1. Choose lotions and potions that don’t contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
A recent study at Bath University showed that aqueous cream containing sodium lauryl sulphate (commonly prescribed by doctors for the treatment of eczema) reduced the thickness of healthy skin in volunteers by more than 10% in just 4 weeks and increased water loss. This has the effect of making the skin more susceptible to irritation by chemicals. SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) is also widely used in shower gels and cosmetics.
2. Always choose chemical free natural skincare products
Surprisingly many natural creams for eczema contain synthetic and skin drying ingredients such as alcohol. Watch out for products containing potential allergens such as lanolin (from sheep’s wool), nut oils, petroleum and petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, vitamins, colours and perfumes or preservatives and emulsifiers.
3. Avoid the use of steroids
Steroid creams effectively suppress the symptoms of dry itchy skin; long term use can cause thinning of the skin. Eczema will often return with a vengeance when steroid treatment is stopped and the body re-engages its natural detoxification process.
4. Choose a cream with high quality plant ingredients
Devon based Gentle Green have created the highly nourishing and rehydrating Ecz-tend Soothing cream to soothe sensitive and dry skin. Ecz-tend soothing cream is formulated using vibrant and integral, chemical free plant ingredients.
5. Food sensitivities
Common food allergens include; wheat, dairy, yeast, sugar and foods with chemical/synthetic additives. Hair analysis can help to establish sensitivities, also identifying heavy metals and mineral/trace element imbalances. If you are unsure seek the support of a good progressive nutritionals.
6. Turn the heating down
Central heating can cause drying and aggravation for sensitive skin. Open a window in the room where you sleep, or humidify by placing a bowl of water near the radiator.
7. Choose chemical free clothing
Much of what we can buy on the high street is coated in the fire retardant formaldehyde, commonly an irritant for sensitive skin. It is common knowledge that wearing organic cotton is helpful but it needs to have been properly processed so that the fabric threads are smooth and don’t cause further irritation. Leading the way in clothing for eczema are Cotton Comfort who make carefully designed garments out of beautifully soft organic cotton with flat seams and labels on the outside. It is worth looking at their silver soothe collection which utilises the magic of ionic silver, adding significant healing benefits and anti-bacterial properties.
8. Environmental irritants
Watch out for chemicals in your environment. Choose non toxic paints, household cleaning products, shampoos and cosmetics.
9. Wash clothing and bedding at above 60ºC
Clothing and bedding should be washed regularly at above 60ºC to kill house dust mites and effectively remove dead skin cells. Pillows and soft toys can be put in the freezer to kill dust mites. When the pollen count is high do not dry washing outside. I recommend using soap nut or a chemical free washing liquid.
10. Find ways to reduce the stress in your life
A positive attitude and care for yourself reflects in your physical health. Learn to love and appreciate yourself and find moments each day for relaxing and doing things that nourish you.
Hannah Pearson is the founder of GentleGreen. For resources and more information visit the website www.gentlegreen.co.uk.