The Skin Microbiome – what is it and how to keep it healthy?

The Skin Microbiome – what is it and how to keep it healthy?

When the skin is healthy, it is covered by a diverse mix of microbes, including bacteria, viruses and fungi.  When in balance, these microbes have a symbiotic relationship with our body and interact with our genes to support immunity, barrier function and to help protect against disease.

In skin conditions such as eczema, the microbiome loses this diversity and becomes imbalanced.  These imbalances can affect immunity and barrier function, resulting in inflammation of the skin.  

So what can we do to keep our skin microbiome healthy and reduce the risk of eczema flares?

The good news is there are some simple dietary and lifestyle changes we can make that can make all the difference:

  • Time to get dirty– hygiene has its benefits but also its drawbacks.  Excessive cleanliness can reduce our exposure to diverse microbes, especially in the beginning stages of life.  Research shows that early exposure to animals, fresh plant foods and outdoor time can have a positive impact on our immune system and reduce risk of allergic diseases such as eczema.
  • Nourish your bugs– microbes won’t feed themselves.  Good bacteria rely on their host (that’s you) to eat a healthy diet to survive.  Plant foods in particular help to nourish the good bacteria, which means an extra  serve of fruit and veg a day can make all the difference
  • Put back what you take out– there may be times where your diet and lifestyle are less than ideal and may include foods or medications which reduce microbial diversity, such as alcohol, processed foods and antibiotics.   During these times it may be beneficial to top up your good bugs with a probiotic until you are back on board with steps 1 and 2!

For further information on the skin microbiome and how it can affect your eczema, contact the Psoriasis Eczema Clinic – the centre for Complementary and Alternative treatments for eczema Melbourne.

5 Natural, Steroid Free Eczema Treatments You Can Try At Home Today!

5 Natural, Steroid Free Eczema Treatments You Can Try At Home Today!

Feel like you are stuck in the itch-scratch cycle? Have you worked your way through conventional eczema treatments but still haven’t found the relief you were looking for? If you have answered yes to both these questions, you are certainly are not alone.

Whilst conventional eczema treatments can be effective for some, other patients find themselves in a cycle of dependency – in other words – it works when you use it and flares when you don’t. This cycle not only leads to frustration but also concerns about the safety of long term use.

This is why many eczema patients seek a more natural and holistic approach to their skin health.  

Whilst there is no cure for eczema, there are many natural treatment options that can help to support skin barrier health, reduce skin flaring and manage symptoms. Better yet, these treatments are easily accessible, inexpensive and can be started in your own home today!

Try these 5, natural steroid free eczema treatments:

1. Oat soak – a simple and effective way to soothe itch before bed time. Oats contain avenanthramides which have anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. Simply put 1 cup of finely blended oats in a muslin cloth and tie it to the end of your bath tap. Let the warm water flow through and you can soak the itch away

2. As cool as a cucumber – Itch is one of the most common symptoms of eczema and can lead to vicious itch-scratch cycle which can be hard to break. Heat can be a major trigger of itch and therefore cooling the skin can make all the difference. Avoid hot/sweaty exercise (moderate is best), hot spicy foods, ‘heated arguments’ and of course, hot showers (opt for warm instead). You can cool your skin with a cold face cloth, a slice of cold cucumber or even add a drop of peppermint essential oil to your daily moisturizer for a cooling, anti-itch effect. Remember to patch test first!

3. Moisturise, inside and out – dry, rough eczema skin types do well with more moisture. This can include drinking plenty of water, using a humidifier in dry climates and frequently applying a gentle moisturizer. We recommend using eczema friendly oils such as castor and emu to help nourish your skin cells.

4. Barrier repair for skin and gut – There is growing evidence supporting the link between gut and skin health. Both require solid barriers and diverse microbiomes to function optimally. Collagen is a protein found in both animal and plant sources and has shown to support skin and gut structural integrity. Drinking freshly made bone broth is a great source of collagen and may help to provide healing support for damaged eczema skin. Read more about collagen and skin health here (https://www.psoriasiseczema.com.au/how-does-collagen-help-skin/)

5. Material matters – Itchy skin is irritable skin and that means that certain clothing and bedding materials are best avoided. Avoid scratchy materials such as wool and cut the tags off clothing where possible. Heavy clothing and bedding will heat up the skin and promote itch. Instead opt for light cotton or silk where possible – who doesn’t love a pair of silk pajamas!

Sometimes the simplest of changes can make the biggest difference!

The Psoriasis Eczema Clinic is a leading Australia clinic offering Complementary and Alternative therapies for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea and other chronic skin complaints. For individualised advice on steroid free eczema treatments, book a consultation with one of our practitioners today.  Call (03) 9770 5337.

5 Natural Psoriasis Treatments You Can Try At Home Today

5 Natural Psoriasis Treatments You Can Try At Home Today

Psoriasis is best known as a skin condition however it can also be considered a systemic illness due to the involvement of the immune system, joints, nails and comorbidities such as heart disease, obesity and depression. Most treatments target the skin which can be effective at providing relief. However, for longer lasting results, it is also important to address the internal factors that drive the condition.

Psoriasis can benefit greatly from a holistic approach that takes into consideration the total impact of the condition, including mental, physical, social, emotional and financial wellbeing. This is why diet, lifestyle and other natural psoriasis treatments can play such an important role in the treatment and management of this condition. Better yet, many of these treatments are inexpensive, can be found around the home and are readily available for all to try; so why not start today?!

  • Ditch the fats – obesity is not only a risk factor for psoriasis flares but psoriasis is also a risk factor for obesity. Research has showed that psoriasis patients may have poor tolerance of foods high in saturated fatty acids – such as fried foods, processed foods and high fat animal produce. Instead evidence supports high intake of veggies and fresh fish.
  • Salty skin – If you have psoriasis, then you may have experienced that it often improves with the sun and salt (aka ocean swimming). Another word for this is ‘thalassotherapy’ and you can introduce this into your skin care routine by having an Epsom salt bath 1-2 times per week. Just add 2 cups to your next warm bath and soak away. Helps with stress too!
  • Huff and puff – We know exercise is good for us, but it is especially good for psoriasis. Research has shown that vigorous exercise for up to 3 hours per week can help to reduce the risk of psoriasis. Some examples of beneficial exercises include jogging, dancing, bike riding, walking up hills, aerobics, skipping rope and sports like football and tennis. For those prone to friction and injury as a trigger of their psoriasis, it is best to avoid exercises such as rowing or contact sports.
  • A little ray goes a long way – As we spend more and more time indoors, our skin often misses out on receiving its daily dose of vitamin d, a key player in regulating psoriasis inflammation. To get your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin, aim for 15 minutes of sun exposure on bare skin during low UVB times (mid-morning or late afternoon).  Leave at dawn and get home at dust? No problems – just roll your sleeves up and enjoy your lunch break outside. If UVB is strong, limit exposure to about 5 minutes.
  • Turn wine into water – Psoriasis causes very dry, flaky skin that sheds frequently. Staying hydrated helps to keep your skin hydrated and improves skin barrier function. On the other hand, frequent or excess alcohol consumption has been strongly linked to psoriasis severity as well as association nutrient deficiency, liver damage and obesity. Why not challenge yourself to 4 weeks alcohol free and instead replace it with 2L water daily.   

Sometimes the simplest of changes can make the biggest difference!

The Psoriasis Eczema Clinic is a leading clinic offering Complementary and Alternative therapies for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea and other chronic skin complaints. With over 30 years of clinical practice, we are recognized for our effective natural psoriasis treatments Australia wide.

To book a consultation, call (03) 9770 5337.

5 Benefits Of A Holistic Skin Consultation

5 BENEFITS OF A HOLISTIC SKIN CONSULTATION

It can be a daunting experience starting a new treatment.  

 “Will it work this time?”  “How much will it cost?”  “What will I have to change?”

These are all valid questions we deserve to have answered before we commit to a new therapy and practitioner.  Whilst there are no guarantees, knowing what to expect can help make the process that little bit easier and put in place some realistic expectations.

Many patients who decide to take a more holistic approach to their skin treatment often share a similar story of past experience, some of which include;

  • “I’ve tried everything and nothing worked”
  • “I just didn’t feel listened too”
  • “I’m concerned about the side effects”

Whatever the story, the motivation behind taking more holistic approach is to find a safe, effective and natural treatment which takes into consideration the whole person and not just the symptoms.

When it comes to the skin, a holistic approach can have many benefits, including;

1. Getting to the root cause:  Chronic skin conditions can have multiple triggers, including those coming from inside and outside the body.  Addressing the triggers as well as the skin itself, helps to get to the root cause, ensuring longer lasting results

2. A treatment designed for you:  A key benefit of a holistic approach is that it takes into consideration the uniqueness of the individual being treated.  Therefore, instead of a one size fits all approach, treatments can be customised according to your needs

3. Feel listened to: Holistic consultations typically allow for longer appointment times so that a thorough examination can take place and your story can be heard.  After all, you know your body better than anyone and therefore sharing your story can provide key insights for your practitioner

4. Promote healing, naturally:  Holistic treatments typically take a more natural approach, utilizing nutritional, herbal, dietary and lifestyle medicines to not only promote healing but to restore balance and strength to the body’s systems

5. Feel empowered:  A holistic practitioner aims to empower the patient with knowledge, so that they can not only understand the nature of their condition better, but also play a key role in managing, preventing and healing the condition going forward.  Often patients with chronic skin conditions feel powerless and that their body is ‘broken’ or misbehaving in some way.  The alternative perspective is that your body is simply reacting in a protective manner in response to your current environment.  By understanding your body’s needs you can make more informed decisions and take back that control over your health.  

Psoriasis Eczema Clinic is a leading holistic skin clinic Melbourne.  For further enquiries please contact reception on (03) 9770 5337.

When Eczema is NOT Atopic Dermatitis

When Eczema is NOT Atopic Dermatitis

Eczema is a word we associate with images of a red, dry and itchy rash that so many of us experience as children, almost as though it was a rite of passage.  

It is true that eczema is a very common condition that can affect up to 30% of children in Australia. However eczema is not a term used to describe one condition, but a group of conditions that can present with both similarities and key differences.  In fact, the above description most accurately describes atopic dermatitis (also known as extrinsic eczema), which is form of eczema driven by allergy.  Despite 80% of all eczemas fitting into this category, 20% do not.  This eczema type is referred to as intrinsic eczema.

What Is Intrinsic Eczema?

Intrinsic eczema is essentially a form of eczema that is not driven by classic allergens such as dust mite, pollens, grasses and foods.  In contrast to extrinsic eczema, intrinsic eczema often has a later onset, milder presentation, different triggers and a different type of immune response.

What Causes Intrinsic Eczema?

Unlike extrinsic eczema, intrinsic eczema is not associated with a family history of atopy (allergy), such as the atopic triad of eczema, hay fever and asthma.  It is also not linked to the fillagrin gene which has shown to cause skin barrier dysfunction in those with extrinsic eczema.

Some studies have found associations between intrinsic eczema and bacterial colonization, such as Staphlyococcus aureus.  It is therefore possible that intrinsic eczema is linked to imbalances in the microbiome.  

How Do You Know If You Have Intrinsic Eczema?

In addition to meeting the above criteria, those with intrinsic eczema will test negative to allergy tests such as blood tests and skin prick testing. Some studies have also shown that Intrinsic Eczema more commonly affects extensor surfaces (such as the legs and elbows) as opposed to extrinsic which more commonly affects flexures (elbow and knee creases).

How Do You Treat Intrinsic Eczema?

The key differences between extrinsic and intrinsic eczema, highlights how important it is to receive a customised treatment approach as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’ eczema treatment.  Not only does intrinsic eczema have different triggers but it also affects different parts of the body and involves different immune cells.  Taking a holistic, customised treatment approach which recognizes the differences between various types of eczema, will not only help you understand the nature of your condition better, but also help you find a treatment which accurately targets relevant environmental triggers such as diet, lifestyle, microbes, chemicals and more.  

The Psoriasis Eczema Clinic the leading centre for Complementary and Alternative Eczema Treatment –Melbourne.  

Not only do we recognize the difference between eczema types, but we also use our observational skills to customize our topical treatments according to the presentation and body site affected.  Our treatments use natural ingredients which are designed to target the different triggers of eczema conditions and well as relieve the symptoms.

If you are looking for a holistic eczema treatment Melbourne – contact the clinic today on (03) 9770 5337.

Do Keto Diets Help Psoriasis?

Do Keto Diets Help with Psoriasis?

The keto diet is one of the most popular diets for those trying to lose excess fat. It is also well known for its positive health benefits for conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.  But how does the evidence stack up when it comes to the keto diet and psoriasis?

Given psoriasis is associated with increased rates of metabolic syndrome and obesity, one might assume that any successful weight loss regime is a good one.  However, a recent study has shown this may not be the case when it comes to keto.

The evidence

According to co-lead investigator, Barbara Kofler PhD, it’s all in the types of fats.  A well balanced keto diet rich in long chain triglycerides such as olive oil, fish, nuts and avocado, did not worsen skin inflammation, however it also did not improve the skin. In addition to this, a keto diet rich in medium chain triglycerides such as coconut oil, increased skin inflammation.

The other concern over keto diets and psoriasis is when they are not followed consistently.  High fat consumption combined with substantial carbohydrate consumption was also shown to promote the progression of psoriasis- like skin inflammation as well as spontaneous dermatitis in mice.

Several other studies on diet and psoriasis have also confirmed high fat intake to worsen psoriasis inflammation, such as the amounts associated with the typical Western Diet.

The Verdict

So what is the best diet for psoriasis?  Our PEC nutritionist recommends those with psoriasis to follow a modified Mediterranean style diet with plenty of olive oil, fresh fish and plant foods and less processed foods and animal proteins such as eggs and meat.  Read more about the benefits of fresh fish and psoriasis here

Reference:

  1. Felix Locker, Julia Leitner, Sepideh Aminzadeh-Gohari, Daniela D. Weber, Philippe Sanio, Andreas Koller, René Günther Feichtinger, Richard Weiss, Barbara Kofler, Roland Lang. The Influence of Ketogenic Diets on Psoriasiform-Like Skin InflammationJournal of Investigative Dermatology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2019.07.718

Topical Steroids: Are they safe long term?

Topical Steroids: Are they safe long term?

An Natural Health Practitioner’s Perspective

Written by Jessica Simonis – BHScNutMed, AdDipWHM

Topical Steroids (TS) are one of the most frequently prescribed treatments in Dermatology. Their fast acting, anti-inflammatory actions make them popular treatments for patients and prescribers alike.  They are typically prescribed as a short-term treatment to assist with the management of an acute flare. However, in many cases this becomes extended, or the original prescription strengthened if the desired results aren’t achieved.   Many patients prescribed ongoing topical steroids are often concerned about the long term safety and potential side effects.

So what are the risks associated with ongoing TS use how can you avoid them?

Like any medication, Topical Steroid use comes with a list of potential side effects.  These can be short term or long term and often depend on the type of TS you have been prescribed, the frequency and duration of use and the body location they have been applied to.  Understanding the signs and symptoms of TS side effects can be useful in preventing a negative outcome and ensuring that you are getting the most beneficial treatment for your condition.

What are the different types of TS?

TS are classified according to strength:

Class I – super potent – (Clobetasol propionate)

Class II – potent (desoximetasone)

Class III – upper-mid strength (amcinonide)

Class IV – Mid strength (flurandrenolide)

Class V – Lower-mid strength (fluticasone propionate)

Class VI – Mild (Betamethasone valerate)

Class VII – least potent (hydrocortisone)

Why does body site matter?

Different body sites have different skin thickness and therefore absorption rates of topical treatment.  Therefore, stronger TS are typically reserved for areas of thicker skin such as the palms and soles and should be avoided near thin areas of skin such as around the eyes or in young children.

How long should you use TS?

This very much depends on what they have been prescribed for and therefore your prescribing practitioner will advise you on the best course of action.  General recommendations suggest that TS treatment should last no longer than 2 weeks on the face and 3-4 weeks for the rest of the body.  For longer treatment, intermittent therapy such as ‘every other day’ application is advised.  Long term continuous topical therapy use should be avoided where possible, particularly in children.

What are the possible side effects?

  • Skin atrophySkin atrophy, or thinning, is one of the most frequently occurring side effects of long-term TS treatment.  Visible signs can include broken capillaries, stretch marks, and easy tearing or bruising of the skin.  The skin barrier becomes more permeable and can result in lipid content depletion.  Short term skin atrophy changes can be reversed, whilst long term, such as stretch marks may be permanent.
  • TS ResistanceIt is frequently reported that loss of clinical improvement can occur after a period of use.  Recent research suggests this could be due to the presence of bacterial toxins in the skin known as superantigens
  • Topical Steroid Withdrawal – also known as “steroid addiction”, TSW can present with symptoms of significant skin redness, burning sensations, pain, pruritus, heat exacerbation scaling and/or oedema.  The skin goes through continuous cycles of redness and then scaling (also known as erythematous-desquamation-resolution cycle), similar to that of a skin burn.  This condition can be severe and may require medical monitoring for hydration and infection.
  • Skin Inflammation/infection – The use of TS has been associated with the initiation and/or exacerbation of various skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, perioral dermatitis and skin infections.  Correct diagnosis and prescribing helps to avoid this scenario.

I think I have TS side effects, what should I do?

Firstly it is important to discuss this with your prescribing doctor so it can be documented.  If it is decided that you will withdraw from TS use, a safe withdrawal plan is advised.  Abrupt withdrawal can lead to rebound flares, which can be more severe than the original skin condition.

I would prefer to take a natural approach – will this still work?

Natural treatment approaches are best used in chronic skin conditions such as eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis and vitiligo. Typically they are most suited to those who are unresponsive to conventional treatments or where conventional treatments are contraindicated or not the preferred treatment option for the patient (yes, you have the right to make an informed choice).  In the case of a natural treatment approach, it is recommended you see a professional who specializes in the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) for the treatment of chronic skin conditions.  A CAM practitioner can also safely integrate conventional treatments in with natural treatments when required.

Steroid-Free Treatments for Chronic Skin Conditions:

At the PEC our unique treatment protocols combine the best of both a conventional medical understanding with evidence-based natural medicines for the treatment of chronic skin diseases.  We pride ourselves on our holistic approach which focuses on treating the whole person, including the symptoms, underlying triggers and other conditions associated with your condition.  All treatments are steroid-free and use natural ingredients which not only promote healing of disease but also improve the overall health of your skin.

For enquiries, contact the clinic on 03) 9770 5337.

What you need to know about Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) Syndrome

Integrative Dermatology Blog Image

What you need to know about Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) Syndrome

Topical steroid addiction (TSA), topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) or red skin syndrome (RSS) has been found to be a side effect of long term over-use or misuse of topical steroids, particularly in patients with atopic dermatitis (eczema).  Whilst the diagnosis is not broadly recognized, research into the phenomenon is growing along with social media discussions on the topic and patient inquiries into steroid-free eczema treatments.

TSW/TSA is defined as the situation where the skin becomes “resistant” to TS treatment after frequent and prolonged application to sensitive areas, including the face and genitals.  The skin becomes dependent on the TS and exhibits signs of withdrawal on cessation of treatment.   Often the skin develops a more diverse and severe presentation after withdrawal from use of topical steroids, than it had pre-treatment.

TSW/TSA of was first described by Australian researcher  Burry in 1973, where he observed that patients became increasingly unable to do without topical steroids as eczema would reappear shortly after discontinuation.  Rapaport and Lebwohl reported that this rebound reaction can affect the entire body’s surface, renaming it Red Burning Skin Syndrome2.

TSW rebound reaction can last from weeks to months and in some cases years.  The first phase typically involves the spreading of a red and burning rash throughout the body followed by weepy, itchy and scaly skin.  The skin is at heightened sensitivity making it reactive to the slightest stimulus, including seasonal change.

Research into the changes occurring in the skin during TSW has shown epidermal atrophy (skin thinning), immunological changes leading to a Th2 dominance (as often seen in atopic dermatitis), changes to expression of glucocorticoid receptors, and release of stored Nitric Oxide which leads to a dilation of blood vessels and the characteristic redness associated with the condition1.

While there is no agreed upon treatment protocol used for TSW, treatment can include tapered topical steroid use, antibiotics, antihistamines, analgesics and systemic steroids in severe cases.  Other treatments which may be effective include regular moisturising with a hypoallergenic moisturizer, cold packs/cool compresses/wet wrappings, allergen avoidance, and psychological support.  

TSW can be a serious condition and requires professional support and advice, including medical supervision.  The Psoriasis Eczema Clinic takes a holistic and integrative approach to TSW.  We work with the patient to find suitable steroid free eczema treatments, including topical and oral support, to work in safely with medical care.  

If you would like further information about the Psoriasis Eczema Clinic approach, please contact the clinic.

References:

Fukaya, M., Sato, K., Sato, M., Kimata, H., Fujisawa, S., Dozono, H., … & Minaguchi, S. (2014). Topical steroid addiction in atopic dermatitis. Drug, healthcare and patient safety6, 131.

Hajar, T., Leshem, Y. A., Hanifin, J. M., Nedorost, S. T., Lio, P. A., Paller, A. S., … & Simpson, E. L. (2015). A systematic review of topical corticosteroid withdrawal (“steroid addiction”) in patients with atopic dermatitis and other dermatoses. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology72(3), 541-549.

Juhász, M. L., Curley, R. A., Rasmussen, A., Malakouti, M., Silverberg, N., & Jacob, S. E. (2017). Systematic review of the topical steroid addiction and topical steroid withdrawal phenomenon in children diagnosed with atopic dermatitis and treated with topical corticosteroids. Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association9(5), 233-240.

Fresh fish or fish oils: Which is best for healthy skin?

Fresh fish or fish oils

Fish oil supplements can have anti-inflammatory benefits, but is it better to take supplements or eat the real thing? Learn why we rarely prescribe fish oil

Over the years we have heard many arguments for and against the consumption of both fish and fish oil supplements for skin health.  A healthy diet rich in fresh fish would seem like the obvious way of topping up your Omega 3 stores, however fear of mercury contamination and our desire for an easy fix has meant more of us are choosing to take fish oil supplements. But when it comes to treating psoriasis and eczema, are fish oil supplements all they’re cracked up to be?

Diet Vs Supplements: What’s the evidence?

Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids.  These fatty acids are referred to as “essential” because the body cannot make them and therefore we are reliant on regular dietary intake to support the body’s needs.  Omega 3 fatty acids are required for many body functions including regulating inflammation, blood pressure, clotting, platelet aggregation, brain health and reproduction.

Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, it is only natural to feel that taking fish oil tablets would benefit an inflammatory skin condition; however the evidence is mixed at best.  A recent 2018 Meta-Analysis of the use of fish oil supplements to treat psoriasis showed no clinical benefit (Yang, S., et al, 2018).  Similar results have been found with eczema. 

The strongest evidence to date appears to be in favour of the consumption of fresh fish over the use of supplementation.  A 2007 study showed that high fish consumption (more than 1-2 serves per week) during pregnancy and late infancy decreased the fish of atopic dermatitis (LISA study group, 2007).  Fish consumption as part of a Mediterranean style diet may also be beneficial for psoriasis patients due its association with reduced cardiovascular risk factors, a common comorbidity of psoriasis. 

In summary, the evidence points towards ditching the fish oil supplements from your skin care routine and replacing them with more fresh, oily fish as part of a well balanced diet. 

Which Eczema Type Are You?

Cracked Fingers

Which Eczema Type Are You?

Do you know which type of eczema you have?  Chances are the answer is no and you wouldn’t be alone.  The reason for this is that when most patients are diagnosed by their medical professional, they are simply told they have eczema – nothing more, nothing less.

The problem is the word “eczema” can be used as a very broad term to describe a number of different conditions, each with their own set of symptoms, triggers and treatments.

Let’s have a closer look:

Atopic Vs Non-Atopic – Atopic Dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition associated with high risk of related allergies such as asthma and hay fever.   Many of us have heard the terms eczema and atopic dermatitis used interchangeably, however they are not one and the same thing.  It is important to note that not all eczema’s are atopic, which essentially means, they are not all triggered by allergies.  Therefore avoiding common allergens such as dairy, wheat, dust mites and pollens may not make any difference to the skin at all.  If you are not sure if you have atopic dermatitis, your qualified health practitioner can order tests which can confirm this for you.

Patient Age – The age of the eczema sufferer is also relevant.  Studies have shown that children under the age of 5 are more likely to have food allergies than adult patients, who are more likely to have aeroallergens such as dust and pollens.  Those with early onset eczema (from infancy) are also at a higher risk of related allergies such as asthma and hay fever, than those who developed eczema later on in life. There for your age can not only determine if you will have allergy triggers but which ones they are more likely to be.

Acute or Chronic – Research has shown that acute forms of eczema have different immunological drivers to chronic eczema and therefore, should be treated differently. Acute eczema is often very sensitive and reactive, whereas chronic eczema tend to have a higher tolerance to treatments.

Now that you understand that eczema can have many different presentations and treatments, ask yourself this…Have you been prescribed a different treatment depending on the type of eczema you have, or the stage of your flare?

If the answer is no, then you are not getting the treatment you deserve. If you would like an individualized approach to the treatment of your eczema, see here