How's That Working for You?
Probably not very well, I'm guessing. That's because treating eczema the standard way doesn't target the CAUSE of the problem. We've discussed the cause of eczema on the
page. But briefly exzema, or atopic dermatitis, is a dry itchy skin condition that is treated as an
by Western Medicine and is said to be 'incurable' and 'lifelong'.
You can choose to accept this and have a disease forever. Or you can choose to see atopic dermatitis as a symptom of poor immune system health, inappropriate hygiene habits and nutrient deficiency. I hope that this site helps you in determining (with the help of your doctor of course) which viewpoint is best for you.
How is treating eczema usually handled?
Western medical treatments are many, but none seem to work very well. A 14 year study of people with atopic dermatitis showed that most people's symptoms remained about the same throughout the study. Not only that, but there are definite risks from medical treatments.
Cortisone creams: May be given as creams, pills or shots. Cortisone is an immune system suppressant that decreases the body's ability to detoxify, repair and protect. Long term use can lead to side effects like:
acne, development of a round or moon-shaped face,
weight gain, irritability, agitation, insomnia,
aggravation of diabetes, glaucoma, and high blood pressure,
increased cholesterol, decreased growth in children.
Those side effects are bad enough, but several studies have shown that treating eczema with cortisone, even used short-term, has exactly the effects that you would NOT want if you are trying to eliminate your eczema!
Cortisone creams are well-known to cause significant problems with the
• Thinning of the epidermal and dermal layers - even in normal skin. This is a completely expected effect that lasts for up to 3 days after one single application!
• A decrease in the fatty layer and all of the fatty acids that it produces. Dry skin is one of the major factors in GETTING eczema in the first place. Fatty acids are critical to protect and lubricate the skin so that it stays intact.
Topical Immunomodulators: Also known as TIM's. They are the newest and hottest way of treating eczema. There are two drugs out named tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. As their name suggests, they affect the immune system by suppressing the inflammatory response of the skin. At first glance that sounds great, but the skin's immune defense is there for a reason and suppressing it is not such a great idea - as the side effects of these drugs show:
burning or tingling sensation, pruritus, erythema,
folliculitis, herpes simplex and zoster infections,
acne, increased sensitivity to hot and cold,
alcohol intolerance, lymphadenopathy, skin infections, pain,
peeling, dryness, edema, and worsening of eczema
If you are thinking that TIM's look like a better alternative to corticosteroid creams for treating eczema, you should know that the FDA put out a warning stating that they should not be used long-term and they should not be first line treatment for eczema.
These have been tried - and continue to be tried - by many doctors despite the fact that they are absolutely NOT INDICATED in treating eczema because it is NOT a bacterial infection. It has been shown that they just don't work. And
The use of antibiotics kills off
in our digestive system and contributing to the prevalence of drug resistant organisms like
Avoidance of allergy triggers
Like the rest of the
most doctors believe that treating eczema requires you to avoid environmental allergy triggers. These allergy triggers include things like:
• Dust mites
• Pet Dander
• Dry air
• Excessive heat
I don't know about you, but avoiding those things seems like a futile effort. Avoid dust mites? How ARE you supposed to do that anyway?
If you manage to avoid all of the things that you are supposed to avoid, you are probably living your life completely to avoid allergy triggers. That doesn't sound like a very good way to live to me. Anyway, many cases that were previously diagnosed as allergic eczema are NOT. One study showed that up to 66% of ezcema in children is NOT allergic!
Immune system suppressants
Some physicians will even go so far as to prescribe immune system suppressants for treating eczema that is severe.
These drugs are VERY strong suppressants. So strong that these drugs are given everyday to transplant recipients to prevent rejection of the organ! Suppressing the immune system to treat a problem related to an already weakened immune system does NOT make sense and can be potentially VERY harmful.
Why doesn't treating eczema work?
Western Medicine's answer to for treating eczema is..... pharmaceuticals. And drugs are simply another way of saying
Toxic chemicals, as we discussed on the
page, are the CAUSE of eczema. Because they are the cause of eczema, how can they possibly fix the problem?
The answer is that they can't and don't. That is why The National Eczema Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and The American Academy of Dermatology all say that treating eczema is only for 'management' of the 'disease' and not to actually cure it.
So... What CAN you do??
Start by not making the problem worse
People with exzema tend to have very dry skin, even in places that they do not have the condition. Their skin is also colonized with 100 to 1000 times the number of bacteria that healthy skin is. And these bacteria tend to be disease-producing staph aureus more frequently than people without eczema.
• Wash your body SPARINGLY and only when you need to and in the places that you need to (see
page for more info).
• Stop using products that give you dry itchy skin in the first place – soaps, scrubs and alcohol containing products. Soaps have been shown to cause a decrease in the thickness of the outermost layer of the skin by up to 40% and to cause a breakdown the lipid layer. This breakdown allows toxins to penetrate and to cause a flare up.
• Avoid antibacterial soaps. Not only are they drying, but they kill the good bacteria on your skin and leave you vulnerable to ‘bad’ bacteria like staph aureus and
that may cause skin infections.
Minimize Environmental Toxins
• Drink filtered water
• Avoid chemicals in foods such as pesticides, hormones, sugars, trans fats and artificial ingredients
• Avoid or minimize the use of lotions, soaps and other
that contain chemicals. These chemicals absorb through the skin and tend to make the problem worse.
• STOP using common household toxins such as bleaches and cleaning products.
Build up your Immune System
• Eat healthy colorful foods with lots of phytonutrients
• Take High Quality Multivitamin and Mineral Packs with Vitamin D and Omega 3 Fatty Acids to augment the nutrients in your diet. Even if you think that you eat an excellent diet, it is VERY hard to get enough of many nutrients. If you already have a chronic illness, you are probably deficient.
• Get a Vitamin D Level- Vitamin D stimulates the production of a skin-specific antimicrobial called cathelicidin which is generally deficient in those with Atopic Dermatitis.
• Drink plenty of water every day
• Get adequate amounts of dietary fiber to support detoxification
• Take Prescript Assist Probiotic to rebuild the
in your digestive system
Identify possible food allergies
Food Allergies??? What do they have to do with treating eczema???
Well, possibly a lot.
Food allergies are still not recognized much in the medical community unless they are of the kind that severe symptoms occur within a short amount of time. However, more and more studies are beginning to show that other types of food allergies are indeed real, as tens of thousands of people have been saying for decades.
And recent studies are showing that there is a close connection between eczema and more subtle food allergies that can take up to 3 days for symptoms to develop. Allergy to foods is being implicated as the cause of eczema in up to one-third of children with moderate to severe ezcema.
Of these food allergies, only a few are the biggest culprits. Cow's milk, egg, wheat, soy, corn and peanut. A food elimination diet is a free way to see if food allergies could be the problem. If it is, eliminating the offending substance could be the cure for eczema with no need for further treatment ever.
often called 'wheat allergy' although it is not truly an allergy, may be a MAJOR unrecognized cause of eczema. One form of eczema, called dermatitis herpetiformis or eczema herpeticum is caused by gluten sensitivity and is actually a skin manifestation of celiac disease, a severe form of gluten intolerance.
Many people who have eczema and have gone on a strict
Gluten Intolerance Diet
have found that this was a cure for eczema for them as their skin condition completely disappeared!
While the medical community recognized neither gluten sensitivity nor gluten's link as a cause of eczema, it is certainly worth a trial of eating gluten free to see if that is the cause of eczema for you.
Provide Skin Specific Help
• Get a moderate amount of sunlight. Treating eczema with UV light therapy seems to help many people. This also makes
a necessary vitamin and an important immune system component.
• Add ‘Good’ Fatty Acids to your diet in generous amounts:
Eat more avocado, olive oil, Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, fish oils from sardines or other small, non predatory fish), krill oil, flax oil, nuts and seeds.
And keep reading to see why Good Bacteria in your gut are really one of the keys to keeping eczema symptoms at a minimum...
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