Eczema affects a large population, with estimations of up to 30% of people suffering at some point. This is a general term for any superficial inflammation of the skin with redness, oozing, scaling and other visible changes. It can be very uncomfortable and affect your confidence.
Who gets Eczema?
It occurs evenly between men and women and people in dry climates are more commonly affected. Triggers include:
- Conditions that affect skin function such as nutrient deficiencies or skin being irritated
- Certain foods, such as nuts and dairy
- Environmental factors, such as smoke and pollen
- Stress and emotional factors
It is also common to see eczema in people who have asthma and hay fever, and this can start in infancy.
It is true that certain things can irritate the skin, such as harsh chemicals, temperatures and insect bites; but then what is the cause when there isn’t a trigger?
How does stress link to eczema?
Unless it is a reaction to a specifically harsh environmental factor, eczema is due to a malfunction in the skins functioning.
“Much like many food allergies/intolerances or other auto immune issues, there is an error in the system and this is the result. If it was due to the trigger (such as foods), why don’t they give everyone eczema?”
The truth is that when there is interference in the body that affects the neurological and chemical pathways, then the body is out of balance and produces symptoms. Stress at either a conscious or subconscious level will cloud our mind and reduce our brains efficiency. The majority of our brain power is focused on the body functions that we have no control over, such as our heart beating, keeping our spine aligned and producing new cells for every part of us (including the skin). When things aren’t working efficiently then the cells may not be produced perfectly and they may show symptoms. Pain is only one way the nerves communicate a problem to us. This not our fault, we cant know what we haven’t been taught. Our body also talks to us via changes in posture, swelling, changes in sleep, depression, change in how the muscles work and even changes in the way we produce new cells. This can be our bodies way of communicating with us about stress to inspire us to change.
How can I help this itching?!
Creams and ointments can help with symptoms, but they wont cure whats happening. The cells on the outside are dead and will be replaced, therefore it is also important to keep the body healthy, so that when the body produces new cells to replace these cells they will be perfect healthy cells that wont show symptoms. Improving our internal environment will help restore balance.
To help restore your balance, try the following practices:
- Avoid any food or chemical triggers (where possible)
- Improve your diet. Eating more healthy fats and less sugar/processed foods can improve the functioning of your body and reduce inflammation. Make sure to drink plenty of water too!
- Address the stress in your life and what is making you unhappy, or your body will continue to manifest symptoms. While you may not be able to change everything right now, but if you can take a balanced view of things to see both the good and bad in them it can make it mentally taxing. Speaking to a professional or a loved one can be very useful to get more clarity. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it just makes you human
- See a chiropractor to find out how misalignments may be decreasing nerve function and lowering your innate potential
- Try to meditate or use mindfulness to find some peace in our hectic world
Whether eczema has been a long term problem and new issue in your life, be proactive and self aware so that you can take control of your life. Stay confident in yourself and remember your skin regenerates every 27 days. It doesn’t have to be forever, and it certainly doesn’t have to define you. You define you.