By Mary Herrington (bio below)
Before November, 2015 I had never heard of Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome. I had been experiencing allergic rashes to jewelry for years. and couldn’t wear anything but yellow gold. What I didn’t know was that a simple nickel allergic reaction on the outside of my body could also cause systemic issues inside my body. Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome (SNAS) causes not only a rash from nickel on one’s hands, eyelids, inner elbows, knees and buttock but can also involve the respiratory system, neurological system and gastrointestinal system.SNAS can cause rhinitis and bronchial asthma, brain fog and hallucinations and even Celiac-like symptoms. Read more
By Jennifer Moyer Darr, LCSW (bio below)
Confidence comes from within and builds over time as children master new skills and develop a sense of competence. While we can’t give our kids with eczema confidence there are some things we can do to help them become more confident and self-assured.
From an early age children pick up on our words, tones, and emotions and often incorporate them into their world view. This means we can help shape their eczema story before they even begin talking. Take a moment to think about how you describe your child’s eczema. Is it a “burden” or “battle” that you have to “endure” or an “illness” that “fosters strength” and “encourages organization?” Is it “just eczema” or “a horrible rash?” While all those statements may be true, reframing negative thoughts/language can help not only us cope more effectively but our children as well. Read more
By Angelique M. Saffle (bio below)
Calendula is known in herbalist circles as the “mother of the skin.” It is a safe and gentle plant, possessing no known drug interactions or adverse effects for long-term use. Calendula in an oil or salve form is the perfect herb for many skin issues on the face and body and should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet in some form.
The petals are composed of resins which contain a potent array of powerful antioxidant compounds. These protect the skin from free-radical damage and play an active role in healing. Calendula has been found to increase collagen and elastin in the skin and can assist in preventing the formation of scar tissue. It feels soothing on application and can be used safely by all ages. Read more
By Ashley of Itchin Since ’87 (See bio below)
Eczema, what a bizarre skin condition it is. I’ve been dealing with atopic dermatitis aka eczema since the age of two. I like to joke around by saying there is truth to the “terrible twos.”
When the doctor diagnosed me with eczema my mother was heartbroken, as she learned there was no known cure. She mentioned how hard it was to watch a two year old continuously scratch her skin off. At the time she didn’t know any better and tried everything to cure it. We used multiple steroids (not a good idea), creams, lotions, injected shots, oatmeal baths and pretty much anything else you could think of. Some worked. Some didn’t. Overall, nothing was permanent. I am 27 now and STILL suffering from this horrible condition. In fact, I wear gloves at night to keep from scratching in my sleep. Read more
A few months ago I was fed up. I was so very tired of planning meals all the time. In fact, I stopped planning altogether and just barely was pulling meals together just before dinner time. I was bored with cooking and honestly, I was getting bored with food. I remember making a few meals and serving my family, but when it came to my plate, I just couldn’t be bothered. I’d rather have eaten cardboard at the time. And honestly, I’m a self-proclaimed foodie, so becoming tired of food was just something that was not supposed to happen to me.
One day, while browsing the Holistic Squid blog, by the amazing Emily Bartlett and acupuncturist and author of incredible amazing Eczema Cure e-book, I came across a new meal planning service using whole foods, Real Plans. The best part? It claimed to be completely customizable for people with food allergies or sensitivities! Read more
When my son, Tristan’s, eczema peaked at 3 years old, he was head to toe covered in red, itchy, dry skin that was inflamed and painful looking. I cried on and off throughout each and every day back then out of sheer frustration over not knowing how to help him and with worry about how this may affect his quality of life, both at the time and in the long-term. Sleep was rare because my husband and I had to take turns laying in bed with Tristan to prevent him from scratching himself until he drew blood. And we had a newborn child that needed us the other half of the night. To make matters worse, my husband and I disagreed, rather intensely at times, about how to best treat Tristan’s skin. My husband wanted to jump back to the topical steroids that were being prescribed at ever-increasing strengths by his pediatric dermatologist and I felt in my heart that it wasn’t the answer for Tristan. You can read more about our journey with topical steroids here.
They were dark times for my family and I can honestly say I hit rock bottom. I remember calling a nurse at National Jewish Hospital and just sobbing over the phone. I had dreamed about taking Tristan there, but since we lived in Canada, it was going to be too difficult. I think I just wanted a connection with their Atopic Clinic. Of course they couldn’t provide me any real advice over the phone, but it was nice to speak with a nurse that understood what I was going through.
After that call, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was determined to heal my son and wasn’t going to give up until I did. I needed to find some natural remedies for eczema to help him.
And guess what? I did it! Read more
Effectively treating eczema at home may be challenging, but it’s possible when armed with your arsenal of skin care, natural eczema treatments and trigger-free foods. The question is, what do you do when travelling? It’s far too easy for eczema to flare up if your daily skin care regimen is neglected. In addition, it’s not unheard of to have an exacerbation of eczema from ingesting “hidden” trigger foods when eating out in restaurants. If you or your little ones suffer from eczema, travelling can be problematic and stressful, but can easily be controlled with a little planning.
Below are some suggestions to keep eczema symptoms under control whether you are in flight, on a train rolling through the hills of Tuscany or spending the night in a hotel or at a family member’s home. Read more
By Diana Hermann (bio below)
Zi Zai Dermatology’s Little Red Rash™ Ointment is an herbal ointment designed specifically as a red rash treatment. Instead of beeswax, it contains a plant-based wax called candelilla wax, making it a vegan eczema ointment. This makes it an excellent option for those who have a beeswax allergy or propolis allergy (which is sometimes found in beeswax).
The most important ingredients of this vegan eczema ointment are the Chinese herbs that are infused into high-quality organic extra virgin olive oil. According to the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), these herbs work on an energetic level to clear Heat, Dry Damp, and Resolve Toxins*. In TCM we describe red rashes as having “Heat”. When skin lesions ooze or weep, TCM says these types of lesions are of the “Damp” or maybe even “Toxin” type. Papules (tiny bumps seen in some rashes) can form as a result of Heat, Damp and/or Toxins. These energetic factors can combine in many ways to create imbalances in the skin that lead to rashes.
The Chinese herbs in our Little Red Rash™ Ointment are all plants (or parts of plants) that we use very often in TCM Dermatology. Read more
Although everyone’s bodies are unique and it’s best to undergo a naturopathic evaluation to determine the best route to healing, the following five general tips for healing eczema naturally are beneficial for anyone.
1. Anti-inflammatory Diet
Eat a predominantly plant-based diet that is colorful, full of dark leafy greens and seasonal vegetables including sweet potatoes, onions, beets, carrots, kale, spinach, and zucchini. To get started, find a good cookbook, like Anti-Inflammatory Eating Made Easy.
2. IgG Food Allergy Panel
This test will look for inflammation in your body caused by eating certain foods – the most common sensitivities are gluten/wheat, dairy, eggs, and yeast, but they vary from person to person. Eliminating the foods that trigger inflammation in your body will calm the immune system’s hyper reaction to these foods, and help to resolve eczema.
You can read more about the various types of food testing HERE. Read more
November is National Eczema Awareness Month in Canada. We’re continuing to raise awareness via The Eczema Song, which is now available on iTunes! And if you somehow missed the launch of the video last month (for Awareness Month in the US), you can watch it here on YouTube.
I wanted to introduce to you to the extraordinary man behind the lyrics of our song, singer/songwriter, Kyle Dine. And guess what? He has eczema too! This Canadian has been making magic happen at schools all across North America for years with his fun, but educational musical performances about food allergies. This year he released his first DVD based on these shows. The DVDs will help Kyle reach many more children and schools around the world by offering translations in multiple different languages. How cool is that?!
Here’s a little Q&A we were honored to do with Kyle: Read more