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More and more people seek natural help for eczema. Many of our customers asked us what we recommend to treat and prevent this unpleasant skin condition. Find out what to swap out in your household!
Eczema (dermatitis) is the inflammation of the skin that causes intense itching, red, inflamed skin, recurring rash, and rough leathery patches on the skin. Dermatitis is the most common skin disease in the world. The exact causes are unknown, and the triggers vary: irritants, allergens, microbes, temperature changes, certain foods, and stress can all contribute.
This article is primarily useful for those who suffer from contact eczema, which means that the triggers are certain irritants or allergens. But no matter the type of your eczema, the first step is always to eliminate as many harsh chemicals as you can. Most people swap out one or two product, and don’t understand why that doesn’t do the trick. They don’t realize that an average household is full of allergens and irritants, and you have to replace all of them with better alternatives. In a nutshell: To prevent contact eczema, steer clear of the materials that trigger your condition, and keep your skin moisturized at all times!
Recognize the symptoms!
The allergic reaction may occur 1-2 or even 7-10 days after contacting the allergen. The skin gets red and swollen, blisters appear, that can bleed or ooze. Intense itching makes the condition even more unpleasant. The symptoms may worsen even days after the contact, and it could take weeks for them to disappear. Although at first eczema only appears where the skin contacted the allergen, it can spread to other parts of the body. The symptoms are different for each person, and they can be mild, moderate or severe.
If your skin is prone to inflammation, you have to be really careful about the skin care and personal hygiene products you use! A good rule of thumb is to only use unscented products: If „Perfume” or „Fragrance” is listed in the ingredients, put it back on the shelf!
Hand soaps, shower gels, bubble bath, shampoos and toothpastes often contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) or SLAS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate). This is problematic, because they harm the acid mantle of your skin, making it prone to irritation. Antibacterial hand soaps also do that, and most of them contain Triclosan which makes them even worse. Swap these to all-natural, unscented soaps! The Serafim Sea Salt Soap relieves your skin with its anti-inflammatory qualities, and gently scrubs rough skin. The Pithari Soap with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Olivia Natural Olive Oil Soap nourish your dry skin. The Shea Butter Soap or the unscented version of the Goat Milk Soap cleans your skin gently and effectively. Use the Salt Soap from Parajd on your wet skin to balance the pH of your skin after showering! Throw away your shampoo loaded with SLS, and use the Dead Sea Mud Olivia Shampoo Bar instead, which is very beneficial on sensitive skin, or for those who have psoriasis. Commercial hair dyes contain a lot of irritants, so you should only use natural dyes like henna.
Propylene glycol and formaldehydes can also trigger symptoms. The term hypoallergenic is not a guarantee at all: methylisothiazolinone is common in those products too, as well as in baby products! Sadly, most of the pharmaceutical washes and creams contain paraffin (Paraffinum Liquidum or Mineral oil), that won’t let your skin breath, because it creates a film that clogs the pores. If you want to learn more about the effects of beauty ingredients, read our recent article! It is important to note, that some natural substances can also trigger allergic reactions: these include undiluted essential oils and calendula oil.
If you moisturize with pure vegetable oils and butters, you can avoid all those nasty chemicals, and you can create customized creams to suit your needs perfectly. The best products to use for eczema are shea butter, evening primrose oil, and almond oil. You can swap out petroleum filled baby oil and diaper creams with these too! In our experience, the best remedy of eczema is the Stadelmann’s Labdanum cream and oil. Many of our customers swear by it, as the only steroid-free product that makes the symptoms go away. For the best effect, enrich your home made creams with panthenol that helps skin renewal and formation while alleviating irritation. Before applying your cream, cool the itching with aloe vera gel that will heal your skin and calm the itch with the allantoin in it.
Out of all household cleaning products, your skin probably contacts the most with the dishwashing liquid. Unfortunately even the sensitive ones often contain SLS or some kind of fragrance. We carefully selected the Sodasan sensitive dishwasing liquid so we could offer one for those with severe eczema.
No washing machine rinses perfectly so detergent residues are inevitable. That’s why it is very important to choose your detergent carefully, to avoid harmful chemicals and fragrances contact our skin. We recommend using soapnuts, natural laundry soap, or washing soda as detergent, and vinegar for fabric softening. They are better for your skin, and your wallet!
Look through your cleaning supply! You probably have 5-10 different bottles, powders, liquids and sprays for each and every household duty. What if I told you, that most of the cleaning tasks in the house can be fulfilled by just a few all-natural products? Also these products have way less health risks! Our recommendation is to store baking soda, washing soda, citric acid and vinegar at home. Check the product descriptions to find out our best tips! However these are much better than commercial, toxic cleaning products, you should know that all products that clean grease effectively will solve the natural oils on your hands too. Try to avoid skin contact by using brushes or wearing rubber gloves!
What’s wrong with steroids?
There are steroid creams against eczema that your doctor can prescribe you. Although these relieve redness and inflammation fast, we only recommend them as a last resort, as they can have bad side effects. They can make your skin thinner and white patches may appear. They may impact the whole body, and in some rare cases they cause inflammation of the skin around the lips. Also they can cause an addiction and rebound effect which means that the eczema comes back even stronger after stopping the use of a topical steroid, and only stronger steroids can stop it again. This is why we recommend you to try out the natural way before you get into the unending cycle of steroids.
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