Psoriasis and Eczema
Eczema can be "cured" but psoriasis is a multifactorial disease that requires a multitreatment approach that is daunting for most people.
Natural treatment begins with detoxification, especially for psoriasis. Saunas, exercise that makes you sweat, bowel, liver and kidney cleansing and removal of mercury amalgams in your teeth are all important considerations. Stress reduction is also an essential part of dealing with skin conditions. It's often said you wear your heart on your sleeve. You also wear your emotions on your skin.
Meditation, journaling, and just plain taking time for yourself are very important tools for calming your body and feelings.
For both conditions, you will need to begin by eliminating sugar and refined and processed foods from your diet. This means avoiding table sugar, foods that contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, any white food, like white bread, biscuits, pizza dough, baked goods, anything that comes in a box and most canned foods.
The next step is to avoid food irritants and allergens. For skin conditions that may be caused by food allergies or intolerances, I highly recommend the Elimination Diet. Go to www.yeastconnection.com for a detailed plan to eliminate suspect foods from your diet and then gradually re-introduce them, making detailed observations to determine which ones may be causing your problems. (Look under the Yeast Fighting Program section.) You can suspect a food allergy if you have continual craving for that food, or eat it every day.
If you are not doing so already, start taking probiotics! While they are not technically foods, I've seen positive results over and over. If you correct the imbalance in intestinal flora by adding "good" bacteria to your system, many systemic problems will resolve themselves. I highly recommend that everyone take a probiotic daily.
In fact, there is a growing body of research that suggests that people with unbalanced intestinal flora have a higher risk of developing skin conditions like eczema, but probiotic supplementation diminishes or even eliminates the problem.
Along the same lines, taking supplemental digestive enzymes will enhance digestion and rapidly improve the condition of skin. Digestive enzymes not only digest the meal you are eating, but, taken between meals, they have been shown to digest inflammatory proteins in the body that could otherwise cause skin irritation or other inflammatory conditions.
Supplements That will Help
Here's a list of natural creams and supplements that I have found to be effective in relieving eczema and psoriasis:
Calendula: These creams are very popular in Europe for the topical treatment of eczema and psoriasis. The cream is often combined with soothing chamomile for a variety of skin conditions. It should be applied topically two or three times a day.
Chamomile: The German Commission E approves the use of chamomile for treating a variety of skin conditions. Topical chamomile treatments can reduce inflammation and allergic reaction activity. Look for a cream containing 3 to 10-percent crude drug chamomile content and follow the label for dosage directions.
Dandelion: This lawn "weed" has been used to treat skin conditions in traditional herbal medicine on the premise it detoxifies the blood, thus eliminating allergens, inflammationy-causing toxins and chemicals from the body. It's most commonly used as a tea or you could take 250-500 mg. of dandelion extract daily.
Omega-3 fatty acids: People with skin disorders frequently have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies indicate that supplementation with omega-3s will reduce severity and inflammation of eczema and psoriasis. Look for a good fish oil or flaxseed oil supplement that contains both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The best forms also include an omega-6 component as well to achieve a balance of the two oils. Take 2 to 4 grams daily.
In addition, be sure you're taking a good multi-vitamin that contains beta-carotene and vitamin A that promotes tissue healing. Another helpful vitamin is vitamin E because it helps moisturize skin from the inside and promotes tissue healing. Taking selenium will help the body use vitamin E. Finally; taking Zinc is a good choice, as it helps with wound healing.
Eczema (atopic dermatitis), and the closely associated psoriasis, are two very common skin problems.
Both eczema and psoriasis are potentially allergic conditions that can be triggered by environmental factors and dozens of other external irritants like:
However, although they’re different diseases and have varying triggers, their treatments have many commonalities. .
How to Effectively and Inexpensively Treat Eczema and Psoriasis
Eczema is “the itch that rashes,” meaning, there’s really no rash until you start scratching the itchy area. Hence, the first thing you need to do is to stop scratching!
Addressing the itch -- As anyone with eczema will attest, this is easier said than done. But fortunately, there IS a really simple, inexpensive way to relieve the itch: Simply put a saltwater compress over the itchy area.
You’ll want to use a high quality natural salt, such as Himalayan salt. Simply make a solution with warm water, soak a compress, and apply the compress over the affected area. You’ll be amazed to find that the itching will virtually disappear!
Another method that can be helpful for reducing or stopping the itch is EFT.
Proper skin hydration – When working with any type of skin condition, you need to make sure your skin is optimally hydrated. Skin creams are rarely the answer here, but rather you’ll want to hydrate your skin from the inside out by consuming high quality, animal-based omega-3 fats in your diet.
Your best sources for omega-3s are animal-based fats like krill oil or fish oil. I also find it helpful to include a bit of gamma linoleic acid, typically in the form of primrose oil, as this works remarkably well for eczema. Products like “krill for women” are good for both sexes for this condition as they have both fatty acids.
Plant-based omega-3s like flax and hemp seed, although decent omega-3 sources in general, will not provide the clinical benefit you need to reduce inflammation and swelling in your skin.
Secondly, you’ll want to reduce your exposure to harsh soaps and drying out your skin with excessive bathing. Use a very mild soap when you cleanse your skin, especially in the winter to avoid stripping your skin of moisture.
Taking care of your gut = Taking care of your skin – Many don’t realize this, but the health and quality of your skin is strongly linked to the health of your gut. I recommend taking a high quality probiotic to ensure optimal digestive health. Fermented foods can be used as well, but are neither as common nor as easy to use.
Diet and skin quality – Food allergies play an enormous role in eczema. In my experience, the most common offending agent is wheat, or more specifically, gluten. Avoiding wheat and other gluten-containing grains is therefore a wise first step.
If you were to visit my clinic outside of Chicago as a new patient, one of the first steps we would advise would be to go on a gluten-free diet for a number of weeks and carefully observe any health improvements. This is an enormously common problem and many of our patients are surprised to find how much improvement they actually achieve from this step.
Avoiding grains will also reduce the amount of sugar in your system, which will normalize your insulin levels and reduce any and all inflammatory conditions you may have, including inflammation in your skin.
Other common allergens include milk and eggs. I recommend you do an elimination trial with these foods as well. You should see some improvement in about a week, sometimes less, after eliminating them from your diet if either of them is causing you trouble.
Basking in the sun – Vitamin D in the form of sun exposure is your best friend when dealing with either of these skin conditions, but it’s especially helpful for psoriasis.
I produced a one-hour lecture that explains the health benefits of this long under-appreciated vitamin, so if you haven’t seen it already, I strongly recommend you take the time to watch this free video now.
Ideally, you’ll want to get your vitamin D from appropriate sunshine exposure because UVB radiation on your skin will not only metabolize vitamin D, but will also help restore ideal skin function. High amounts of UVB exposure directly on affected skin – but not so much to cause sunburn! – will greatly improve the quality of your skin.
However, if you can’t get sufficient amounts of sun during the winter months, a high quality safe tanning bed can suffice. A safe tanning bed will provide the optimized forms of UVA and UVB wavelengths, without dangerous magnetic skin balance.
Why Conventional Treatments Fail
You don’t have to use expensive, dangerous medicines to treat eczema or psoriasis!
Steroid creams especially, are clearly something you’ll want to avoid, because although they work initially, you will tend to rapidly develop tolerance to them. These creams contain synthetic steroids, which are absorbed into your skin, and can wreak serious havoc with your adrenal system.
So please, avoid steroid creams and other potentially dangerous medications for these skin conditions and use these natural methods instead. You’ll find they work almost all the time, especially if you diligently apply them.