Four Ways to Totally Eliminate Eczema
You don't have to live with disgusting skin problems
I have lived with skin issues — from hot map-like hives to weeping open eczema wounds — for so much of my life that I started thinking that maybe I was going about the whole treatment and prevention thing the wrong way.
Many people join forums and groups online to discuss their skin issues and try to find answers, but what I've found time and again is that every eczema instance is unique to that person's body. You can't seriously think that just because a person tells you to avoid dairy products, you should. That's ridiculous. It depends on a person's body — what that person is allergic to and what that person can and can't tolerate.
Just because it works for you doesn't mean it will work for someone else.
I understand that, so that's my disclaimer.
But, there are some general health facts that can help you to eliminate your skin problems and I've gathered four of them here.
- Identify your allergens — Make this the number one thing on your list to do to get rid of your eczema. If you are having a skin reaction, go to your doctor. See whether they think you need an allergy test. I've had three different types of allergy tests — a blood test done at my allergist's office, a skin patch test done at my dermatologist's office and a holistic allergy test done at my acupuncturist's office. It's important to understand that these tests are not all encompassing. Rather, they should tell you about things that you may be allergic to that are hard to avoid such as common foods, chemicals and preservatives. My blood test told me about the different common foods and environmental factors that I have allergies to (corn, wheat, tomatoes, grass) and also told me the allergy class that allergen was to me (the higher the class number, the more allergic I am to the allergen). The skin patch test was stuck to me for two days. I found out that I am allergic to a preservative called methylisothiazolinone. It's in a bunch of cosmetics, soaps, lotions and skin products. The holistic allergy test consisted of the practitioner pulling my fingers apart as my other hand held a vial that represented an allergen. His conclusions were a result of whether he was able to pull my fingers apart. your body adjusts itself based on your circadian rhythms and the amount of sunlight outside.
Knowing what you are allergic to gives you the power to avoid the allergens that ruin your life. If your test results say that you are allergic to milk, then avoid all dairy products. The term "knowledge is power" definitely applies here, but in order for this to be successful, you must avoid your allergens at all times, which can be especially difficult when you're allergic to something as common as corn.
- Get a full night's rest — Are you getting eight hours of sleep each night? Did you know that your body adjusts itself based on your circadian rhythms and the amount of sunlight outside? Basically, these rhythms tell your body to physically recover between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am and to mentally recover between 2 am and 6 am. If you don't go to bed until midnight, you're missing out on two very crucial hours of physical repair, which can result in all sorts of ailments. Your body is out of sorts, so you need to heal it by sleeping. Give it a shot and see what happens to your mind, your body and your skin. You'll be amazed by the power of sleep.
- Drink a lot of water — Eczema can make the skin very dry and cracked and drinking a lot of water is a dependable way to ensure that you and your skin are not dehydrated. Did you know that water makes up over half (about 60 percent) of your body weight? You can't survive too long without it. Water is also found in lymph, which is a fluid that's a part of your immune system, and that helps you fight off diseases. You need water to get rid of waste, too. Are you drinking enough water each day? How much should you drink? There are a couple of different approaches to this. There's the "8x8 rule" — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (about 1.9 liters). There are also dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men drink about 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women drink 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
- Consider acupuncture — I wasn't too familiar with Chinese medicine when I had my first acupuncture session. I was told that I had a lot of "toxic heat" in me. I was told to avoid all "hot" foods (such as meats, eggs, onions, garlic) and only eat "cold" foods (such as yogurt, apples, watermelon). I started taking some Chinese herbs and had several sessions to clear the heat from my body. My acupuncturist also kept some small needles in me and told me to remove them after a few days. The heat cleared from my body and the eczema on my body completely disappeared. Don't worry about pain; I have felt no pain from any of my sessions. I feel really good during my session, almost floaty.
I did all four of these things in order to completely eliminate my body of the rashes that cover it. It's really difficult to be persistent when you're used to living your life a particular way (sleeping late, drinking lots of soda, rubbing fragrance lotions all over your body), but when you think about how embarrassed you are about your skin, it's worth it. It's worth it to be the person who spends a lot of time at the grocery store reading labels. It's worth it to be the person who has to keep going to the restroom because a whole gallon of water is consumed each day. It's worth it to be the person who misses late night TV because she'd rather heal her body (that's what TiVo is for, right?). Your skin is worth it. Your health is worth it. You'll find that your skin is not the only thing that heals. Eliminating allergens, getting lots of rest and drinking a lot of water will make you feel like a brand new person.
For More Information
For more information on holistic allergy tests, you can read all about N.A.E.T. (Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques) here.
For more information on the skin patch test that I had taped to my back, you can read about the T.R.U.E. (Thin-layer Rapid Use Epicutaneous Test) Allergen Patch Test here.
For more information and pictures of my experience with skin allergies, read my blog here.