By Jashel Negron
Blog Content Contributor
Ah yes… the itchy, dry and flaky skin condition that everyone who has it absolutely hates. This is probably one of the most common skin conditions! If you don’t know what it is, it’s basically an itchy, inflamed area of the skin (almost like a rash) that can be caused by many different things, and is pretty hard to get rid of without prescribed medication.
I say it is caused by multiple things because well… it is. For example, I have eczema myself and every time I have an outbreak it’s caused by something different. The cold tends to dry out my skin, causing the eczema. The heat as well because then my body gets overheated and I break out in rashes. Even the “roughness” of the water I shower with affects my body, which is why I shower with filtered water.
What many people don’t realize is that eczema is affected by your immune system. It’s what happens when your body is overreacting to something you have put inside your system. Basically, if you have eczema there is a good chance you may also have a type of food allergy that you aren’t aware of. This doesn’t mean that eating these foods will be lethal to you, but it may cause your eczema to become inflamed.
Gluten is one of the biggest contributions to inflamed eczema. Gluten is a component of wheat and is found in things like bread, pasta, and pastries. Gluten’s job is to stick substances together, sort of like glue. Now think of that being inside your body. As you can probably guess, gluten doesn’t digest easily. It builds up in the walls of your gut and slows down your digestive system. This can flare up eczema because some people can start to have a sensitivity with this process. Having a gluten sensitive diet can be a tremendous help if you deal with eczema!
Another thing to be aware of is processed foods. Food like hot dogs, cheese singles, fast food and other things can also worsen your eczema. If you think about it, what you put in your body is what you get out. So putting in a bunch of processed foods, and others that have no nutrients to help aid your body, will just make you weak and lose nutrients it already has. I’m not saying that you have to start eating vegetables and fruits and no junk food whatsoever, but be aware of what you are putting into your body. Eat more of the food that is good and will give you vitamins and helpful nutrients rather than a bag of 100 calorie chips (which you might think is a fine choice because of the little calories, but calories aren’t everything!).
The last one that I’m going to talk about is dairy products. Yep, I said it. All of that yogurt and cheese and milk you have been eating that you probably think is healthy for you may actually be making your conditions worse! Dairy products tend to produce inflammation in the gut of our stomachs. It also tends to cause something called a “leaky gut” which is when the small intestine gets damaged and causes bacteria and other food particles to “leak” out into your bloodstream.
Like I said before, what you put into your body is going to be the same thing you get out (just a better way of saying “you are what you eat”). Having eczema is a tough thing to deal with because there are so many factors that could be going wrong with your body. One thing is for sure– getting prescribed creams and lotions from the doctor is just a simple solution. Eczema isn’t curable, but if you take care of yourself well enough, you will have smaller chances of getting a flare up. The regular health benefits are a plus as well!
Pro-Tip: Something that really helped me the last time I had a bad flare up was getting some Cetaphil cleanser (soaps only dry out your skin more, don’t worry though, Cetaphil still gets you clean) as well as their face and body lotion. After getting out of the shower put the lotion on while you ae still wet and air dry! I know it sounds weird just standing there soaking wet covered in lotion, but it’s a really great way to keep your body truly moisturized. Feel free to comment below on what has helped you or anyone you know deal with eczema!
Featured image by Jashel Negron.