Allergy Awareness Week: focus on eczema

April 22, 2019 9:02 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s Allergy Awareness Week and this year the focus is on allergic eczema. We’re mainly about food, at Naturally Good Food of course – but food has a proven link to eczema. We also sell a whole host of naturally good toiletries and household cleaners that are really useful for eczema sufferers.

What’s eczema – and what’s its link to allergies?

How can we help you if you suffer from ecezma?

Eczema is also known as ‘atopic eczema’ or ‘atopic dermatitis’. It’s a condition causing inflammation and intense irritation of the skin. It tends to start with excessively dry and itchy skin that becomes sore and broken when it’s scratched. The skin can then become infected, causing more itching. It’s thought that around 15 million people in the UK are affected – many of them children, who are more likely than adults to develop eczema.

Ecezma is strongly linked to allergies. It can be a symptom of various allergies – those, for instance, who are allergic to dairy products often report a flare-up of eczema if they accidentally consume them. But it’s connected in other ways too, as this report explains. The report notes that where there is a breakdown of the skin barrier, exposure to allergens can occur via the skin. This results in sensitisation – and can lead to an allergy developing.

‘Around 50-70% of children with eczema become sensitised to one or more allergens, typically food allergens such as egg and nut and airborne allergens such as house dust mite.’

Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK, is quoted in the report:

“It is important for both patients and healthcare professionals to understand the connection between atopic eczema and allergy. Eczema is a common symptom which can be ‘triggered’ by irritants and allergens as well as from a genetic tendency of dry skin. As well as a symptom, it can also be the gateway to allergic sensitisation, so when the body is exposed to that allergen there is a potential for a reaction. Protecting the skin barrier can help to reduce the risk of becoming sensitised to allergens.’

How Naturally Good Food can help: sensitive toiletries and creams

Every year, GPs in England write over 20 million prescriptions for creams to treat eczema. Some of these work brilliantly, but for certain people, they have only limited effect. Other people would prefer to source a more ‘natural’ remedy as well.

The most important point with eczema skincare is to keep the skin well hydrated. This soothes existing patches of eczema and helps prevent new flare-ups from occurring. If you’re prone to eczema, then even when your skin is perfectly fine, you should continue using an emollient.

Naturally Good Food has a range of organic, natural moisturisers and cleansers. Free from harsh chemicals, these are specially designed for those with sensitive skin. Many are aimed specifically at children and are extra-specially soothing and hydrating. You can see our full toiletries range here, including soaps, bath and shower gels and moisturisers. For hot weather, we have a full suncare range for sensitive skin too.

How Naturally Good Food can help: natural emollients

Many of our customers are also interested in ‘home-grown’ or ‘home-made’ remedies for eczema. Coconut oil is frequently the preferred option. This is massaged into patches of eczema (very gently, to avoid breaking the skin further), soothing the inflamed areas. This oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and has natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, making it ideal for the topical treatment of the condition.

The best time to apply the oil is just after a warm bath or shower, when skin is most receptive to moisture. For severe eczema, you can also rub coconut oil into a bandage, wrapping this around the affected area for an extended period of time. Those who have scars from old eczema say that applying coconut oil to these lessens their appearance, too.

Or you might like to try out this other natural remedy: an old pair of tights filled with porridge oats, left in a warm bath. The milkiness of the oats gently seeps out, making a bath that’s silky smooth and very soothing.

How Naturally Good Food can help: household cleaners

We’re not recommending you slather these all over yourself, of course, but if you’ve got any kind of skin condition, it makes sense to use the most gentle and natural cleaners you can find throughout your house. You’re much less likely to react to these than you are to harsh chemical formulations. There’s no point filling your bath with beautifully soothing lotion if two minutes before, someone has cleaned it with an abrasive cleaner.  And of course, using a washing powder made from natural ingredients is the best option for anyone suffering from itchy skin.

You can see our full range of household cleaners and goods here. We’ve got a natural cleaner for every single purpose we can think of!

How Naturally Good Food can help: alternative food

Food allergies can trigger eczema; those who suffer often have to avoid multiple foodstuffs. It’s here that Naturally Good Food comes into its own – we make sure we can cater for your diet, while allowing you to eat perfectly healthily. We’re experts on ‘alternatives’ in food, concentrating on providing those that are high in all the essential nutritious elements.

Which foods trigger eczema? This varies from person to person, but the following are often cited as the culprits:

  • citrus fruits
  • dairy products
  • eggs
  • gluten or wheat
  • soy
  • spices such as vanilla, cloves and cinnamon
  • tomatoes
  • nuts

Naturally Good Food has alternatives! We’re well known for our vegan range, so anyone avoiding eggs and dairy should check that out. On our vegan shelves, we’ve got dairy-free milks, creams, desserts, custard and chocolate. We’ve got vegan egg replacers – to use in baking and even in omelettes (take a look at our vegan Easy Egg!). We make sure vegans can cover all their nutritional bases with high-quality, high-protein alternatives.

We’re also gluten-free specialists. Here, our focus is on gluten-free food that works well (cooking properly), tastes good and is truly nutritious, often reinforced with high-protein elements. In brief, we don’t sell gluten-free junk food. We advise on natural gluten-free alternatives (pulses, rice and naturally gluten-free flours and grains) and also supply gluten-free ready-made food such as noodles and pasta.

If you’re avoiding nuts, we’d suggest you try seeds instead. And if citrus fruits are a trigger, how about try something from our range of dried fruits instead?

Interestingly, medical experts agree that you need to avoid junk food in general. As with all health issues, a healthy diet works wonders: eat well and many people find that they no longer need so much proper ‘medication’. We’re here to help you do just that. Naturally Good Food offers the very best diets, built on the very best products and the very best advice. Can we help you?

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This post was written by Yzanne

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