Tips for Managing Eczema without Drugs – Part II
This is Part II of our Tips for Managing Eczema without Drugs series. In Part I (http://www.adrescuewear.com/blog/tips-for-managing...) we looked at bathing and moisturizing. The purpose of the series is to explore and shed some light on a number of alternative eczema therapies. From fabric to diet to vitamin supplements, there is a lot to consider when it comes to caring for your eczema.
Many people who suffer from eczema have shown intolerance to wool. Some people may consider this to be an actual allergy while others would just call the textile an irritant. Other fabrics have also been in question when it comes to eczema sensitivity. Cotton and silk are the two fabrics that are generally accepted as being the best choices for eczema sufferers.
Specific fabrics called “functional textiles” have been developed with the intention of aiding in the management of atopic dermatitis/eczema. These fabrics include threads of antimicrobial materials like zinc, silver, special antimicrobial silk, and “anions” and these fabrics have shown some benefits. There are also fabrics that are oil-treated in order to help improve skin moisture levels. Be careful of antimicrobial materials like zinc and silver. Some studies have found these to be toxic as the skin absorbs these chemicals.
Tencel® is the best fabric for eczema and studies have found it to be superior for eczema for many reasons. It is not only eco-friendly, but it has antimicrobial properties, is thermo-regulating and naturally anti-itch. Used for wet wrap therapy, it can reduce eczema symptoms by 70-75% and decrease the need for topical steroids by 40%. Please watch this video on why tencel® is superior for eczema (https://youtu.be/s5H1qft0mVk).
Climate and Temperature
The environment in which a person lives can play a strong role in the struggle against eczema, including the climate in which you live. High humidity is shown to be good for eczema sufferers, as well as a high UV index, higher temperatures, and less precipitation. Living in a climate where you don’t need to turn on the furnace is also better for your eczema.
Climatotherapy is an alternative treatment for eczema, and also for asthma. For this treatment you would need to visit an eczema clinic where you would stay for a period of weeks or longer. The environment that they create in these clinics is supposedly “healing” and anti-inflammatory. There are both seaside and mountain clinic resorts. While this might seem like an old fashioned idea, centers in Switzerland and in Germany have shown to have a lot of success in reducing eczema symptoms. Visiting such a clinic requires both a large budget and also the luxury of time to be able to leave your daily life to commit to the climatotherapy treatment but is worth considering for select patients.
In the past few years, Vitamin D has been featured very prominently in the news as part of medical research. Vitamin D is important for use in a variety of ways, and the importance of sun exposure as part of the climatotherapy studies reinforces that there could be a link between vitamin and eczema sufferers. The precise link still remains uncertain but several small studies are offering promising results.
Many people experience worse eczema in the winter which could also be due to other climate factors, but some studies have shown that increased doses of vitamin D in the winter can help eczema sufferers, particularly when combined with vitamin E. This is true of oral vitamin D as well. Topical use of Vitamin D has been shown to cause AD flares, though topical use has proven to be helpful for psoriasis.
There is a lot of other theories about other vitamins like pyridoxine (vitamin B6), zinc phosphate, selenium, sea buckthorn seed, and hempseed oil, but the current data is not yet sufficient.
Check back to learn more in Part III of our Tips for Managing Eczema without Drugs series.