Eczema is a common skin concern which can affect virtually anyone with a number of treatment options, the most popular being natural and steroidal creams. According to Allergy UK, it’s thought that over 15 million people in the UK suffer with it. The term eczema is loosely used to describe a skin condition in which the outer skin layer is inflamed though and there are several ways to help relieve the symptoms.
What are the common symptoms of eczema
Eczema is normally a persistent skin condition which causes skin rashes and dryness of skin. The common symptoms of eczema include redness of skin, itching, inflammation, dryness, cracking, swelling, skin blisters and oozing of skin. Because eczema can be a repetitive concern, many people will experience some skin discolouration with scarring rarely a problem. Eczema is often mistaken for psoriasis, but there are several differences; the main one being that eczema invariably affects the flexible part of any of the joints. There are also other differences which include the time of onset and the differences in what triggers both these skin concerns.
There are different types of eczema which are generally classified by the location of the breakout or the physical appearance. A common type of eczema is atopic eczema, also referred to as infantile, flexural (elbows, wrists and knees are flexural joints) or atopic dermatitis. Atopic eczema is an allergy disease with a hereditary trait and is common in sufferers of hay fever and/or asthma.
Contact dermatitis is another type of eczema; there are two divisions within this type of eczema called irritant and allergic. Contact allergic dermatitis results from a deferred reaction to an allergen whereas contact irritant dermatitis, the more common one, occurs as a result of contact with irritants such as chemicals in hair care and body products.
Other types of eczema include Seborrheic Dermatitis, Xerotic eczema, Discoid eczema, Venous eczema and numerous other types.
How to treat eczema
There is no cure for eczema. Eczema treatments aim to reduce breakouts, calm inflammation and relieve itching and discomfort. The most frequent treatment is the use of prescribed steroid creams. Steroid creams work very quickly to suppress inflammation and relieve the redness and itching, but they do not cure eczema and their long term use is thought to be responsible for thinning skin and may also cause skin discolouration.
It is for the reasons mentioned above that many people search for a natural eczema treatment. I consider Basix Skin Defence Cream to be one of the best cream’s for eczema that I have come across, predominantly containing natural ingredients and one that is without any side effects.
Basix Skin Defence Cream contains the fruit extracts from Kigelia Africana, also known as the sausage tree. Indigenous to Africa and Australia, the tree is easy to identify with the unusual brownish grey sausage like fruits which dangle from its branches. The sausage tree fruits have been used by the locals and by African healers for hundreds of years to treat numerous skin concerns including inflammatory skin concerns such as eczema, leg ulcers and skin sores.
Along with the anecdotal evidence from traditional use, there exists a body of evidence backing up the sausage tree’s efficacy. Research conducted at The King’s College Hospital in London and The University of Natal in South Africa has begun to shed light on why the sausage tree is beneficial for a variety of skin concerns.
Kigelia Africana inhibits the thriving of a number of micro-organisms which include:
- Staph. aureus known to cause skin abscesses and impetigo
- Candida species responsible for athlete’s foot and thrush
- E. coli known to be responsible for various skin concerns including skin infections and abscesses
Aside from the extract of the sausage tree, Basix Skin Defence Cream contains Australian Kakadu Plum which is a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C brightens and freshens up dull looking skin; helps fade age spots and dark spots and displays potent antibacterial properties making it very useful to prevent and treat acne. Kakadu Plum contains a powerful blend of antioxidants to protect skin from ageing free radicals.
Aloe Vera is included in the formulation of Skin Defence Cream in order to encourage the healing process whilst lemon extract works to exfoliate dry skin associated with eczema and psoriasis. A myriad of oils including olive oil, flaxseed oil and Castor seed oil work to moisturise dry skin helping to restore the ceramides in skin which prevent dehydration.
The combination of these potent plant extracts and oils works to form a protective, yet invisible layer, on skin which comforts, repairs, soothes redness and relieves itching so commonly associated with eczema. Basix Skin Defence Cream can also be used to treat acne, nappy rash, psoriasis, scarring, burns and blisters.
Basix skin repair cream is suitable for use in babies, toddlers and adults and can be used anywhere on the face, knees, hands and scalp to relieve the dryness which accompanies eczema. It is non-greasy, does not stain clothes and is free from steroids, cortisone, paraben, lanolin, artificial colours and synthetic fragrances.
Since inflammation is responsible for dry skin and dry skin in turn can cause skin irritation and itching, it is prudent to use a good omega 3 fish oil supplement such as 100% Organic Scandinavian Rainbow Trout Oil by Viridian Nutrition, a high strength citrus flavour fish oil liquid with natural organic orange and lemon oils. I am an advocate of obtaining omega 3 fats from krill oil, however for skin conditions such as eczema, fish oils appear to work more effectively and this may be due to the specific type of omega 3’s found in fish oils. Fish oils contain triglyceride form of omega 3’s as opposed to phospholipids found in krill. Rainbow Trout Oil is suitable for both adults and children and unlike many fish oils, it is free from heavy metals and toxins.
How to prevent eczema breakouts
Sufferers should always try to keep the affected skin moisturised. Do not use highly fragranced or chemical laden hair and body care products. Use gentle washing and bathing products such as Botanical Therapeutic Shampoo & Body Wash. This extra mild formulation is suitable form head to toe and is free from SLS and paraben.
People who change their diet often find great benefits. An eczema diet ideally should avoid processed foods if possible. Bacon, tinned food, frozen preserved food, white sugar and flour are typically to be avoided. Severe eczema may also require the abstinence of wheat and gluten. There are many eczema diets that you can read about however most of these are simply too strict or very hard to follow. I believe that if you cannot completely abstain from the foods mentioned above, at least moderate their intake which should not be difficult.
With the correct use of supplements, creams and a reasonably healthy diet, you can control eczema and prevent outbreaks.