It’s no wonder that so many people have atopic dermatitis. Everyone seems to think this painful condition is really a problem with the skin. And most treatment is geared towards alleviating the symptoms of dry itchy skin. Few realize that atopic dermatitis, also called eczema (commonly misspelled exzema), is really only a symptom.
The REAL problem is overwhelming toxicity, inappropriate hygiene habits and malnutrition that all contribute to poor Immune System Health Exzema is present in about 10% of the population. Along with asthma and Seasonal Allergies, western medicine considers it an 'allergic disease', meaning that the body produces specific allergic antibodies in response to an 'allergy trigger'. While there are many different kinds of dermatitis, most chronic exzema is classified as Atopic Dermatitis, or the allergic type.
As you'll see. Western Medicine is pretty much wrong about this dry itchy skin condition.
The National Eczema Association states, "people with AD (Atopic Dermatitis) have a lifelong tendency to have:
• Dry skin—easily irritated
• Occupational skin disease — hand dermatitis
• Skin infections — Staph and herpes ("cold sores")
• Eye problems — eyelid dermatitis, cataracts
• Family and social relationships disrupted
• Work loss
Yipes. Relationships disrupted and loss of work for LIFE!!!
You do not have to live your life like that. You can get rid of atopic dermatitis and do not have to have a 'disease' for the rest of your life just because western medicine doesn't recognize the true underlying reason for this painful problem of dry itchy skin.
In our modern society, cleanliness is considered a virtue. But washing excessively, especially with harsh soaps or antibacterial agents, disrupts this delicate balance. Every time we wash we cause our Skin to become irritated, break down, change its pH and kill the good bacteria that help to keep us well.
Then afterwards, we ‘moisturize’ with lotions that contain rancid oils and chemicals that clog our pores, ‘beautify’ with Environmental Toxins that absorb into our bloodstream and ‘deodorize’ with aluminum that gets stored in our brain! Next, we eat processed, refined ‘foods’ that: are devoid of nutrients, good bacteria like we find in Resistant Starch and Sauerkraut, don't digest well, contribute to the toxic build up of our body, and weaken our Immune System by creating a condition called Increased Intestinal Permeability also called 'Leaky Gut Syndrome'.
In creating exzema, the skin is simply trying to get rid of excess environmental toxins and keep harmful invaders out of the damaged and irritated skin.Then in order to try to alleviate our dry itchy skin, we slather on more toxins and pharmaceutical drugs which really only make the problems worse.
Atopic Dermatitis, along with seasonal allergies and asthma, are versions of the same problems. In fact, if you have exzema, it is likely that you probably have seasonal allergies or asthma too.
What all of these disorders have in common is that the body responds to 'allergy triggers' with an inappropriate immune system response. Toxins in our environment are one way that we cause our immune systems to react inappropriately.
Imagine the body as a barrel that takes in and processes environmental toxins. If the barrel takes toxic chemicals in quicker than it can process them, then the barrel starts to fill up. The barrel can hold a certain amount of toxic build up for detoxification in the future, but when the barrel is full it starts to overflow. The barrel overflowing is when our body shows signs of illness. Each person’s genetics are very different, so different people can tolerate larger or smaller amounts of toxic build up before illness develops. And each person expresses this overflow in a different way.
If you are reading this, then you or someone you know expresses toxic build up, nutritional deficits, or poor immune system health as the dry itchy skin condition of atopic dermatitis or exzema. Other people express it as seasonal allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, Symptoms of Fibromyalgia – even cancer.
Everyone believes that bathing every day and Handwashing many times per day is 'healthy', but is it really? Not so much. Here's why.
For one thing, soaps and other cosmetics that you put on your skin contain toxic chemicals. And these toxic chemicals get absorbed into your skin and contribute to the toxic build up that 'fills your barrel'.
Secondly, soaps and harsh chemicals directly contribute to the skin breakdown that contributes to eczema. One study, that implicates soaps as being a MAJOR cause of atopic dermatitis, found that 66% of children, previously thought to have the allergic form of exzema, were actually found to have the NON-allergic form.
The non-allergic form of Eczema is generally recognized to be from irritation and chemical sensitivity.
This same study showed that the drying and irritating action of soap breaks down the outermost layer of skin as well as breaking down the lipid layer. The lipid layer is critical in that it produces natural oils for the skin. A factor that researchers are able to measure when they study atopic dermatitis is Trans epidermal Water Loss, or TEWL. Increased TEWL contributes to dry skin and the breakdown associated with exzema.
The prime factor in preventing TEWL is the skin's natural oils.
Logically, if you think about it, what do soaps do? They are designed to remove oils. That's what they do and they do it well. So the more you use soap, the more oils you remove and the more TEWL you have. Magically, you just created Atopic Dermatitis - an 'incurable' and 'genetic' skin disease.
The skin is a complex system whose "...function is to protect the epidermis and to maintain its integrity.[It]uses various strategies, including enzymatic reactions, colonization by bacterial flora, immune signaling, antimicrobial lipids and peptides, low pH, antioxidants, and natural moisturizing factor(s)."
Washing does not help, but only hinders this perfect system.
One study that compared the effects on skin after washing, came to the conclusion that "...cleansing agent(s), even normal tap water...increases the skin pH, irritates the physiological protective 'acid mantle', changes the composition of the cutaneous bacterial flora and the activity of enzymes in the upper epidermis."
In many studies, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a key ingredient in most soaps, is the same agent used to intentionally irritate previously healthy skin in order to test medications for Atopic Dermatitis!!
Nutrition can contribute to exzema in many ways:
• Lack of adequate Omega 3 Fatty Acids in the diet prevents the skin from making adequate amounts of oils to protect the skin.
• Vitamin D Deficiency (particularly Vitamin D3 from sunlight) can prevent the skin from making natural antibacterials and antibodies that protect the skin.
• Lack of adequate protein can keep the skin layers from being as strong as they should be and can contribute to breakdown.
• Nutritional deficiencies can help to 'turn on' the genes that contribute to the development of atopic dermatitis.Sauerkraut and Resistant Starch can contribute to the overall lack of healthy gut bacteria
These creates even MORE allergens in the body that contribute to the creation of allergic skin conditions like Atopic Dermatitis.
Atopic Dermatitis is....
"...a long-term skin disease." - The National Association of Health
"Although the exact cause is unknown...eczema can’t be cured, but it can be managed." - American Academy of Family Physicians
"...not contagious and, like many diseases, currently cannot be cured. However, for most patients the condition may be managed well..." - American Academy of Dermatology
Ugghh! What awful definitions. I prefer to make up my own since I can't find a decent one to to describe what it really is:
"Atopic Dermatitis is entirely preventable
and treatable when the underlying
problems of inappropriate hygiene, toxicity,
and immune system health are resolved.
-Kerri Knox,RN. Founder of the Immune System Makeover.
• Children whose mother took probiotics while she was pregnant and children who took probiotics themselves have lower rates of atopic dermatitis
• Children who experience severe stress have higher rates of atopic disease as adults
• Children and adults living in chronic contact with mining waste products have a higher incidence of atopic dermatitis.
• Infants who are exclusively breast fed for 4 or more months are less likely to develop allergic diseases
• Fish intake during pregnancy decreases incidence of atopic dermatitis in childhood- likely from the Omega 3 fatty acids present in the fish
These studies show that exzema is only a SYMPTOM of a problem, yet doctors consistently treat it with medications that don't address the source of the problem. Most treatments consistently only 'manage' symptoms - often by suppressing the immune system when it should be healing and supporting the immune system.
You can continue to manage symptoms for the rest of your life; take medication; avoid dust mites (that are everywhere), pet dander or whatever allergic trigger you have been told that you are sensitive to and still be doomed to have ‘flare-ups for the rest of your life.
You can eliminate the source of the problem.
As a nurse, I know what it's like to have atopic dermatitis. At times, I've washed, scrubbed and put on gloves up to 100 times per day. The friction and the drying has caused me to get exzema on my hands routinely. But I have not had a recurrence since I started following this regimen for treating eczema, even though it's unavoidable that I wash frequently when I work.
The source of your problem is environmental toxins, hygiene habits and your immune system health. Dealing directly with these problems deals with the source of the atopic dermatitis which helps to prevent flare-ups and may even get rid of the underlying CAUSE of your eczema for good! The FIRST place to start is to replace your current household products with Healthy household and personal products and keep reading onto the next page about Treating Eczema....
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