Flare ups SUCK! Full Stop.
After 40 years of dealing with eczema, I am fully fledged eczema warrioress. Just imagine Wonder Woman with red skin! says Clare Green, my guest blogger this week.
Yes it’s been a power struggle, a battle or at times a full out and out war with my skin but I believe it’s how you react and how fast you act to the flare-ups that can make all the difference.
First Things First
Spend some time working out what has triggered this reaction … are you run down, have you been over indulging — had more sweets, alcohol or processed foods recently or added anything new in your diet? Or is it environmental, a reaction to pets, dust, washing powder or change in seasons? Take some time to think about these things and isolate the root cause as much as you possibly can.
There are many many things that cause mine — it can flare from something in the environment — a pet, dust or allergic reaction to something unseen. But my most recent flares have been a result of too much stress, overwhelm and imbalance in my life.
I’m driven and often struggle to take a break from work. I get powered-up when I do a good job but the need to juggle my business and home life can lead to burn out and getting run down. For some people this would show up as cold sores or over-eating or under-eating, smoking or drinking more but stress for me shows up all over my face.
Does your skin ever tell you there’s something wrong before you’ve even realized it?
I truly believe that it is our job as eczema warriors to spot the signs quickly and react.
Here are my top 5 tips, things to put in place and act fast.
- Banish anything that foams
The first step I take when totally flared is to stop using anything which foams; washing up liquid, hand soap, antibacterial gel or foam, shampoo, conditioner, body wash or shower gel. They contain harsh chemicals agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate — SLS which is suspected as a potential toxic substance. Designed as an industrial additive in degrease cleaning agents, it was never meant to be used in products for daily use, and now it’s connected with a very wide range of personal hygiene and body care. These include toothpastes, shampoos, lotions, soaps, foaming cleansers and many others.
My advice is to steer clear and gently add back in to your life — IF you need to.
2. Become a Clean, Mean Fighting Machine
I’ve switched to all natural skincare and choose cruelty-free, vegan creams and balms but one of the hardest things I found to master is haircare. In flare-ups, I use Glassoul Clay to wash my hair and body. Mix it up into a paste using 1 tbsp of clay to 1.5 of warm water and gently rub all over.
Limit how often you wash your hair. When suffering with eczema, I only wash my hair once a week; using the clay as a mask, rinse with water and then do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. Check out this “how to” here — make sure you rinse this out well in the shower too.
Once my skin had calmed down after using the Glassoul Clay and ACV rinse, I dropped the vinegar rinse and started to use this Clarifying Wash after rinsing the clay out with water. Then dropped the clay completely.
3. Feed your Face … and Your Body!
After the shower, I pat dry very gently and use Elixir Oil straight away on face and body — anywhere that’s red or sore. It’s packed with a blend of 5 seed, fruit and plant oils and this little omega-rich nutritious oil has literally saved my skin.
Once the oil has soaked in, I add a super-hydrating moisturizer, Night Dreamwhich is super-charged with plant ceramides and bio-retinol. I use a 100% naturally derived body cream, Body Love and re-apply throughout the day as needed.
Where the skin is cracked, broken, inflamed and raw, use Tamanu Balm which is anti-inflammatory, a natural anti-bacterial balm that heals and soothes without harsh, toxic chemicals.
4. Think Dirty!
Not like that … when buying products for my daughter or me, I find the Think Dirty® app really useful. It’s an independent directory which highlights the potential risks associated with the personal care products we use every day.
5. Be Kind to You
This woulda coulda shoulda been my number 1 tip but it’s often the last thing we think about. But it’s essential to take time out for you — sleep, rest, relax your way back the health.
Your body is in shock and saying slow down.
There is nothing more miserable than suffering from an allergic reaction or eczema flare up but beating yourself up about it won’t help.
And locking yourself indoors like a hermit won’t either.
Step out, feel the sun’s rays on your skin, breathe deep breathes and see friends — if only to let them know how sucky it is for you at the moment!
Thank you Clare Green for such great tips about dealing with eczema.
Need more support to win your war against eczema? Join Clare on her Facebook group here — “Helping You Control How Eczema Impacts Your Life”.
Want to know more about Natural Gorgeous Skincare then join my Facebook group here.