First of all, to avoid any confusion, the terms eczema and dermatitis are interchangeable.
There are many different kinds of eczema which can also be confusing:
Atopic, seborrhoeic, irritant, gravitational/stasis, pompholyx, allergic contact, Lichen simplex and asteatotic eczema.
But for today, let’s simplify things and concentrate on the most common type – atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis.
Atopic eczema is one of three conditions which fall under the term atopy. The other two conditions are hay fever and asthma. All three are allergies and tend to run in families.
Atopic eczema sufferers produce excessive amounts of immunoglobulin E (IgE is an antibody) which causes the release of inflammatory mediators (chemicals) such as histamine but many other chemicals are also involved. These chemicals cause signs and symptoms of eczema such as the unbearable itching and inflammation.
Triggers vary from person to person and include food allergies e.g. cow’s milk, mould spores, house dust mites, bubble bath. However for some people their triggers are unknown. Stress commonly exacerbates flare-ups.
Skin barrier dysfunction is also implicated in atopic eczema sufferers. Lack of filaggrin, a protein in the stratum corneum layer of the epidermis causes dry skin and a greater propensity for infection.
If you need help with eczema, please so get in touch.
Self Help Tips
Avoid skin products with sodium lauryl sulphate as an ingredient as it is a known skin irritant.
Some people see an improvement in their skin after cutting out dairy products.
More than 70% of immune cells are located in the gut. If you can improve your gut bacteria you can reduce the skin symptoms. The natural route to combating eczema is not a quick fix and takes some time. Never come off steroids or stop medication without talking to your doctor first. If your body has got used to using steroid cream it can go through a withdrawal period resulting in RSS (Red Skin Syndrome) and can make you feel unwell.
For more help with herbs for eczema and how dietary and lifestyle changes can manage eczema please see my new website https://herbalsanctum.co.uk/eczema/