Eczema. The word alone strikes fear into the hearts of thousands of Australians. When winter time rolls around, us eczema sufferers gear up for battle, stocking up on lotions and potions to help soothe what is probably the hardest time of year for eczema. We can’t change the weather, but we can take steps to help our skin win the winter battle.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a very common skin condition which affects the skin, causing dry, red bumps or rashes, which can be quite itchy or flaky. The skin may crack and bleed in extreme circumstances and is very uncomfortable for the eczema sufferer. This is a chronic condition, but it does tend to flare up periodically, especially if aggravated by certain environmental factors, food types or other variables.
Ways to Treat Eczema?
Luckily these days we have discovered a multitude of ways to treat these eczema flare ups. I prefer a more natural approach, avoiding hydrocortisone steroids where possible, as I find the natural approach works just as well. My daughter in particular suffers with eczema quite a bit, and it's a bit of an uphill battle trying to get a 5 year old not to scratch when they're itchy! I use a combination of all of the following treatments/preventatives to ensure her flare ups stay minimal.
I find a simple oatmeal bath really helps soothe my daughters skin. I add around 1/2 a cup of oats that I have processed to a fine powder into a bath and let her soak in it for as long as she is happy to. The trick is to ensure the oats are ground up finely enough so that the bath takes up a milky consistency. Oatmeal baths are a natural way to lock in the body's moisture, protect the skin, and soothe any irritation or itching
Goats Milk Body Products
Goats Milk Soaps and Lotions have really helped us out so much! Goat milk soap and lotions are amazing for people with dry or sensitive skin, or conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It is also perfect for healthy skin that wants to stay that way. I love using the Harmany Soapworks Lime and Lemongrass scented soap, in combination with the Billie Goat Soap Intensive Eczema & Psoriasis Balm for any stubborn dried out patches, and it works a treat!
Fragrance Free Laundry Products
I like to use laundry products that are free from nasty chemicals, hypoallergenic and fragrance free where possible. What we wash our clothes in sits on our skin all day and is the leading cause of skin irritations. The Abode range is formulated by a naturopath, and is all we use at home. I love the Abode Laundry Powder because it is economical and effective.
Cotton is King
Breathable cotton fabrics are essential during an eczema flare up as they allow the skin to breathe. Cotton and other natural fabrics are recommended for clothing as well as soft sheets and linens. Please don't forget that fabric softeners used on fabrics could attribute to the irritation caused by eczema!
If your hands are constantly in and out of water, consider investing in some quality and eco-friendly gloves. They will protect your hands from the elements and help stop them from becoming as dried out.
If you have any other handy hints for eczema sufferers, please let us know! I'm always on the look for natural ways of helping soothe the pain that is eczema!