Medical herbalist Lindsey Miller from Hope’s Relief has had over 6 years of practitioner experience and 6 years’ experience within natural products industry. Here are Lindsey’s top 10 tips for eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis sufferers…
“In my experience there is rarely one single cause for stubborn skin conditions. Making small lifestyle changes in all areas and using the right skincare products is generally more helpful to help keep problems at bay long term”.
1. Identify common food triggers: The most common of these are cows’ milk (dairy), eggs, soya, wheat, fish and nuts. Solanceae or deadly nightshade family food groups can also cause problems with some people; these include potatoes, aubergines, cucumbers and peppers. I often find that tomatoes and orange juice can be the hidden food culprits in conditions such as eczema (and they can also make conditions such as arthritis worse too).
2. Eat the right fats: Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory and therefore good for irritable, sore skin conditions. Eat plenty of clean cold-water oily fish or take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement (with a good level of EPA). Omega 6 is generally pro-inflammatory. Omega 6 can found in vegetable oils such as sunflower oil and margarines. These are generally high in processed foods so try to avoid them. Replace sunflower oil with olive oil when cooking.
3. Get a healthy diet: Make sure you eat your 5 a day or preferably more! Carotenoids are good for the skin and generally found in orange, yellow and red fruits and vegetables. Blueberries and Avocado are also some of my favorites for healthy skin.
4. Keep hydrated: Make sure you get your 2 litres of water a day. I like to start the day off with a glass of hot water and a squeeze of lemon to cleanse the system. Beware of Alcohol. Alcohol is a common trigger, as it can dehydrate the body, dry the skin and exacerbate itching.
5. Avoid topical irritants: These can be found in the form of detergents and surfactants – which can range from household cleaning agents to the products we use to clean our own bodies. Choose natural, unperfumed products and those that are soap-free or specifically tailored for sensitive skin or eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. Also be aware latex gloves many people wear to protect their skin when washing up or cleaning can actually cause an allergic reaction too.
6. Watch out for hidden irritants: Nickel found in many jewellery items, studs of jeans, zips and watch straps can cause allergic reactions in some people. Leather dye and tannins can also be a hidden culprit. Watch out if you’re planning a winter holiday and slipping barefoot into leather sandals or where belts and straps may touch the skin!
7. Wash in moderation: Eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis generally hate water. Over washing can dry the skin. It’s easy to do now winter is here but don’t be tempted to have water too hot and do not soak in the bath for long periods. Short tepid showers are best and be careful to pat dry and never rub delicate areas. I often recommend only showering once or twice a week and not every day if the skin is bad. If there are any particular bad patches try and keep these out of the water wherever possible.
8. Relax and de-stress: Stress is a common trigger, which also seems to make scratching worse. Seek help if you are suffering from stress. Counselling, yoga, gentle exercise, meditation and sometime a good old chat with a trusty friend can help ease some of life’s pressures. Sleep well. It’s true what they say – regular, sound sleep can help many things including the repair of skin or our ability to manage it and face the day ahead. Magnesium supplement can be helpful as can some botanical extracts.
9. Try not to scratch! Easier said than done, especially at night when this can sometimes get worse. Scratching damages the skin further resulting in exacerbation and further skin trauma and well as introduces bacteria from the hands and nails into vulnerable skin which may cause a secondary infection. Natural cotton body stockings or hand mittens can help if young children are scratching. Keep nails clean and short.
10. Pick the right skincare products: I can’t stress how essential this is. You should look to avoid harsh irritants all the time if you want healthy skin and not just simply when the condition is bad.
About Hopes Relief
Hopes Relief has been developed from over 35 years of research by naturopathsand is now sold worldwide. It is Australia’s No.1 Natural Eczema Cream, and awarded ‘best body /personal care product’ from Natural Lifestyle Magazine in the UK!
A pilot study showed that 93% of study participants found Hope’s Relief effective in relieving the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis as well as dry itchy skin. The range is safe and suitable for all ages from newborn babies to adults. The range now includes: A soap- free cleansing bar, Intensive Dry Skin Rescue cream (for severe patches), Moisturising Lotion (for more liberal all-over-body-use), Shampoo, Conditioner, Goats Milk body wash and Goats Milk soap.