Monday, 19 January 2015

Curing Eczema

Axhilirit E (eczema) Moisturizers - same wonderful products - New International Packaging! 
Axhilirit Eczema Oil and Cream has been renamed to Axhilirit E Moisturisers
Exact same product - new name - new packaging

Can Eczema-type skin conditions be cured?

Eczema has reached new pandemic levels with pharmaceutical medication not delivering relief as it used to. As a result, people with eczema symptoms are turning in desperation to alternatives to try and alleviate their conditions.

The pattern is as follows:
You have a dry and itchy skin, toddle off to the doctor or specialist who prescribes a pharmaceutical product that might or might not suppress the condition for a while, just for it to flare-up with a vengeance as soon as you have completed your course of medication that needed a second bond to afford (normally between the first and second bond repayments) or your favourite trigger, stress, rears its head.

Sounds familiar?

Then, when you ask your medical practitioner why you get eczema, a host of reasons are given without making any sense, right?
The reason for this is because, after all the years of treating the condition known by different names depending on where on your body it should choose to appear, no-one really knows why the body of eczema sufferers reacts to stimuli by causing a low grade anti-inflammatory response. This is a typical symptom of all auto-immune conditions.

The medical fraternity has not yet found a cure for eczema and what they seem to present as a solution is no longer providing any relief to patients.

The best solution for eczema sufferers is to take control of their situation, educate themselves on all aspects of their condition, and find a balanced way of managing it.

The following suggestions are from personal experience and investigations from thousands of individual's blogs and public forums. People may differ from my opinion, but it is just that, my personal opinion and hopefully some eczema sufferer might find a light bulb moment on this blog post.

1. Find your triggers
Whether it is food, DNA related, emotional or environmental, at least from here you can start to eliminate the triggers.

1.1 The Food trigger
Because food is no longer food (with all the preservatives and additives and mixing up of genetic GMO) be careful what you put in your body. Even milk, eggs or meat from animals fed with GMO modified products can trigger eczema and should be avoided if possible or at least used sparingly. In my case I found no problem with natural soybean, but GMO soybean turned out to be almost lethal (Shucks! they even started putting it into my favourite brand of chocolate!!!).

All commercially available maize and soy products in South Africa contain GMO and should be consumed with caution. Most bread, cookies and breakfast cereal contains maize or soy. Soy is also a hidden ingredient even in sweets such as chocolate and ice-cream, so check those labels as well.
Read the labels of all processed and canned goods and avoid those with too many ingredients you cannot pronounce.
Eat as fresh as possible or grow your own food garden if you have a patch of earth available to do so.
This might seem expensive eating, but compared with what you will eventually save on eczema products and discomfort, it is doubly worth your while.

1.2 Allergy triggers
There is a whole debate about where the recent (30 years or so) allergy pandemic comes from, but that is a whole other issue. Get yourself tested, even if it is only a skin allergy test at a clinic. Make sure you know what you are allergic to in order to avoid those triggers. It makes for a far better life when you know for sure what to avoid.

1.3 Environmental Triggers
Not much one can do about these, but note that eczema on the hands, in the face and neck can be triggered by contact with simple things like paper or soap. Protect your exposed skin and do not touch your face or neck while using known skin irritants.

Pollution is another eczema trigger and goes hand-in-hand with asthma. Impure air or smog is one of the great triggers, especially in children. In the UK, scientists tested female subjects that had washed their faces and cleaned off as many chemicals as possible before going to work. At the end of the day analysis showed that they had collected more than 320 additional chemicals on the skin of their necks and faces from their environment at the end of the day. Scary!

Then comes stress, the number one trigger, overlooked many a time by doctors and missed by most eczema sufferers.
Most people have ways of dealing with stress. In eczema-prone people the stress levels can show in the skin. This is apparently because of the increased level of stress hormones in the blood stream causing the auto-immune flare-up.

1.4 Family History
If you have a family history of eczema or asthma, it is highly likely that you will inherit the condition (thank goodness government has not found a way to tax this kind of inheritance).
These can be managed, but will always be an underlying threat to a comfortable skin.
The main DNA related eczema-type condition is called Psoriasis and thus far can only be managed.
Unfortunately, again, it walks hand-in-hand with the same type of triggers as eczema with the main trigger being stress.

2. Find a treatment regimen that works for you
There are many products, means and ways for eczema sufferers to alleviate their specific symptoms. Here are but a few.

2.1 Health Care Practitioners
If you choose the main stream medical method, find someone who will spend time with you and answer your questions or at least try and assist you in finding something that works for you.
Stay alert, for eczema can become a serious and debilitating threat and certain skin conditions left untreated can become life threatening. If the regular bout of eczema does not abate with your normal treatment or worsens rapidly, see a medical practitioner.
If the eczema area is open, bleeding, swollen or hot to the touch, see a medical practitioner immediately. A fever also indicates some form of infection and you may need supportive medication.

2.2 Be aware of Topical Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome
Many people have reported that their eczema does not respond to topical cortisone or steroid containing products after a few cycles.
The resulting withdrawal symptoms are called TSW and simply mean that the body seems to see the steroids and cortisone as toxins that are then removed through the skin, causing severe flare-ups that do not settle with more exposure to corti-costeroids.
In this regard, most TSW sufferers have chosen to wait it out, allowing the skin to do its own thing, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it is. Over time, it gets better and the skin eventually settles down, with only the odd flare-ups now and again.
This is my wife's eleventh year after TSW and she has been flare-up free for the last 5 years while managing her condition.

2.3 Moisturize
In a lot of cases, an effective moisturizing regime takes care of the eczema as well as the dry, itchy skin.
Best topical products to use seem to be as natural as possible.
q     Olive oil if you are not allergic to it.
q     Plain coconut oil or cream is used as the preferred natural moisturizer.
q     Baobab and Jojoba oil is just as good if you are not allergic to nuts.
q     Pharmaceutical grade petroleum jelly (sterile and non-carcinogenic, also called White Vaseline in South Africa), as it locks the skin's own moisture in. It is just a bit of a messy business.
Other sufferers have found their own lotions and potions that work for them.
The Axhilirit Eczema Cream (oleoresin, coconut, baobab, jojoba mix) was specifically developed to suite my wife's condition.
Avoid products with flavourants, fragrances and any artificial or chemical additives.
Use natural soaps wherever possible. Natural soaps can be found in Pharmacies and Health Stores.

2.4 Go Cold Turkey
Some eczema sufferers have decided to stop all treatments - not using ANYTHING on their skins, going on detox diets and allowing the skin to 'do its own thing'. This does not work for everyone. In a busy society the world does not stop for people to sort out their skin problems, with many an eczema sufferer having to take time off for prolonged treatment at a facility or change careers in order to manage themselves.

2.5 Try different products
There are many products on the market for eczema-prone skin, pharmaceutical, natural and cosmetic. In many cases it takes years for a sufferer to find something that works for their specific skin.
In our search seeking a product my wife's skin responds to, we have found that some products worked well, but would disappeared off the market in due course.  
I was fortunate enough to (accidentally) develop the natural products that worked best for her skin, so I trust that she will have this available for as long as she should need it.

3. Rural meeting Cosmopolitan
In South Africa, many people work in urban areas, learning and experiencing many new things including how to manage eczema appropriately.
Then, when it is holiday season and they return to their traditional roots, they take home with them the new knowledge on how to deal with issues, including skin issues.

It is with joy that I hear about clients going home and sharing their knowledge with their family members. When we receive the feel-good stories, I know that my mission of assisting people to open their minds to find solutions to their skin problems has been accomplished.

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Note: The above is based on the personal opinion of the writer. The relevant information has been compiled from 20 years of personal experience and feedback from clients. Contact a healthcare practitioner if eczema-type symptoms persist.