There are seven types of eczema with the most common being atopic dermatitis.
Eczema is recognizable as red, itchy, inflamed, dry or oozy skin. It’s a chronic condition that may calm for some time before flaring up again and can appear anywhere on the body. Usually, insides of the elbows and knees, torso, hands, neck and face.
The itching and burning can affect our lives in many ways from the quality of our sleep, activities that we are able to partake in, our work and levels of self-confidence. At worst, it can be really quite debilitating and may even require hospitalization.
It is estimated that eczema affects one in five children in the UK and around one in twelve adults and it is becoming more and more prevalent, globally.
Your GP will be able to diagnose eczema and then prescribe topical and sometimes oral steroids to modulate the immune system and minimize the symptoms of eczema, offering huge relief to the sufferer and parents of the child patient. However, these steroids don’t actually get to the root of the problem. They just mask the symptoms……until they come back again. Long-term use of steroids can also be problematic.
Eczema is one of my favourite subjects. My eczema first appeared when I was around three months old and had me hospitalized numerous times as a young child.
In those days (I’m getting on a bit now) we didn’t know anything about the causes of eczema and I’ve spent a LOT of time over the course of my adult life reading, studying and learning as much as I can about this disease. Initially for my own comfort and now, for the benefit of my clients.
As a nutritionist, my main area of focus is food and gut health. Eczema is mostly an inside out condition and there is much that we can do by removing certain foods and adding others to improve our skin. However, it is very difficult to fully heal in the wrong environment and there are many environmental and ‘non food’ factors that can worsen eczema:
This is why I take an investigative approach to my client consultations and look at the person’s whole life. Not just their diet. My objective when working with clients is to get to the root cause of their eczema, correct it and then leave them feeling in control of their own condition with the tools they need to manage their skin into the future.