Eczema is that red, itchy, rash-like skin condition that affects so many of us. It causes the skin to become inflamed, irritated and dry. The uncomfortable ailment is not age specific and can develop in babies, children and adults on just about any part of the body at any time during the course of a lifetime.
Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, the condition is linked to an overactive immune response to irritants and is commonly found in people with a history of asthma or allergies. Some may experience flare-ups if the skin comes into contact with certain materials, for others soaps can trigger a response. Many are affected by pet hair, hormonal changes or extreme weather conditions. Stress can aggravate the condition.
There is no cure for eczema, but it is manageable. Here are some natural ways to support your skin health and alleviate symptoms:
- Bath or shower in lukewarm water and use mild or non-soap cleansers
- Gently pat the skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing
- Moisturise your skin daily to alleviate itchiness and inflammation using a product like African Potato Cream
- Wear loose fitting, soft fabrics that won’t scratch the skin
- Avoid extreme changes in temperature and if possible, avoid sweating
- Monitor your response to certain foods and avoid those foods that may cause flare-ups
- Vacuum carpets regularly to avoid allergic responses, especially if you have pets
- Be aware of your hormonal cycles and take special care of your skin during those times
- Reduce your stress
There are many varying types of eczema and degrees of severity. If you are unable to manage your eczema, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.