Eczema An Autoimmune Disorder
Contrary to the popular belief, eczema is not a skin disease. It is actually an autoimmune disorder. The itchiness & rashes that flares up on the skin are among the symptoms of eczema, which is only the tip of the iceberg. Similarly to allergic reactions, eczema occurs when our immune system reacted to certain triggers. Since eczema is an immune disorder, ideally you should focus more on managing it internally.
The first step to manage eczema is to reduce the risk of it flaring up. So, it’s very important to identify your eczema triggers & avoid those. Eczema can be triggered by food or environmental factors such as weather, pet furs & even dust. But more often it’s caused by food. Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep a food diary. Use it to track everything that you consume daily.
Whenever the eczema flares up, just look back at your food diary. Take note of everything that was consumed in the past 24 hours. It’s very likely that your eczema trigger is among the list. Then, slowly narrow down the list through elimination process by trial & error until you’ve identified the trigger. It is also advisable to expand the food diary to track whenever you change from your usual skincare, soaps & detergents too. They may contain ingredients that could trigger your eczema.
The Eczema Diet
Dietary wise, the primary focus should be on improving the immune system. Try to consume more immune boosting foods. These are among the commonly found ones in our market – ginger, turmeric & black seed. Prebiotics & probiotics are helpful too! Garlic & onion are the most common source of prebiotics. On the other hand, yogurt, kefir & kombucha are the popular source of probiotics. You may also consider taking probiotics supplements if you find it difficult to get those probiotic rich foods. Last but not least – vitamin C, this is easily available from various fruits & vegetables. So, try to include more of those healthy food into your daily meals.
Besides consuming more beneficial food, it’s also recommended to avoid certain inflammatory food especially sugar & gluten. Those 2 are very common triggers for eczema. Other types of commonly found food that may trigger eczema is nightshade plants such as tomato, potato & bell pepper. Lastly, try to reduce high histamine foods such as eggplant, dried fruits & processed foods. High histamine may worsen your eczema flare ups. Thus, it’s best to adjust your diet to avoid entirely or reduce eating foods that are likely to trigger eczema.
In the journey to identify your eczema triggers, it’s unrealistic to expect no flare ups. So, in order to treat your eczema when it flares up, moisturize as often as needed. Eczema tend to cause dry skin because it damages our skin barrier (epidermis). Hence, the damaged skin loses moisture more easily compares to a healthy skin barrier.
It is strongly advisable to use skincare with as little ingredients as possible. Ideally find those with only 1 ingredient such as our 100% pure shea butters or oils. The lesser the ingredient, the less likely it’ll trigger your eczema. If it does trigger your eczema, at least you know exactly what triggers it.
If your eczema is very itchy, look for skincare with soothing or antihistamine property like our Egyptian black seed oil. It helps by dispersing the histamine built up under the skin that causes the itchiness.
In a nutshell, managing eczema is a long journey. It should be approached from a bigger picture. Look into both internal & external care since eczema is multi-factorial. If the flare up is severe, don’t hesitate to seek a doctor’s advice to tackle the pressing issue first.