Read Food Labels
It’s time to start reading ingredients labels on ALL food items that go into your shopping trolley. Why do we need to read the labels on foods? To heal eczema naturally it is best to avoid any preservatives, additives or colours as these ingredients can really aggravate eczema. If you want to see what foods are causing your eczema you can access our eczema monitor to help you fast track your healing.
An easy way to check a label is first look for numbers. We have a general rule in our family, that if the ingredients have numbers in it then it is not for us.
Numbers are for counting not for eating!
If you see Monosodium Glutamate or the number 621 in the ingredients list, put the item back. MSG or 621 is a flavour enhancer that can cause severe eczema flare up’s. And finally beware of labels that say “Natural” as this can be a marketing ploy to get you to grab and go their product without really checking what is inside it. Happy shopping!
This can be tricky to do as a lot of pre-packaged or store bought food contains refined sugar, but if you eat whole foods and read your labels before buying a product, you can choose products that use sugar alternatives.
Trust me, the rewards are huge if you don’t eat sugar!!
What are some sugar alternatives? Natural sugars include but are not limited to honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup and fruit, especially pears (my favourite) and red papaya. What’s wrong with refined sugar? Refined sugar does not supply the body with any vitamins or minerals, it does however make the liver work hard to process it. The liver is an important organ in eczema repair, we must do all we can to nourish and support the liver to help the liver heal our eczema; when we eat refined sugars the liver gets stressed and will not be able to assist in eczema repair.
If you have a sugar craving reach for a banana instead, your skin will thank you for it. If you want to take it a step further, try taking out sugar altogether, and you can also check out this inspiring site by Sarah Wilson called ‘I Quit Sugar For Life’.
Wear Natural Materials
Choose to wear natural cotton, bamboo, silk and linen and you are allowing your skin to breathe. There are also many certified organic fabrics that would be the best choice for clothing and bedding if affordable for you. Maybe it’s time to drop in your synthetic clothing, such as polyester, elastane, viscose, acrylic, nylon and rayon items to the recycle centre or thrift store. Be wary of cotton items that are heavily dyed or have thick prints on them, as these dyes can also have an influence on the skin and the breath-ability of the fabric. I prefer to wear loose fitting clothes with soft natural fabrics that feel great against my skin.
Eat Organic Food
Certified organic food is free from toxic pesticides and herbicides, so the produce is much healthier for your body! Having less toxins in your body gives your liver a better chance to work at healing your eczema. Eating toxic foods makes the liver focus on processing contaminants first.
Yes, eating organic can be expensive. Maybe you can try growing your own organic food in your backyard for a fun healthy family activity. Great eczema friendly and easy growing foods are iceberg lettuce and spring onions/ shallots.
There are also many farmers that are now organic or converting to organic as the demand for organic foods increases. This is also pushing the prices of organic food down, which is making it more affordable for us as consumers.
Drinking organic fresh juice can really help alkalise your body. My favourite blend is beetroot, celery and pear, yum!
Try a Daily Dose of Evening Primrose Oil
Although clinical results are not confirmed for Evening Primrose Oil’s effectiveness in reducing eczema, in my personal case Evening Primrose Oil has been sooo beneficial in reducing the severity and inflammation of my eczema! I swear by it! If you haven’t tried it yet please give it a try.
Which type should you choose? Ok, so when you look for Evening Primrose Oil see if you can source an Organic oil. I prefer to take the liquid, not encapsulated, (it must be kept in the refrigerator). I take about 2 teaspoons a day. If you can’t source the liquid, you can take capsules, but remember that your body has to work hard to process the capsule cases. Your eczema may also be triggered by the ingredients in the capsules. I prefer to let my body focus on the important job at hand, which is healing eczema naturally!
You can also apply Evening Primrose Oil on your skin, directly on the eczema, but not if the eczema is weeping. Please apply only at night as Evening Primrose Oil is sensitive to light. When my daughter itches her eczema at night I apply some nice cool (as it is kept in the refrigerator) Evening Primrose Oil, and it seems to calm her itch.
Here’s the tricky part – the effects of taking Evening Primrose Oil may take about 6 weeks to be realised. But don’t despair soon you will see a difference in your skin and you will be grateful for your ‘friend in the fridge’.
If you choose to take Evening Primrose Oil, please ask your healthcare professional if it is suitable for you and suitable if you are taking other medications.
Move Towns? or… Holiday More!
Have you considered moving to an area that may have less skin irritating allergens in the air than your current location? I did! And not just once! I have lived in four different geographical locations in a search for improved health and well being.
I was born and grew up in a cool temperate region of New Zealand within a valley of hills. My eczema and asthma was most severe at this stage. Now there is no evidence that the location influenced this, it could have been related to my age and diet. But let’s just say I have a feeling within that tells me the place where I grew up did have some effect my eczema.
My second move was within the same region, but out of the hills and onto the suburban plains that framed the local river. As my eczema visibly improved after moving out of the hills and into an open air region, I began to realise that my eczema may be influenced by the location I am living in.
So a few years later I moved to Australia’s largest city of Sydney, choosing an urban beachside city as my home. Here the sea salt in the warm air was favourable to my eczema as even more it seemed to be improving. Then in search of even more health benefits, I moved further north up the east coast of Australia, to a sub tropical coastal environment where I currently call home.
With each destination I have lived, there were different airborne allergens at each place, and the seasons affected these too. If you think your location if affecting your eczema, you can assess the effect of seasonal and permanent allergens on your skin, by recording your flare up’s using the eczema monitor.
One of the biggest things I learnt was that each summer, when the pollens were low, the breeze blew from the sea and the humid air came in, my skin was naturally moisturised and my eczema was relieved. And conversely, when winters came around I found the dry air and strong winds that blew from the mountains irritated my eczema.
So in 2016, I decided to do a test. My family and I travelled to Hawaii during our winter, leaving the dry air and pollen allergens behind, to see if I could be eczema free for an entire winter! We left Australia in early June and my skin was drying out and my regular “winter eczema flare up’s” started to appear on my legs. We flew into a Hawaiian summer, where the air was humid and after a few days my eczema cleared! For the entire time we travelled my eczema was not there. Usually June, July and August are regular eczema months for me. So I was relieved to finally have a winter that was eczema free!
Ok, I know we can’t all up and leave our home town’s or holiday for weeks on end. But if your life is really being affected that strongly by eczema and you feel it is because of where you are living, then why not consider it at least?
Try Emotional Healing with Flower Essences
Energy healing can also assist in the eczema healing process, this works best when it is combined with dietary and lifestyle changes. In my healing eczema journey I used the Australian Bush Flower Essences. I found that the Jacaranda essence helped clear any energy blockages that may have been associated or caused by my eczema. I actually ended up buying a Jacaranda tree and planted it right near my bedroom window. You can also try Bach Flower Remedies if you cannot source the Australian Bush Flower Essences.
Do Light Exercise Every Day
We all know the health benefits of doing regular exercise. Just because you have eczema does not mean that you should stop exercising. However, while you have eczema it is best to do low impact exercise. Actually I find that the best exercise that I can do for my body is walking for about 20 minutes everyday, and I like to do some gentle stretching along the way too. Although swimming is wonderful exercise, avoid swimming in chlorinated pools as the chlorine will dry out your eczema making it itchy.
By using the free eczema monitor, I discovered that intense exercise aggravated my eczema. As the blood rushed around and warmed up my body, my eczema became really itchy. This was true not only during exercising, but also afterwards until I had fully cooled down. If you really want to do high intensity work outs and your eczema is aggravated by this, then maybe alternate them with a low impact workout.
My best advice is to practice light gentle exercise everyday until your eczema has become mild to moderate and then increase the intensity as your eczema starts to fade.
Ignore the “Food Critics”
Ok, so this can be tricky. Healing eczema naturally requires you to change your eating habits and this can be challenging for others who think you are “missing out”. But all of us who have healed eczema with food and lifestyle changes know how it is important for the health of your skin, or your child’s skin, to eat eczema friendly foods.
Learning to deal with food critics or those who don’t understand why you may not be eating certain foods comes with practice. It can be hard when friends and family say “come on what harm are a few of these crackers and a glass of wine really going to do?” Children’s parties, in particular, are havens for packaged or processed foods or drinks. Sometimes you may want to give in so people do not always question you about your eczema friendly diet.
Please for your skin’s sake, be persistent and tell them that you are sensitive to certain foods that cause eczema. If you are a parent of a child with eczema, it can be tricky at birthday parties to stop your child eating colored sweets or packaged snacks. But it is important to teach our children to say no to foods that inflame the skin. I have been at kids party’s telling my child, no to foods that are not friendly for eczema. I have also received negative glances about our choices; however we are the happy ones now as our children don’t have eczema anymore.
At those same parties, you will meet people that are amazed with what you are doing to heal your or your child’s eczema naturally and they will support your decisions. Focus on that support and push the other comments out of your mind.
Remember, you are doing great job at healing eczema naturally! Keep it up!
Be Wary of RAW Food Diets
A RAW food diet is to be reconsidered if you have eczema and you are wanting to heal your eczema naturally. The main reason is that RAW food diets include a very high consumption of “nutrient inhibitors” nuts. In RAW food diets nuts are found in most meals, such as in nut cheeses, nut milks, nut spreads, nut sauces, nut cakes and slices.
Now nuts in small amounts can have many health benefits, but large amounts of nuts can be detrimental to healing your eczema naturally. To begin with nuts are high allergen foods and they can really aggravate eczema, and be particularly cautious of peanuts.
In general it is advised to eat no more than a handful of nuts per day. By using the free eczema monitor I found out that nuts were a trigger for me and I now consciously consume no more than one tablespoon of nuts per day. My preferred choice is cashews as they aggravate my eczema the least.
This is the important part, if you are going to consume nuts they require soaking and dehydrating before consuming. If you skip this step they will act as nutrient blockers stopping your body absorb nutrients from the rest of the food you eat during the day.
So, make sure the nuts you eat are preferably organic and that you soak them in purified water for at least a few hours and then dehydrate on a low heat in the oven before eating.
And remember, even though they can taste delicious refrain from eating more than your body can process, your body needs to work to heal your eczema as a priority!