When the Skin Erupts: Healing Eczema and Psoriasis

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When those painful, itchy patches of eczema and psoriasis erupt, my goal is to determine, 'what is causing this condition to present at this time?'

The Greek translation of eczema means "to boil out," so the question makes sense: what is the underlying root causes that bring about these skin eruptions? Although they create similar discomforts for the people afflicted, psoriasis and eczema are different in important ways.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that results in an overproduction of skin cells. As the dead skin cells build-up, they form thick, scaly white patches that are visible on the skin's surface. The skin itches terribly and is inflamed.

Eczema

Eczema (aka atopic dermatitis) also can be chronic, but it tends to come and go in response to certain triggers (e.g., weather changes, irritating cosmetics, or an allergic reaction).

Eczema is common in infants and children, and may even go dormant for a time. Some people, however, suffer terribly throughout their lifetime.

When eczema is active, skin is inflamed, dry, peeling and may blister.

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Root Causes of Eczema and Psoriasis

  • Food sensitivity/ allergy

  • Deficiency in one or more vitamins or minerals

  • Low-quality diet (high in saturated fats, processed foods, sugar, etc.)

  • Poor gut health/ Leaky Gut Syndrome

  • Emotional/ Mental Stress

  • Exposure to toxins and/or inadequate ability to detoxify

Treatment of Eczema and Psoriasis

Conventional treatment plans typically use steroids to simply manage symptoms (i.e., itching); however, steroids can have harmful side effects, such as suppressing overall immunity, and they don't resolve the root problem.

Natural therapies, on the other hand, work to correct the underlying imbalance that caused the body to react in the first place, offering relief without the unwanted side effects of steroid treatments.

Natural Therapies for Eczema and Psoriasis

One or more of the following natural therapies may be part of an individualized holistic treatment plan:

  • Dietary changes to include more nutrient dense, clean foods

  • Remove foods from the diet that cause inflammation

  • Nutritional supplements to restore balance or deficiency (e.g., zinc, vitamin D/ E/ A)

  • Balance gut flora using probiotics and other approaches

  • Increase intake of Essential Fatty Acids, which are important to skin health

  • Support for mental/emotional stress

  • Identify and minimize toxin exposure

  • Support liver function, the body's detox organ

Additionally, to temporarily soothe symptoms, I sometimes recommend nourishing the skin with herbal salves and essential oil baths specific to individual needs. Some common botanical ingredients are calendula, lavender, chamomile, rose, Manuka honey, tea tree, among many others. 

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Psoriasis and Eczema can quickly become chronic and severe, and the wrong treatments can make things far worse. Consult with me to identify the appropriate therapies for you or your loved one.

 

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