December Markets & Festivals November 26 2015
How to fight eczema naturally June 09 2015
Our customers often ask us about the effectiveness of salves against eczema or other chronic skin conditions, the symptoms of which require constant and continuous care. To put it simply, we would not call them "healing," if they did not do the job. To understand how and why they combat eczema so effectively, we must first look at the problem.
A barrier that sometimes breaks...
The skin- our largest organ - shields the inside of our body from the dangers of the outside environment such as solar radiation, infection and disease. It acts as a barrier that stops bacteria from reaching our bloodstream and yet, the skin cells allow moisture and some nutrients to enter. This important barrier, however, can easily become vulnerable to the constant attacks from bacteria.
Agents of infection called Staphylococcus aureus, for example, live on the skin of all people suffering from eczema and even on those who never had a breakout. Higher concentration of this microscopic plague leads to more severe consequences for our skin. Together these bacteria produce doses of protein called "superantigen" that, in turn, activate our immune system on a local level. The skin inflames and the barrier begins to crack. Its tightly packed cells sealed with layers of protective lipids are not so tight anymore. That causes moisture to escape the skin and leads to its cracked and scabby appearance. Those openings in our protective system only strengthen the bacteria and worsen the condition of affected areas. That is why eczema itches though scratching would not relieve the symptoms.
So what would?
Fight back using oil-based concoctions with antibacterial properties!
Because the levels of lipids on inflamed skin are much lower than those on healthy skin, the epidermis is less resistant to attack by bacteria. It loses moisture and dries until it cracks. Logically, supplying the skin with emollient and moisturizing substances from oil based salves, creams, and ointments helps in relieving the symptoms of eczema. The effect cannot be permanent, but with intensive use several times a day and sometimes over night, the symptoms disappear. Affected area reduces, softens and ceases to itch with time. Intensive emollient treatment reduces the need for additional therapy, such as steroid creams.
Most plant-based oils possess emollient and moisturizing properties, but the extent and potency of their effects on the skin vary between the different oils and among various individuals. Emollient are those compounds that soften tissue making it more elastic and pliable. Moisturizes, on the other hand, not only hydrate the skin directly, but they also help retain the moisture it produces naturally. Finally, humectant are substances that attract air moisture and keep it on the skin.
Our healing salves contain potent and pure base oils with all of the properties to fight eczema. Essential oils increase the therapeutic effects of the blend with strong soothing and antibacterial action. Salves belong to the ointment category of skin care products and are suitable for regular use on the body.
Ingredients in similar products vary, but as long as they consist of natural base oils and butters in additional to pure essential oils, these products will be successful in treating eczema. You should seek salve that works for your skin type and has a pleasant scent and texture. Use it regularly directly on and around affected areas. Also, avoid commercial soap and other strong detergents as they strip our skin of its natural lipids and worsen the symptoms of eczema. Instead, purchase natural soap rich in glycerin (humectant) and with added oils that make it milder.