Did you know that eczema affects more than 15 million people in the United States?
If you are one of them, you are not alone! However, the blisters and itching do not have to be a permanent part of your life.
Here are a few tips to help keep your skin smooth and moisturized throughout the year.
You Are What You Eat
Your skin is the largest organ on your body and a functional part of your immune system.
In traditional Chinese medicine your skin is regulated by your lungs and large intestine.
So if your lungs or intestines cannot properly expel toxins from your body, a back-up of toxins will appear on your skin in the forms of lesions or rough spots.
If you eliminate processed foods that contain artificial additives and treated ingredients your body will have fewer toxins in your system.
Instead choose foods that nourish the skin, such as broccoli, beans, oats, watermelon, carrots, grapes, cherries, and pineapple.
Relax & Breathe
Stress and anxiety can trigger eczema attacks, so it is important to implement stress reduction exercises in your regular workout routine.
In addition to their physical benefits, tai chi and qi gong are great for reducing stress and calming the emotions.
This Cleansing Qi Gong is designed to help with circulation and promote opening of the pores.
Sit comfortably or lie down on your back.
Slow your respiration to deep, abdominal breathing.
Say the word “calm” in your mind with every exhalation.
Visualize your body parts relaxing and releasing tension with every exhalation.
Eczema is exacerbated by exposure to environmental irritants such as household chemicals, laundry detergents, temperature changes, and dry weather.
Food allergies and nutritional deficiencies can contribute to its development.
Recent studies have linked stress and anxiety with eczema.
Currently dermatologists provide palliative solutions to relieve itching – usually corticosteroids or, in severe conditions, immunosuppressant drugs.
Chemicals and artificial ingredients can cause allergic reactions and irritate your immune system.
Keep a diary of your meals and be attentive to your physical and emotional reactions to food.
Soon you will discover whether you have allergic reactions that worsen your eczema.
Avoiding problem foods can significantly reduce flare-ups.
Soothing Home Remedies
Several items that you probably have in your home will also help soothe your dry itchy skin.
Mash one small raw potato and apply it as poultice to the affected skin area, changing every four hours for three days, or until skin improves, to help moisturize the skin and heal the sores.
In traditional cultures, people would soak the affected areas in natural sulfur springs when possible.
To relieve itching and to help the healing process at home, start by adding 1/3 cup each of sulfur powder, Epsom salts, and olive oil to a lukewarm bath and then soak.
For topical relief from itching, mix ten drops of Tonic Oil (containing wintergreen, eucalyptus menthol, and other herbs) with fresh aloe vera gel and apply liberally and frequently.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com.