Eczema can be either an acute rash or a chronic, persistent inflammation of the skin.
It starts with a rash accompanied by redness, bumps or blisters that itch and burn. As this heals, crusts are formed. If eczema develops into a chronic condition, dry scales may appear and skin thickens, becomes leathery and cracks. The elbow, knee creases, face, hands and sole of the feet are the most vulnerable areas.
Most cases of chronic eczema are caused by a defective conversion of linoleic acid into anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. A diet rich in saturated fats (meats and animal products) and trans fats (margarine and commercial vegetable oils) interferes with the use of essential fatty acids.
Emotional stress often causes outbreaks of eczema.
Eczema is often associated with a lack of stomach acids. Chlorinated water can be an irritant for those with eczema since it destroys polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, generates toxins capable of free-radical damage and destroys much of the intestinal flora that partake in the digestion of food and in the protection of the body from harmful pathogens.
The liver plays a major role in eczema since it is responsible for the essential fatty acids metabolism and in the transformation of linoleic acid into anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. It also filters toxins out of the blood, which in turn, reduces the load on the skin.
What to eat for eczema
The first step toward healing is to adopt a suitable diet.
It is important to reduce consumption of food high in saturated fats and trans fats.
Add some cold-pressed flaxseed oil to the daily diet (add on salads, baked potato or cooked food). Never use flaxseed oil to cook because it is easily affected by heat. It should be added to the food on your plate. Flax seed oil is particularly interesting because it is rich in omega 3, a component essential in the formation of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, which will help reduce the inflammation and the rashes. It is important to have 4 servings of good oils per day.
Today, people tend to over-consume Omega 6 fats. Those are found in high concentration in evening primrose oil, borage oil, and vegetable oil in general, except for olive oil (Omega 9 mostly) and flaxseed oil (Omega 3 mostly).
Omega 6s tend to favour inflammation in the body (too much inflammation on the skin = eczema) while Omega 3s have an anti-inflammatory action.
A.Vogel VegOmega-3 is an excellent source of vegan Omega 3 fatty acids, bears no risk of contamination and is easy to digest and assimilate (unlike fish oils). It is a good choice to balance Omega fatty acids and alleviate skin conditions.
Foods rich in vitamins and minerals
Eating pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds daily supplies the zinc needed to metabolize essential fatty acids.
Choose raw nuts and seeds because once roasted, their oils, transformed by the heat, are not so beneficial.
A diet rich in vitamin B6 benefits the metabolism of essential fatty acids (yeast, bran, wheat germ, oat flakes, soy flour, banana, wheat, nuts, fatty fishes, brown rice, white fishes, potato, green vegetables, legumes, root vegetables, eggs and dry fruits).
Fruits and vegetables orange in color, spinach and blueberries are most beneficial, thanks to their high beta-carotene content that helps heal the skin. Avoid all dairy products from the cow since for most it has a big impact in the recurrence of eczema.
Alkaline Forming Foods
Tapioca, rice, millet, almond, carrot, cucumber, sunflower seed (unsalted), sesame seed, golden delicious apple, pear, potato, banana, goat cheese, goat milk, zucchini, squashes, pumpkin, celery, couscous, avocado, cauliflower, lettuce, quark cheese, cottage cheese, human milk, yeast, hazelnut, cooked onion, barley, parsley, green pepper, red pepper, melons, leek, coconut, alfalfa, water, sun, rest and happiness.
For the liver to eliminate toxins, it is crucial to eat a lot of fibres (from 8 to 10 portions of fruits and vegetables per day).
Half a lemon freshly squeezed in a cup of hot water every morning helps the liver to eliminate toxins.
A small glass of fresh carrot juice is also beneficial.
Rest and exercise are an essential part of the program
Reduce acid forming food from the diet
It is important to reduce the amount of acid forming foods that you ingest, and increase the alkaline foods.
The skin is an elimination organ and when the kidneys have too many acids to eliminate, the skin compensates. If the skin is sensitive, it then becomes irritated and subject to eczema.
Stress also causes acidity. It is important to learn to manage it, in order to reduce the damage it creates.
Acid Forming Foods
White sugar, brown sugar, fructose, food colorants, beef, orange, grapefruit, lemon, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, bottled fruit juices, commercial soya sauce, tomato, eggplant, spinach, peanut, wheat, oat, cacao, tea, coffee, wine, alcohol, tomato sauces, pepper, jam, cheese, apricot, kiwi, pineapple, rhubarb, berries, excess of bread and butter, grapes, peach, radish, apple (the sour tasting ones), dairy products, beet, lentil, pea, bean, cold cuts, asparagus, lamb, veal, prune, rye, salmon, tuna, seafood. Some fruits lose their acidity once cooked (ex. apples, berries) but beware of added sugar!
Hair skin and nails from A.Vogel contains stinging nettle, a plant that supports the elimination of acids by the kidneys. It is also very rich in minerals and vitamins that support the elimination of toxins by the liver (especially the B complex in Brewer’s Yeast) and assist the healing of the skin (zinc and vitamin A in millet, silica in stinging nettle…).
To help accelerate the process of liver detoxification and improve fat metabolism, a few good herbs can be useful: Boldocynara is a unique complex containing artichoke, milk thistle, dandelion, boldo and peppermint. Those plants are very effective in supporting the removal of toxins by the liver and regenerating damaged liver cells. Researches show that milk thistle has a toning and regenerating effect on the liver.
People who never detoxed before should use the liquid format and start slowly to avoid the discomforts of a sudden detox (e.g. headache, diarrhea, nausea). In severe or long existing problems, A.Vogel Milk Thistle can be taken long term. Boldocynara can also be used at season change, for prevention.
Finally, it is important to eliminate all external irritants. Avoid soaps, shampoo and skin products that contain a lot of chemicals and perfume. Try natural soaps, shampoo and skin products as they nourish the skin and will help it recover. Use biodegradable, unscented laundry soaps since clothing is continuously in contact with the skin. To accelerate the healing process, apply St John’s Wort oil or Bioforce 7 herb cream directly on lesions.
What do you think?
Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks Sonia Chartier