What is Eczema?
The skin is the largest organ in a person’s anatomy. It has millions of tiny pores needed for processing matter in and out of the body. Environmental irritants, such as household chemicals, laundry detergents, food allergies, dry weather, and even stress and anxiety can challenge the body’s immune system, and the skin can become deficient in processing these substances through its many pores. When the skin exhibits this deficiency, the outer layer can become chronically inflamed, and it is this inflammation that leads to eczema. Eczema is an allergic reaction and manifests itself as oozing blisters on the skin, which lead to redness, itching, and dryness. The dryness can cause itching and scratching, and if the sufferer scratches the blisters excessively, then the condition can turn into ulcerations of the skin, with the potential for infection. Children under the age of 5 are particularly prone to getting eczema.
How can I treat Eczema?
Traditional Chinese medicine considers the skin to be governed by the lung network, which also includes the large intestine. When the large intestine becomes deficient in cleansing the body of impure substances through constipation and other conditions of the bowel, a damp or toxic heat creates the lesions on the skin. This can be treated through a diet of foods that nourish the skin, such as fish, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, broccoli, carrots, olives, apples, and pineapple. It is also important to drink at least 80 ounces of water per day and to consider other remedies, such as moisturizing the skin with calendula oil twice a day and soaking affected areas in a lukewarm bath with one-third cup each of sulfur powder, Epsom salt, and olive oil. Stress reduction exercises such as tai chi and qi gong are also helpful for treating eczema.
What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Eczema?
It is important to consume fewer foods that may cause allergic reactions on the skin, including processed foods with artificial additives, dairy products, shellfish, peanuts, white flour and white sugar, and spicy, greasy foods. It is also good to avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking, temperature changes, and stress and anxiety.
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