Nobody likes it, but at some stage of our lives we’ve had it – skin problems, or to give it its proper name, eczema.
It looks terrible, but don’t worry, because it’s non-contagious. Eczema is an inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by a red, itchy rash with oozing blisters. Later the skin becomes scaly, crusted or hardened. The symptoms may appear on any part of the body at any time of life.
As anyone who has suffered it knows, it is a condition which causes considerable discomfort and can be a great nuisance, specially if you’re preening yourself for your first date or that big interview. The first rule is don’t scratch, because if you do you will break the skin and promote infection via bacteria.
Childhood eczema is very common and often begins in infancy, the rash appearing on the face, neck and folds of the elbows and knees and may persist for several years or return when the child is older.
The sad truth is a child who suffers from eczema is likely to develop some other allergic condition such as hay fever or asthma.
There are many causes of eczema but the most common is coming into contact with an irritant that either damages the surface of the skin or penetrates more deeply into it and sets up an allergic reaction.
Items as common as domestic cleaners, caustic chemicals, washing powders, face creams, shampoos, perfumes, robber, house dust mite, pollens, pets – the list is almost endless and the more sensitive your skin the more likely you are to suffer from eczema.
Some eczemas are due to food allergies. Eat the “wrong” food for you and the whole world knows it. Constipation, nutritional deficiencies and even emotional stress contribute to eczema.
There are two ways to treat eczema: internally and externally.
For external treatment, avoid scratching and wash only with oatmeal soap. Avoid putting chemicals into contact with your skin and take oat bran or wheat bran baths. Boil 2 kg of bran in five liters of water, add the strained brew to the bath water and soak in it for as long as you can.
Allergic eczema can be countered by avoiding the cause although if the cause is stress, avoiding it may not always be so easy, in which case the next best thing is to adapt you lifestyle to accommodate the inevitable stress you will encounter.
For internal treatment of chronic skin disorders, make a mix of 20g dandelion, 20g sweet violet, 15g stinging nettle, 10g red clover,10g burdock, 10g Calendula, 5g rosemary; put a teaspoon of the mix into a cup of boiling water, allow it to cool then drink it. Repeat this procedure three times a day.
For less serious skin disorders, mix 30g speedwell, 30g dandelion, 30g plantain, 30g stinging nettle, 30g walnut leaf, 30g wood sorrel; put a teaspoon of the mix into a cup of boiling water, allow it to cool then drink it. Repeat this procedure three times a day.