Natural therapies may be the preferred treatment of the future!

There is a definite trend towards natural therapies when it comes to treating eczema. With the well known dangers of the prolonged use of steroids and now with growing fears that the new wonder drugs Elidel and Protopic are not as safe as originally believed we find ourselves turning more and more to natural alternatives.

But what natural therapies should we use? Selecting a treatment is a matter of trial and error. Find a treatment that suits your skin and that helps relieve the symptoms and stick with it.

Did you know: Corticosteroids (Cortisones) should be used for limited periods of time as over-use can result in thinning and weakening of the skin.

I have always been a strong advocate of arming yourself with as much information as possible. Read as much as you can. Talk to people with eczema. Ask your doctor and your pharmacist. The more you know the better able you will be to manage the condition. And the better you manage your eczema the more comfortable and fulfilled your life will be.

So when you are looking for a natural treatment that you have not used before how do you make your selection and how do you know if your new cream is working?

Selecting a new cream

  1. There is no cure for eczema so beware of the products that advertise to cure your eczema.
  2. Be cautious of products that do not reveal all of their ingredients.
  3. Avoid products that contain added perfumes or preservatives (some preservatives are necessary but not an excessive amount).
  4. Start off with a small jar and trial it on just one area of your body so that you can compare improvement.
  5. Read about the new product – look for testimonials and side effects – is it a new product or has it been around for a while and proven itself as effective?
  6. Consider usability – can you carry it with you or does it need to be kept in the fridge?
  7. Think about what it is that you want from the cream. Does the cream indicate that it could offer what you want?
  8. Remember that not every cream will be effective for everyone. It takes trial and error to find the correct cream for your skin. Don’t be discouraged if the first cream you try doesn’t work for you.

How do you know if your new cream is working?

Eczema creams are designed to relieve the symptoms of eczema not to cure the condition. If your cream is relieving the itchiness, redness, dryness or inflammation it is working. How well it is working can only be determined by you. Is it offering the amount of relief that you want?

If your eczema reappears when you stop using your cream this does not mean that the cream is not working but quite the opposite – your cream is working and needs to be reapplied.

If you are unsure how well the cream is working try applying it to just one area affected with eczema (ie one arm) and continue with your other methods of treatment on the rest of your body. You can then compare the different parts of your body and the state of your eczema.

Remember you should patch test any topical product you are using for the first time!

Mel Sinclair, RN