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Fight flare-ups (naturally) with these tried and tested tips
Once an eczema flare-up strikes it can seem almost impossible to cure, especially in the dry winter months. Both mainstream and organic lotions and bath oils can have varying degrees of success, but the frustration, discomfort and even pain of a breakout can leave you (or your child) feeling pretty defeated. Naturopath Caroline Robertson gives us the low down on her top tricks to ease the itch.
Certain foods can help reduce flare-ups and likewise there are foods that can aggravate sensitive skin. “Reduce or avoid sugar and yeast, instead opt for oily fish, vitamin A and E rich foods and omega-3-rich foods like flaxseeds and walnuts,’’ says Caroline. “It can also help if you keep a food diary to track when flare-ups occur.”
Caroline suggests trying skin-strengthening vitamin B. “It can also help if omega fatty acids, hemp oil and fish oils are increased,’’ she says. “Probiotics with lactobacillus rhamnosus strain are also great.”
“Harsh soaps, foaming agents, fragrances and preservatives in skincare or washing detergents are best avoided,’’ Caroline says.
“Reduce the heat of the shower, as it strips natural oils from the skin and further irritates it,’’ she says.“Instead, bath in lukewarm water and add Himalayan rock salt.’’
Moisturising after a bath or shower is key.“Apply fragrance-free products straight after the shower that include calming ingredients such as shea butter, calendula, lavender, oatmeal and liquorice,’’ she says.
“Often any issues occurring in the gut can reflect itself in our skin, so following on from the above, you can also look to increase your gut-friendly foods such as nourishing chickweed & probiotics,’’ she says.
“Make sure to consult a healthcare professional if the issue persists, they can also assist in identifying environmental, dietary or other allergens that may be contributing to your skin problem.”
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