Natural Eczema Treatment
Whilst you will see many customers recommending Lyonsleaf products for eczema, it is important to understand a cream is never going to offer a complete solution. We strongly recommend you try to get to the bottom of the root causes of your eczema and consider lifestyle changes.
There is so much information (good and bad) available these days. We do recommend reading eczema blogs - written by real sufferers and listening to other peoples stories. We have learned that eczema affects different people in different ways and what works for one individual won't for another, so it's helpful hearing as many stories as possible and approaching the problem with an open mind. Here are some of our suggestions based on customer feed back and our own research.
Maintain good skin barrier
When you understand how your skin works, you will know that the stratum corneum (the outer layer of our epidermis) is our first line of defence against the outside world. It is absolutely vital to eczema sufferers that this defence is properly maintained at all times (even when you don't have any symptoms). Weakness in the stratum corneum allows invasion by pathogens and allergens and loss of moisture. The resulting dryness, inflammation and consequent scratching causes further damage to the barrier, perpetuating a vicious cycle.
Repairing your skin barrier function will break this cycle. When you understand moisturisers you will know the key to this is emollients. Emollients fill the cracks in the stratum corneum and seal in moisture, which is why emollient rich moisturisers repair the stratum corneum most effectively.
The fatty acids that our skin uses to create the stratum corneum are common to many natural plant oils, which is why plant oils are the best emollients.
But prevention is better than cure. To help prevent eczema flare-ups, we recommend Lyonsleaf Body Butter, for hands and body and Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm, designed specifically to be used on the face. The Beauty Balm and Body Butter do not contain high levels of soothing herbal extracts or minerals like our calendula products but they are great day-to-day emollient rich moisturisers.
Once you re-seal that lipid barrier moisture is sealed in. Drink plenty of water as it will be drawn through the dermis into the outer layer of the skin to keep it hydrated and healthy.
Lyonsleaf calendula products are particularly suitable for sore itchy skin. They will improve skin barrier function but are also soothing. Most Lyonsleaf moisturising products are available in trial sizes as an option on the product page.
Avoid skin irritants
Eczema sufferers have very sensitive skin. Unfortunately many topical creams made for them contain irritants like preservatives that exacerbate the problem (that's why creams sometimes sting). Lyonsleaf products are all water-free made with 100% natural oils, waxes, minerals and herbal extracts and it seems this works for a lot of eczema and dermatitis sufferers.
For tips and information read our Skin Irritants page.
Consider calming herbs
Eczema and dermatitis sufferers are usually prescribed quick-fix anti-inflammatories (steroids) with renowned side effects. Since our love affair with pharmaceuticals blossomed in the fifties people have forgotten the myriad of natural anti-inflammatories available.
You should of course not use cosmetic products in place of prescribed medicine, but by using calming herbs in a good skincare regime, you may be able to prevent the need for prescription in the first place.
Dead Sea Salt
We hear great reports from customers putting Dead Sea salt in the bath as a natural eczema treatment. It is rich in many minerals and seems to be very helpful. We thoroughly recommend its use along side our products.
Diet, nutritional deficiencies and triggers
Identifying and redressing any other dietary deficiencies can work miracles. Generally following a varied healthy diet is a good start. There is lots of information out there including our page Foods For Healthy Skin. There are certain deficiencies related to eczema, some listed below. A Herbalist or Nutritional Therapist can help you find a good diet specific to you (find one with a recommendation).
Many sufferers of atopic eczema have a deficiency or imbalance of essential fatty acids, so addressing this can be an effective natural eczema treatment. Specifically, they are often lacking in gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is normally metabolised from linoleic acid, but there seems to be a problem with this process in eczema sufferers. All of our Calendula products contain Borage oil which is rich in GLA. Taking a daily supplement of GLA in the form of Evening Primrose oil (9% GLA) or Borage oil (22% GLA) can be of great benefit too.
It is also important that Omega 6 and Omega 3 is in balance in the body. In the western world we tend to consume far more omega 6 rich food and this causes the omega 3's to become inactive. This leads to many problems including inflammatory skin disease. Taking and Omega 3 supplement often improves cases of eczema as it redresses the imbalance.
B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and selenium are all vital in the conversion of linoliec acid to gamma linolienic acid. Eczema sufferers may be lacking these nutrients.
The baddies are predictable. sugar, cows milk and gluten often trigger flare ups. Feeding these foods to babies too early often cause life-long food intolerances and are linked to adult eczema and asthma.
It's claimed that Hippocrates said "All Disease Begins in The Gut.” and many therapists now believe that eczema is often caused by leaky gut syndrome.
If you have any gut problems however minor it's worth investigating, you might just find it's a much more effective natural eczema treatment than you ever could have imagined.
Stress and eczema
There is little doubt that stress can trigger eczema. Managing stress can help avoid flare-ups (easier said than done). Yoga, Meditation and a positive mental attitude are obvious suggestions. But managing your blood sugar is a practical way to improve you ability to handle stress. Most people don't know there is a connection - read more here.
Topical steroid addiction and withdrawal
Finding information about the dangers of using topical steroids and topical steroid addiction is difficult. The drug companies certainly don't acknowledge any problems and doctors seem to carry on prescribing steroid creams even when patients claim they are doing more harm than good.
Using natural emollients with calming herbs can help reduce regular steroid use by keeping the day to day condition at bay so that steroid creams can be reserved for severe flare-ups.
Here are some links to information and blogs that deal with topical steroid problems:
Other useful links
Amazing eczema blogs
Read Abby Lai's amazing, first hand record of exactly how she overcame severe eczema when doctors said there was no cure. Her blog 'Prime Physique Nutrition' has lots of helpful information
Eczema (and any other skin condition) can be really hard to deal with emotionally especially if it affects your face. It can knock your confidence and stop you living life to the full. We love this blog because it is a real inspiration and positivity, check out Becky Bose.