Eczema is common in children and adults, resulting in dry skin and patches on the hands, elbows, knees, face and head, often affecting people with asthma or hayfever. It can be caused by allergies, dairy intolerance, harsh soaps and laundry powders, stress and changes in the weather. Less than 2% of people have psoriasis, when the dry patches turn to silvery scales (caused by skin cells replacing every few days, rather than every few weeks). This is usually genetic, and is not contagious. Coraline Skincare offers scent-free soaps for sensitive skin (3 months and over).
Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing & affected medical conditions (epilepsy, asthma, heart – no rosemary, citrus or sage oil for high blood pressure). Avoid shea butter for latex allergies. Keep essential oils & cocoa butter (toxic if licked) away from pets.
Rosacea also causes redness, and in severe cases causes pustules on the face that don’t disappear, with the nose becoming thick, red and bulbous. Reduce alcohol, caffeine, hot drinks, cheese and spicy food. Keep cool and out of hot sun. Keratitis is a serious inflamed condition often mistaken for rosacea (call for immediate help if you have painful/blurred vision, red gritty eyes or are sensitive to light).
To help prevent eczema, use scent-free biodegradable toiletries and laundry powder, and choose a simple relaxing lifestyle, with natural foods and natural fibres for clothing (organic cotton, hemp and linen).
- Elena’s Nature Collection offers eczema creams with over 80% success. These are available on NHS prescription, you can order a GP pack for your doctor.
- Bria Organics Skin Cream has rave reviews (not for use on newborn babies) and is free from fragrance. Created by the mother of a baby with eczema, many users report immediate results, and it’s in the process of gaining NHS prescription, to make it free for those who need it.
- Frogleaf Cream was developed by homeopaths, and has been used for years on patients with eczema. It contains coconut oil, cocoa butter, flower extracts and oils of lavender, rose and calendula.
Lyonsleaf Calendula Cream (Somerset) is a waterless cream made with local herbs and essential oils. It contains gamma linolenic acid (often lacking in people with eczema) and is also good for psoriasis, acne and mild rosacea (can be used for bites, after-surgery and chemo/radiation therapy). Do not use on broken skin or children, as it has no preservative to kill bacteria. Not for aster/daisy allergies. This product is vegan but a few others aren’t (and some may contain pet-toxic zinc and borage so don’t use if pets lick your skin!)
Awake Organics Dry Patches for Eczema-Prone Skin is sold in a glass jar with a metal lid. Use this rich creamy balm on very dry skin rich in ceramides that act as a barrier to reduce dryness and palmitic and oleic acids, to retain moisture. The balm is also good for uncomfortable flare-ups and to rejuvenate dry scaly skin. Use on the body or face for eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis. Use sparingly and avoid eyes and lips, best for spot-treating patches. Do not use on broken skin or children under 3 (adult supervision). Keep away from sunlight.