By Chrystle Fiedler
Author of Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery
Eczema and psoriasis are two skin conditions that can not only make you miserable, they can also make you feel self-conscious. The good news? Natural remedies can go a long way to soothe the skin you’re in.
Eczema, also known as contact dermatitis or allergic dermatitis, is characterized by cracked, blistered, weepy, crusted, patchy dry skin along with a horrible itch. Touching it makes it worse and it’s more bothersome at night. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by small, scaly silvery pink and red patches on the knees, elbows, chest, scalp, lower back, and buttocks. Using new products (laundry detergent, cleansers) and experiencing stress exacerbates these conditions.
These natural remedies will help to heal your skin so you feel and look better:
Eliminate offending foods. Top allergen triggers include chocolate, dairy products, citrus, tomatoes, meat, eggs, peanut butter, potatoes, wheat products and gluten, soy, fried foods, food additives, and hydrogenated and heated oils. Keep a food diary to help you identify triggers and talk to your doctor about further testing.
Choose cooling foods. To chill out your skin, switch to a whole-foods diet featuring whole grains, lean protein, and lots of fruits and green leafy vegetables. Include cold-water fish like salmon and mackerel that are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which lower inflammation in the skin. Drink an ounce of aloe vera juice after each meal to calm inflammation.
Use soothing herbs. Calendula is one of the best herbs to hydrate and cool the skin. You can find a calendula hydrating cream in your local health food store. Apply it three times daily especially after a shower or bath. Turmeric root in capsules is a potent anti-inflammatory agent to help clear up your skin. Take it three times daily. Detoxifying herbal teas such as burdock root, red clover blossoms, cleavers, calendula, and chickweed help open the body’s normal cleansing channels such as the lymph glands, colon, and kidneys and improve skin health. Drink a cup or two each day.
Apply essential oils topically. Try bergamot, Roman chamomile, geranium, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lemon balm (melissa) neroli, rose, sandalwood, or tea tree oil. Look for a product in your health food store that contains one or more of these herbs with a jojoba, olive or coconut oil base. Follow the directions for use.
When you step out of the shower apply food-quality organic extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil after you towel off and while your skin is still moist. If you experience stinging, burning or itching, you’re allergic. Wash it off immediately. Just pour a small amount of the oil into the palm of your hand (repeat if needed) and apply where the skin is affected.
Use oatmeal. It soothes hot skin because it contains a compound called oat beta-glucan which forms a gel that helps to hold moisture in. Just put 1/2 cup of rolled oats in a washcloth and tie it off with a rubber band. Fill the sink with warm water and place the washcloth in the water. Squeeze it to create oat milk. Splash the milk over your face and hands.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Instead of using soap, which can dry out skin, choose milky cleansers to moisturize your epidermis. When you step out of the shower apply food-quality organic extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil after you towel off and while your skin is still moist (if you experience stinging, burning or itching, you’re allergic. Wash it off immediately).
Keep your home air healthy by running a humidifier or a fountain.
Be aware of what you wear. Avoid elastic, nylon, spandex, suede, wool, and synthetic-fiber fabrics. Dry-cleaning fluid residue and synthetic laundry soaps can irritate, so go natural with brands like Sun and Earth and Seventh Generation. It can be helpful to add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to the final rinse of a laundry load to neutralize possible irritants.
Let nature heal you. Exposure to natural sunlight (avoid tanning parlors) can improve or even clear psoriasis. Check with your doctor first to find the ideal exposure time for you. Swimming in the ocean may also be helpful to both eczema and psoriasis. Get plenty of fresh air and exercise to ensure good circulation.
For more natural remedies visit Chrystle’s blog.