Eczema is a chronic allergic skin disorder that may begin between one month and one year. It is often subsiding by the age of three but flaring up again at any age. Eczema typically manifests on the skin of the hands, scalp, face, back of the neck or skin creases of elbows and knees. Besides, scratching or rubbing may lead to darkened, hardened areas of thickened skin with accentuated furrows, most commonly seen on the front of the wrists and elbows and back of the knees.
CAUSES of Eczema:
Eczema signals an immediate allergic response, with 2/3rd of eczema sufferers having a family history of the disease. Many eczema sufferers also develop hay fever and asthma. Many eczema sufferers improve with a diet that eliminates typical food allergens such as milk, eggs, peanuts and, to a lesser extent, fish, soy, wheat, citrus and chocolate. Environmental allergens may also trigger eczema, ointments, soaps, detergents, cleansers, tanning agents, dyes, topical medications.
Immune system abnormalities
Specialised white blood cells called mast cells have abnormalities that cause them to release higher amounts of histamine and other allergic compounds than the mast cells of people without eczema. There is also a defect in the activity “alternative complement pathway” (a mechanism for destroying bacteria and foreign particles) in eczema sufferers.
Studies have shown that omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids are significantly lower in people with eczema. This imbalance leads to a greater tendency to inflammation and allergies because omega-6 EFAs produce pro-inflammatory prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds).
Elevated levels of anti-candida antibodies are typical in atopic individuals. Besides, the higher the level of these antibodies, the more severe eczema.
Stress can also provoke and aggravate itching in people with eczema.
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DIET AND LIFESTYLE for atopic dermatitis sufferers:
Identify and eliminate food allergens. For instance, eating allergenic foods damages the intestinal tract lining, resulting in a permeable “leaky gut”, a condition that allows allergens and other toxins to leak into the general circulation. That puts the immune system in a state of continuous alarm, significantly increasing a trigger-happy response to different foods and the chance of developing additional allergies.
Add brown rice and millet to your diet.
Avoid eggs, peanuts, soy foods, wheat and dairy products. For example, numerous studies have shown that people suffering from virtually all skin disorders do better if they eliminate foods containing gluten and all dairy products from the diet.
Also, avoid sugar, strawberries, citrus fruits, chocolate, white flour, fried foods, and processed foods.
Do not eat foods containing raw eggs (mayonnaise, etc.), as these include a protein that binds to biotin and prevents it from being absorbed.
Avoid rough-textured clothing. Wear clothing made of natural, non-irritating fibres such as cotton.
Use cotton-lined rubber gloves for household cleaning tasks.
Massage tea tree oil-containing antiseptic cream into the skin after contact with water or irritants.
SUPPLEMENTS for eczema sufferers:
Critically important for the epithelial cells and mucosal tissues, beneficial in treating skin and gastrointestinal disorders. Dosage – 5000mg a day.
A powerful antioxidant. In treating eczema, vitamin E plays an essential role in protecting vitamin A and increasing its storage. Dosage – 400mg a day.
A co-factor in numerous enzymatic reactions, zinc is required to create delta-6 desaturase, the enzyme responsible for converting the omega-6 essential fatty acid into GLA, a type of anti-inflammatory prostaglandin. When zinc levels are inadequate, omega-6 is converted to arachidonic acid. Dosage – 45-60mg a day.
It contains several unique molecules that block the effects of (platelet-activating factor). A key chemical mediator in eczema. Dosage 80mg three times a day.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Are often significantly reduced in people with eczema. Dosage – 2g a day.
A useful anti-histamine and anti-allergy compound. It not only inhibits the release of histamine. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and inhibits the formation of histamine and other allergic compounds, dosage – 400mg 20 minutes before meals.
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