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.

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.

Eczema News: Are you steroid resistant?

Eczema News - Steroid resistant

Jessica Simonis – Nutritionist and Western Herbalist

Chances are you are familiar with the term ‘antibiotic resistance’ but what about topical steroid resistance?  Yes, it is a thing, and here is what you need to know…

Topical steroids have been the basis of eczema treatment for over 50 years and can provide fast acting anti-inflammatory benefits.  Whilst short term use can be beneficial, long term use can be associated with various side effects, including a gradual reduction in effectiveness over time (aka topical steroid resistance).

One of the explanations for this resistance is related to the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacteria which can become pathogenic in up to 90% of eczema cases.  Research has found S. aureus produces toxins (AKA Superantigens) which can be found in the lesions of eczema skin.  These toxins are responsible for the release of significant amounts of inflammatory cytokines which correlate with the severity of eczema, including symptoms of itch as well as a resistance to the anti-inflammatory effects of topical steroids.  Studies have shown that a combination of anti-inflammatory treatments with antibiotic therapy works better than just the anti-inflammatory on its own, suggesting that the Staphylococci bacteria and their toxins may play a role in suppressing the benefits of topical steroid treatments.  aren’t working,

So if antibiotics and steroids stop working, what’s left?

The answer lies in nature of course! New research has found that herbal bioactive ingredients, including thymol and farnesol, have demonstrated a direct action on S. aureus bacteria and superantigens, including antibiotic resistant strains.  These ingredients are found in extracts of herbs such as thyme and the peel of citrus fruits.  Topical application of these ingredients has shown great benefit in the treatment of chronic eczema presentations. Read more here

The Psoriasis Eczema Clinic uses unique protocols to treat stubborn chronic skin conditions. Our topical treatments contain utilise nutritional and herbal bioactive ingredients, shown to be effective in the treatment of superantigen associated skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis (JBRHA, Vol 30, No.2 (S3), April-June 2016). For more information on PEC Founder, Professor Tirant’s research into Superantigens and Skin conditions, see here