Eczema can start early in life. And if you’ve struggled with it, you know it can become an annoying and sometimes painful, chronic problem.

To treat eczema, first you need to understand its root cause.

Although it appears on your skin, eczema is actually a gut issue. It’s not caused by anything topical, but it can be exacerbated by synthetic perfumes and preservatives in the majority of self-care products. Eczema is the symptom of gut microbiome imbalance. But what exactly does this mean?

It means the good and bad bacteria in your intestines are out of whack. This is caused by a long list of things that may include the consumption of processed foods, hydrogenated oils, white sugar, corn syrup, food additives, and antibiotics, as well as environmental toxins. Surprisingly, we can even inherit the inclination toward eczema at birth. But it’s what we eat and how we live our lives that can tip that predisposition into motion.

The treatment of eczema can sometimes require a radical diet change that replaces the irritants with whole, nutrient-dense natural food — food that is rich in beneficial essential fatty acid oils, like evening primrose oil, fish oil, and others. At the very least, treating eczema will require the removal of gluten, processed foods, and all forms of sugar.

That being said, while addressing these internal triggers, there are many things you can do to support your skin externally while it recovers.

Stop what you’re doing. Immediately halt the use of all conventional, skincare products and essential oils, as they are loaded with impure ingredients causing unnecessary inflammation, exhaustion, stress, dehydration, and a disabled skin barrier function.

Don’t worry about bacteria. The misplaced obsession to kill bacteria is completely unnecessary, as your skin’s surface will naturally and effortlessly become inhospitable to bad bacteria during this healing process.

Don’t overdo it. The first mistake many people make is over-cleansing with a harsh cleanser in an attempt to kill bacteria that is incorrectly being blamed for the redness. Ironically, this causes more irritation.

Don’t tone. Toners are also not a good idea, as they result in the same end. Basically, avoid acids, astringents, and products for anti-aging, acne, and large pores. Less is more when it comes to cleansing.

Don’t dehydrate. Avoid popular clay masks and cleansers with “delicious” smelling essential oils, like lavender, tea tree, peppermint, cedar, and all citrus oils, as these have a dehydrating final effect. Hydration is the single best thing we can give our skin that promotes healthy skin function, so inadvertently drying out our skin is not the right direction to go.

No shortcuts. Avoid cleansing wipes altogether. They are chemical cocktails, ineffective, and dehydrating. Cleansing wipes are not a viable shortcut hack.

What to do:

Minimal cleansing. Plain, warm (never hot) water, steam, a bit of coconut oil, and a gentle washcloth is completely sufficient. Cold or cool water can be used on days that skin is gripped by an episode.

Exfoliate often and wisely. A weekly enzyme pack for exfoliation is worlds better than over-scrubbing aggressively, which will only strip skin, bring anxiety, and create an oil imbalance. Check out Skin Harmonics’ Revive Exfoliating Pack (finding a comparable product in the mainstream market is close to impossible). Sadly, many people are still unaware of the benefits of not dehydrating the skin during much needed exfoliation.

Know your type and build your barrier:
Dry Eczema (dry, flakey, red, angry) requires more hydration and barrier restoration. Generously apply a refreshing hydrating mist, like a pure rose spray or food-grade aloe vera gel, coupled immediately with a thick barrier restoration cream.

Wet eczema (moist, flakey, red, angry) requires less hydration and barrier restoration. Rinse with plain spring water, apply a small amount of food-grade aloe vera gel, and put a thin layer of a rich barrier cream on top. It also requires fresh air. Some wet eczema responds positively to occasional small 3 to 7 minutes bursts of sun exposure.

Seek purity. Consider the purity of water you are showering and bathing in as a possible trigger.

Real healing is a process, a sequence, and steps cannot be skipped or rushed when it comes to healing eczema. Slow down, get informed, be open to new ideas, locate a Functional Medicine doctor, get a panel of blood work tests, find a Skin Harmonics skin health provider who can take you through all of the steps.

Keep learning about what the new paradigm shift means for your skin…practically.
Harm to heal is OUT and Nourish to Heal is IN.
Real healing is a beautiful process.
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