part three of a four-part blog series
I used to scour the internet, looking for a quick, instant fix to end my skin woes. I ended up buying and trying so many creams, lotions and supplements, all in efforts to get my skin back to normal. Tout de suite.
Because when you have eczema, whatever solution you think you’ve found, your skin can never recover fast enough right?! The truth is it takes time to get your skin health back into balance naturally.
Nowhere in my frantic searches did I find information like what I’m sharing with you today. It’s not a quick fix (because no matter what the promise is, there isn’t such a thing. It simply does not exist). Getting your skin back to glowing and healthy takes time, patience and determination.
4 Things You Must Do If You Have Eczema
The four game changers that enabled me to overcome my eczema. Whether your eczema is dry, flaky and crazy itchy, or wet, weepy, crusty and downright uncomfortable, I honestly feel your pain. Mine was all of these. For three long (felt more like a lifetime) years.
These four things will help you feel like you have a bit of control over the situation. Or at least begin to understand what may be triggering your flare-ups and uncomfortableness.
- Keep a Food Journal. This was my lifesaver. Whether you want to go old school and use pen + paper or prefer to use your favorite app, keeping making notes. Of what you ate, drank and how your skin felt and looked afterwards. I separated each day into categories: breakfast, lunch, mid-aft snack, dinner, etc, and made notes on how my skin felt under each category.
What you're creating is a log. Over time you'll start to see a pattern of what’s going on with your skin in relation to your food choices. It'll make narrowing down what foods may be causing reactions for you much easier. The health of our digestive system plays such a critical part in managing eczema. So it makes sense to monitor one of the biggest influencers of your digestive system - food intake.
When it comes to introducing new foods, introduce them no sooner than every 3-4 days. We have a few different allergic responses in the body. The two I’ll highlight today are IgG and IgE. An IgE response causes a more immediate reaction. (Think peanut allergy.) An IgG response can take up to 3 days before a reaction presents itself. Introducing too many new foods at once makes it difficult to know which particular food is the culprit. So if you’re introducing new foods into your daily regimen, try introducing each one slowly to see how your body reacts.
- De-Stress. Calm that chattery mind. When we’re stressed, our levels of inflammation increase. With eczema, you have higher than normal levels of inflammatory responses. Stress will only amplify your existing condition. So where possible, try to minimize the stressors in your life. Take moments in your day where you can read a book, laugh and love life. These types of activities activates your parasympathetic nervous system. When we’re in the parasympathetic state, blood circulation improves, our inflammatory responses decrease and our immune system strengthens. All of these are a #winwin when it comes to having healthy skin.
- Manage Your Mindset.
'Believe you can and you're halfway there’ T. Roosevelt
Believe you will get over this. For me, I believed in my heart of hearts that if my body seemed to be working fine one day, I could get back to feeling normal or at the very least comfortable in my own skin again. Positive thinking also boosts your immunity and improves your ability to cope with stress. Another #winwin
- Get Some Sleep. Easier said than done right?! For me nighttime was always the worst because I knew it would be anything but a blissful night’s sleep. It was when my skin felt the most uncomfortable. Itchy as hell.
Sleep is such a key component to good health, especially when dealing with an illness or disorder. It's when our body repairs and recovers from the day's wear 'n tear, replenishing us for the next day. Even if you're able to just rest and be still, you can still reap many of the benefits of sleep. Believing this was my saving grace. Dr. Matthew Edlund believes the benefits of resting can be as curative as sleep.
In part four of this blog series, I’ll talk about what things to avoid when it comes to eczema. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Share with me in the comments below what you’ve found to be helpful with your eczema.
Read part one of the blog series here.
Read part two of the blog series here.
To believing you can,