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.

Autumn Newsletter 2021

Autumn Newsletter 2021

Wow – what a rollercoaster!

Since checking in with you last the clinic has been open, closed and open again! No matter what comes our way in 2021, we are pleased to offer our patients consistency of care via our Telehealth and postal services. This has provided convenience and flexibility during lockdowns but also helps us to care for our distance patients around Australia and the globe, from Ireland all the way to Qatar.

For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, we hope you have all had a restful summer, with some time to recuperate from 2020, For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, we hope you are keeping safe and warm as this cold snap passes through.

At the PEC, we now look towards Autumn, a transition season which allows us to prepare for the more extreme changes of weather to come. The theme of this months newsletter is therefore PREPARATION. If your skin typically flares in the winter or summer, now is the time to take preventative steps to build and strengthen your immunity and skin barrier function. A combination of self care, a great topical therapy routine (we have you covered) and functional foods (see below tips) should see you fully prepared for a healthy and happy Autumn/winter season.

Jessica Simonis – PEC Practitioner/Manager

Functional Foods for Stronger Immunity

If you have skin disease, then you also have immune imbalance. Your immune system, when in good health, is your defense against injury (think scratching), toxins and infection. In chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and eczema, your immune system is chronically activated against a perceived or actual threat. This constant state of activation increases the demand for energy and nutrients, making it even more important to consume a balanced, nutrient-rich diet in order to support optimal immune cell function.

Functional foods are foods that have demonstrated positive health effects, beyond basic nutrition. They can promote enhancement of well-being, improve quality of life and/or reduce risk of disease. Best of all they are foods which can (and should) be consumed as part of your everyday diet.

Here are our top 3 functional food suggestions to get your immune system in top shape this Autumn.

1) Dietary fibre –Found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrains, dietary fibre supports the immune system by helping to regulate intestinal bacterial balance and gut barrier function. This has shown to reduce allergic inflammation (great for eczema)

2) Home grown fruit and veg – Nothing tastes quite as good as your own home-grown food. Not only is it rewarding to spend time in nature, but home grown food is also free of herbicides and pesticides. It also hasn’t been frozen, cooked or radiated. In other words, it is in its natural state with all the beneficial nutrients and microbes to help encourage a diverse microbiome and healthy immune system. Eat a mix of raw and cooked plant foods for full benefits.

3) Eat ‘Mediterranean style’ – There is a reason why the Mediterranean Diet is one of the most researched diets for inflammatory conditions. With a focus on plant oils, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fish, this diet is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds including essential fatty acids and polyphenols. NB Skip the red wine and tomatoes if your skin is itchy!

Make it your goal to eat more immune building, functional foods this Autumn

Meet our newest team member – Susan!

We feel very lucky to have Susan join us as part of the PEC Team. She brings with her a great deal of warmth and empathy, as well as a wealth of knowledge from her many years of experience as a qualified natural health practitioner and educator. Susan will be working in reception and dispensary.

Product Special- 5 + 1 FREE

Our Moisturising Bar has been one of our most popular clinic products for decades and has more recently become a top seller through our Soratinex OTC range – no surprises there. If you haven’t tried it, you are seriously missing out.

Soratinex Moisturizing Bar is a gentle soap and shampoo alternative, perfect for those with sensitive skin of the body and scalp. Rich in natural oils and antioxidants, this luxurious Bar gently cleanses whilst nourishing the hair and skin. Contains Vitamin E, Lavender oil, Sweet almond oil, Evening Primrose oil, Avocado oil and Chamomile Oil. Clinical trials have shown these ingredients help promote the healing of dry, rough and flaky skin.

We have a 5+ 1 Free offer on this product, only available through clinic purchases. Replace your current body wash/soap with the Moisturising bar and you will help improve your skins lipid profile and reduce dryness as you prepare for weather changes ahead.

Purchase in clinic or place your order by phone – 03) 9770 5337 or email – info@psoriasiseczema.com.au.

Key Dates to Remember

  • Monday 8th March – Clinic Closed for Labour Day
  • Friday 2nd April – Clinic closed for Good Friday
  • Monday 5th April – Clinic closed for Easter Monday

Circadian Rhythm and Chronic Skin Conditions – What’s the link?

Circadian Rhythm and Chronic Skin Conditions

Keeping a chronic skin condition stable when your hormones are running wild can feel like a constant uphill battle.  Not only do we have fluctuating male and female hormones to contend with, but there are stress hormones, sleep hormones and glucose regulating hormones to name a few, all of which work together to create our natural internal rhythm or “circadian clock”.

When we are in balance, our circadian rhythm responds to external cues appropriately.  For example, we are energetic during the day light, sleepy at sun down, hungry during the middle of the day and if female, menstruating in a 4 weekly pattern.   In modern day life, where blue lit screens are often the last thing we see before bed, gyms are open 24/7 and the working day starts and finishes in the dark, it’s no wonder our rhythms go awry. 

So how does this affect the skin?

 Like many organs, the skin is regulated by a central clock known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus which receives light through the retina and passes messages along to other internal clocks via neural and hormonal pathways. It also has its own internal clock system which regulates changes in activity according to the time of day.  For instance, research has shown skin to do the majority of DNA and cellular repair work during the night time.  Skin cells also divide and proliferate more at night, are less hydrated, more acidic and at a slightly higher temperature than during the day, often setting the scene for an uncomfortable night’s sleep for many eczema and psoriasis sufferers.

What can you do to regulate your circadian rhythm and improve your skin?

It’s all in the timing:  Research has shown that the application of topical skin treatments is best timed at night to not only help alleviate the symptoms but to also help optimize repair at a time where the skin needs it most.

Routine, routine, routine:  A regular routine is essential to a healthy circadian and hormonal rhythm.  Chronic disruption to routine such as through shift work, irregular eating patterns or frequent travel can contribute towards flares.  Do your best to time activities within your control, such as regular meal times, breathing exercises, and limiting blue light exposure and/or caffeine before sleep.

Rise with the sun:  The best way to reset your rhythm is to rise with the sun.  Get your 15 minutes of vitamin D exposure and enjoy what nature has to offer before – there’s no better way to start your day. =2

How can gut health affect your immunity?

Immune Health

How can gut health affect your immunity?

Written by Jessica Simonis – Nutritionist, Western Herbalist, Holistic Skin Practitioner

Immune health plays a key role in multiple skin diseases, including psoriasis and eczema, but what does gut health have to do with your immune system? 

The health of our gut plays a significant role in determining the health of our immune system.  Gut associated lymph tissue (GALT) is the largest immune organ in the body, and the primary route of exposure to pathogens.  Essentially GALT acts as the gate keeper, keeping the balance between health promoting microbes (eg.probiotics) and disease promoting microbes (eg. pathogenic bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses).   When we are healthy, the gate keeper is fairly tolerant, ignoring a certain amount of nasty microbes as long as the balance is in favour of probiotics.

When we experience an imbalance in the gut microbes, the gate keeper becomes intolerant and hyper responsive leading to imbalances in the immune system, including chronic inflammation, allergy, autoimmunity and vulnerability to infection.

How will I know if my gut is out of balance?

Research has shown that those with chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, demonstrate alterations in their gut bacteria.  Symptoms of an imbalanced gut microbiome are not always expressed in digestive symptoms and therefore further investigations via stool testing may be required. 

So, how can you keep your gut in balance?

Frequent exposure to a diverse range of probiotics is important in order to keep the nasty microbes in check but also to help maintain the health of the gate itself (aka the gut barrier).  Ways to increase your microbial diversity include:

  • Increase consumption of plant based, fibrous foods (fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds)
  • Include fermented foods, such as yoghurt and kefir (these are best kept to small amounts for those with inflammatory skin conditions due to histamine content)
  • Spend plenty of times outdoors immersed in nature (get your hands dirty!)
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and opt for antibiotic-free/organic  meat and dairy products where possible
  • Avoid high sugar and high fat diets, which promote inflammation and growth of pathogenic microbes

If you would like to know more about how your gut health could be affecting your immune system, contact the Psoriasis Eczema Clinic today.