Saturday, June 14, 2014

Healing Eczema Organically

When I was a child, people approached me constantly in order to tell me that my skin was flawless.  "It is like a porcelain doll," they said.  I smiled and demurely accepted the compliment, never alluding to the fact that they were sadly mistaken.  The truth was that
for a few years I had an interminable burning, itching, scaliness inside each pit of both of my elbows that was inevitably made worse by my incessant scratching.  I just couldn't stop. Eventually, the rash began to overtake my entire right arm until it moved up into my neck. With sheer determination, it made its home on the right side of my face, as well. Needless to say, the long sleeves were of little use to me then. 

My mother took me to the first doctor who advised us to try some Vaseline.  It didn't matter if I used their lotion or their petroleum jelly products, I would have been better off using some acid instead. It was as though someone had set my skin ablaze with a flame. Within only a mere moment or two I had to wash it all off of me.  Clearly, this wasn't going to work.  So, we headed back to the doctor for another consultation. This time he prescribed diaper rash cream. The good news was that it didn't burn me. The bad news was it didn't work either.  After the third visit, the flummoxed physician sent me to a specialist.  I was going to see a dermatologist.

This man walked into the room with a smile on his face.  That was a rare commodity inside the health care facilities I had thus far visited and I immediately liked him.  After the usual courtesies of our first introduction he informed my mother and me that I most certainly was allergic to soap. Moreover, my unsightly skin was not some general rash.  It had its own name.  It was called eczema. He had barely looked at me before making his diagnosis, but my intuition told me that he was right. Hallelujah, this doctor knew what he was talking about! My mother was understandably concerned that her daughter would never again be clean so she asked what I could use instead of the Dial soap I had grown up on. "Cetaphil Lotion will work just fine for her cleaning," he pleasantly answered.

He informed me that it was imperative that I discontinued all the scratching I was doing. My forlorn face could not hide my discomfort.  How was I not going to scratch?  He told me to blow on it if I needed to, but never again should I scratch any broken out area.  

He also conveyed that I should only take one shower every other day as the heat from the water was not good for me.  I knew that would never work as I have been, and likely will always be, a shower-aholic. I was just going to have to make due with his other remedies.

Finally, he filled out a prescription for Lidex.  He warned me to never use it on my face or hands as it would scar those areas, but for the rest of my body, it was free game. However, he made certain that I understood to use it sparingly as this cream is very strong.  
He was right.  The rash I had for a couple of years was now gone.  My long sleeves went back into the drawer until autumn.  And whenever I felt the need to bring my nails to my skin, I simply blew on the area instead.

Furthermore, I discovered on my own that after every shower if I splashed cold water on my face then immediately afterward put some lotion all over the watered down area (lotion that I was not allergic to, that is), I noticed that the lotion was acting a sealant to trap the cool water acting as a genuine moisturizer for my skin.  I have been repeating this same method for forty years.  Only a few months ago, I read in the book, Healing Secrets of the Native Americans by Porter Shimer where he offered the very same advice on page 182.  

Thankfully, rarely after this childhood episode did I break out and when I did, the rash usually manifested in very small amounts.  I slapped on some Lidex and the next day my porcelain skin would return to its original state.  

It had been many years, decades even, since I had an issue, but then I moved to Arizona a few years ago, where the summer heat seems to be a haven for dry skin and my unwanted eczema returned.  I had since moved away from GMO products and was consuming only organically grown foods.  Using a steroidal cream did not measure up to my organic lifestyle.  

In fact, I learned that the steroids in the Lidex cream was the ingredient that would cause the scarring if I had used it on my face or hands.  Additionally, according to you don't want to use Lidex under the following conditions:
  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have any kind of skin infection, cuts, scrapes, or lessened blood flow to your skin
  • if you have had a recent vaccination; have measles, tuberculosis, chickenpox, or shingles; or have had a positive tuberculosis test
  • if you are taking prednisone or similar medicines
  • Some other medicines may react so a health provider should be consulted before using
Baring these factors in mind, while I am certainly grateful to my childhood dermatologist, it was time for me to look into a more organic way of healing myself.  Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar was my first stop.  I used it topically on the rash twice daily until my skin had cleared.  While I don't know the science behind why it works, it feels as though it is cleansing out the bacteria that is causing the red bumps to occur.  When used it doesn't exactly burn, but it does tingle the infected skin for about five minutes before calming down.  
After it dries, I then added aloe vera to the red protrusions.  I don't use the bottled form as it is not fresh. Instead, I cut approximately 1/2 an inch off a live aloe vera plant.  The liquid from the plant may or may not immediately begin to drip.  Either way, if I squeeze the plant onto the infected area the healing goodness will begin immediately.

Within only two days after using this simple method, the rash on my chin vanished.  It took a little longer on my leg, only because I continued shaving over it every day.  My recommendation is to NOT shave for faster results, especially considering that the blade of a razor notoriously is laden with bacteria and can make the rash spread just as scratching with fingernails does.

I also found a product called Booda Butter made from all organic products with shea butter as its base. Frankly, when my rash came back and nothing else was working anymore, this took fifty percent of it away overnight. It is definitely a good find!

What's more, a number of online sources claim that taking Dandelion Root tea internally works well in aiding with healing eczema and I decided to see if it would help me.  I noticed that it prevented the itching from occurring in the first place and that was certainly a good thing. I used Traditional Medicinals organic brand. According to its site, it offers a, "pleasantly roasted, sweet and slightly bitter taste."  That just about sums it up. For flavor and for its general calming affects, I added peppermint leaves to my tea, but explore what works best for you.

For only a few dollars I was able to heal my skin organically without having to pay a doctor for his or her time and without having to pay a drugstore for a pharmaceutical. Furthermore, please keep in mind that organic apple cider vinegar, dandelion and aloe vera can be utilized for far more healing remedies than just for skin ailments.  Healing Secrets of the Native Americans lists a whole host of uses and I highly recommend this book.

If you are like me and are tired of using GMO products on your body, try this method to see if it works for you.  Our skin is our largest organ and everything that goes onto it eventually goes into the bloodstream.  I, for one, would prefer to have nature taking care of me.

Thank you for reading about my Organic Bliss!

***Please keep in mind that all healing tools that I discuss on this blog are what worked for me.  Every 'body' is different and therefore each person must find the treatments that works best for them.  Also, I am not a medical doctor, so please consult your physician prior to trying any remedies offered on this site.***