Naturopaths are specialists in Women's & Children's health, If anyone needs further assistance we do offer In clinic and Skype Naturopathic Consultations @ Lifestyle Health & Well-being Centre