A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Dermatitis
I had a question the other day about dermatitis.
Dermatitis is a general term for any type of inflammation of the skin.
Types of dermatitis include atopic dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, and allergic contact dermatitis.
The inflammation of your skin produces scaling, flaking, thickening, weeping, crusting, color changes, and, often, itching.
Several underlying problems can lead to eczema, including hypochlorhydria (low levels of hydrochloric acid in your stomach), “leaky gut syndrome” (where your intestines become porous and allow tiny particles of undigested food to enter your bloodstream, provoking allergic reactions), candidiasis (an overgrowth of yeast in your system), food allergies, and a genetically based weakness in a specific enzyme.
Many cases of dermatitis are simply the result of allergies.
This type is called allergic contact dermatitis.
Skin inflammation may be linked to contact with perfumes, cosmetics, rubber, medicated creams and ointments, latex, plants like poison ivy, and/or metals or metal alloys like gold, silver, and nickel found in jewelry or zippers.
Some people with dermatitis are sensitive to sunlight.
Whatever the irritant, if your skin remains in constant contact with it, the dermatitis is likely to spread and become more severe.
Stress, especially chronic tension, can cause or exacerbate dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis affects allergy-prone individuals.
It typically appears on your face, in the bends of your elbows, and behind your knees, and is very itchy.
In children, it usually appears in the first year of life, and almost always in the first 5 years.
Over half of the infants who have this condition get better by the age of 18 months.
Triggers vary, but tend to include cold or hot weather, a dry atmosphere, and exposure to allergens, stress, and infections like colds.
If other family members have histories of hay fever, asthma, or atopic dermatitis, it’s more likely a child will be diagnosed with it.
Nummular (“coin-shaped”) dermatitis is a chronic condition in which round, scaling lesions appear on your limbs.
It may be caused by an allergy to nickel and is often associated with dry skin.
Dermatitis herpetiformis is a very itchy type of dermatitis associated with intestinal and immune disorders.
This form of dermatitis may be triggered by eating dairy products and/or gluten.
Seborrhea is a form of dermatitis most commonly affecting your scalp and/or face.
To deal with dermatitis it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Blackthorn, blueberry leaf, hawthorn berry, and rue contain flavonoids excellent for reducing inflammation.
*Chamomile can be taken internally or used to soothe your skin. It reduces inflammation. (Don’t use if you’re allergic to ragweed, during pregnancy or nursing, or if taking warfarin or cyclosporine.)
*Poultices combining dandelion and yellow dock root can be helpful.
*These herbs can be used in tea or capsule form: dandelion, myrrh, pau d’arco, and red clover.
*To relieve itching and promote healing, mix goldenseal root powder with vitamin E oil, then add a little honey until it’s the consistency of a loose paste. Apply this mixture to the affected area.
*Gotu kola contains powerful antioxidants and promotes the formation of lipids and proteins essential for healthy skin.
*Grape seed extract reduces inflammation and rids your body of toxins.
*Oregon grape root detoxifies your body and reduces inflammation.
*Wild pansy can be used externally to treat bruises and various skin ailments. It’s especially good against psoriasis and acne and can be used on eczema and cradle cap in infants.
*Add brown rice and millet to your diet.
*Avoid eggs, peanuts, soy foods, wheat, dairy products, sugar, strawberries, chocolate, white flour, fats, fried foods, and processed foods.
*Try a gluten-free diet for 6 weeks, then add gluten-containing foods back to your diet one at a time, and see if your condition changes.
*Don’t eat foods containing raw eggs, which contain a protein binding to biotin and preventing it from being absorbed. Biotin is needed for skin and scalp disorders.
*Try keeping your home humidified and take fewer showers and baths. Showers and baths deplete your skin of its natural oils.
*Use a perfume-free moisturizing lotion daily.
*For dermatitis of your scalp, make a strong, concentrated tea of rosemary, comfrey, tea tree oil (add the tea tree oil after the tea is made), dried nettles, and witch hazel, and apply it to your scalp after shampooing with a fragrance-free shampoo. Leave it on your scalp for 10-15 minutes.
*Massage tea tree oil antiseptic cream into your skin after contact with water or irritants.
*Keep your colon clean. Use a fiber supplement. (Always take supplemental fiber separately from other supplements and medications.)
*Chemicals used in bubble bath products may cause dermatitis and may even irritate the tissues of your lower urinary tract enough to cause bloody urine. This is most likely to occur if you soak in treated bathwater for too long.
*Primrose oil and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) have helped infants with dermatitis.
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