If you are like me, when you have a flare up with your Eczema, you become like a detective trying to work out 'what is causing it?'
Here's a list of things that can cause a flare up that you may never have thought about.
1) Diet - Changes in diet can cause a flare up. Watch for high allergen foods that may cause an itchy episode. Keeping a food diary is also a great way of tracking any potential allergens. Remember sometimes it can be immediate, sometimes it can take a few days. (I know right!) High allergen foods are Gluten, Eggs, Dairy, Nuts, Soya, Nightshades and Citrus. Also watch those strawberries at this time...and sigh...sugar!!!
2) Soaps and Laundry powders - You'd be amazed at what a difference a good laundry soap can make. Some of those powders are so full of nasties its a wonder they don't turn your clothes in to dust! I personally love the Australian Eucalyptus brand as I know it works well for Eczema sufferers.
3) Water - Are you drinking enough and hydrating your skin. This is especially true for kids, and in the summer. There's now even an app that you can get to remind you to drink a glass of water every hour. (she says reaching for her water bottle!)
4) Seasons - When I was living in London, I had zero allergies. No hayfever and no Eczema. Yes when I blew my nose it was black but oh for that pollution again! (kidding!) New Zealand pollen is high and the seasons do make an enormous difference to the allergies.
5) Detoxing - Sometimes things get worse before they get better. Our skin being our largest organ means that sometimes it becomes a bit of a toxic waste land as our body does its job of clearing things out. From a naturopathic standpoint, it is always better out then in. When the body detoxes through the skin it can point to a weakness in the liver detoxing as well as the bowel. Great to look at both of these and support these with herbs like milk thistle for the liver and a good bowel cleansing programme.
6) Supplements - Did you do what I sometimes do and run out of a supplement, forget to order it again and then wonder why after a month of not taking it, your eczema is worse again? For example... probiotics work to create a good gut bacteria that needs to be maintained. If you have taken antibiotics to the tune of more then 2 times a year, it's good to be on a probiotic daily.
7) Doing different activities - My Eczema flares up if I garden. The cotton gloves and the sweat in those things, plus the pollen from the flowers is a bit of a recipie for itching. But I often forget or just want to garden! What have you been doing that is different? Bathing instead of showering? Swimming in chlorine? Wearing wool instead of cotton? Sometimes just a small change to our habits can make a difference to our skin.
8) Mood and Stress - Oh how I used to hate that question "does your eczema get worse when you are stresses?" . Um.....My Eczema causes me stress! Sigh....It is good to become conscious of when you are your most itchy. Is it after being around people who drain your energy, is it when your kids are rascals, is it after doing the monthly bills? Identifying those triggers that make you itch can often help you to be conscious of that behaviour.
Ultimately, those of us with Eczema are sensitive individuals. We have specific triggers that are individual to us, but becoming aware of those makes us empowered.
For more info and to download the free e-book visit www.eczemabalm.com