Australia has one of the highest incidences of eczema in the world, with one in four children developing the condition before age two. Symptoms include scaling, flaking, itchiness and fluid-filled blisters that weep and ooze then form a crust. While getting to the root of the cause can be challenging, there are natural ways to manage eczema, says leading nutritionist, naturopath and herbalist Janella Purcell.
“Eczema is one of the oldest known diseases and also one of the most difficult to cure,” Purcell says. “Those who suffer from any of these conditions will often tell you that when the symptoms of one disappear, another set appears.”
“Stress is a huge trigger for eczema and other inflammatory conditions, so you need to learn how to avoid and handle stress well, and also what prompts your stress.”
Here are Janella’s top tips to managing eczema
2. Introduce Omega-3 foods and supplements including sustainably caught deep sea fish. Add in vegetable sources such as flaxseed, chia and hemp seeds. Micro algae and seaweed are also high in omega oils. Include a high quality supplement.
3. Eat probiotic foods and add in live bacteria supplementation to help populate, heal and balance the gut, such as Lifestream Bowel Biotics.
4. Goats milk is the closest in composition to mother’s milk and has been known to be helpful in soothing eczema internally and externally.
5. Foods rich in Vitamin A to help with immunity and skin health. These can include carrots, kale, paw paw, sweet potato, spinach pumpkin, leafy green vegetables and watercress. I also recommend a high quality greens powder such as Lifestream Essential Greens+, Spirulina or Wheatgrass, which can help support the liver.
Triggers to Avoid
- Inflammatory and acidic foods, such as red meat, processed dairy products, refined wheat such as white bread and pasta, nightshade vegetables such as white potatoes, capsicum, eggplant, tomatoes and chillies.
- White sugar – a common culprit behind many inflammatory conditions. When high amounts of sugar are consumed, the body releases insulin. Harmful free radicals are released along with the insulin hormone. This has the potential to damage cells.
- Say no to refined fats and oils including fried and junk foods.
- Dried fruit, which generally contain sulphates, a compound known to trigger allergies and cause other negative health issues.
- Too much citrus. Loading up on lots of fruit causes build up of citric acid, which may irritate the gut and show up on the skin, particularly those who are susceptible to skin irritations
Image via vitademinstitute.com