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:
Metals (such as nickel in jewelry)
While psoriasis is most often linked with external allergic triggers, eczema is often caused by food allergies.
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.