Categorized | Skin Care

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Searching For Relief From Dry Scratchy Skin?

I had dry skin that itches so bad I felt like teasing my skin off! I had irritated cracked skin that would not seem to heal and finally got an infection and became weepy and very painful. I had embarrassed red flaky skin that made me feel uncomfortable and was wearing clothes that did not show my skin. I even lost sleep since I could not get comfortable with itchy skin. I wasted a lot of money trying remedy after remedy that did not work. Even certain foods or certain products made itchy eczema even worse. In this article I hope to share my story of victory in the war with itchy irritated skin; aka eczema.

How do people live with eczema?

How do people find relief from eczema?

Treatments for Eczema are usually of two different types.

• Steroid treatments internally and externally.

• Emollients to keep the skin hydrated.

What are steroids? Steroids are a hormonal drug that may reduce the inflammation associated with some eczema. Is this a risk worth the following possible side effects? Whether the steroid is applied to the skin or taken orally the side effects are still always possibilities:

A cataract, or a clouding of the eyes, is a known side effect of high GCS dosages and long-term topical therapy applied around the eyes.

Glaucoma, an eye disease, can result when GCS treatment is applied topically around the eyes or administrated systemically, especially when patients are already at high risk for glaucoma.

Gastrointestinal effects, such as nausea and vomiting, can occur with oral GCS therapy. Patients can minimize these effects by taking their medication with food. Peptic ulcers also have been shown to occur in patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications along with corticosteroids, as well as those with past histories of peptic ulcer disease, smoking, or alcohol use.

Growth retardation is a side effect that occurs especially with long-term, systemic (oral or injected) administration of GCS before age two or at puberty. Experts say that children usually resume growing once GCS therapy is discontinued.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is most common in patients with preexisting hypertension who are on long-term, therapeutic doses of corticosteroids.
Osteoporosis, a loss of bone density or bone thinning, can occur especially in women who take daily long-term prednisone therapy.

Skin effects, including stretch marks and spider veins, occurs not only with systemic GCS, but also with long-term use of potent topical agents. Sometimes, acne appears on the trunks of patients going through puberty, who also are on corticosteroids. Acne around the mouth has also been shown to occur with corticosteroid use when potent forms of the therapy are applied to the face.

Tachyphylaxis, or a decreasing response to corticosteroids, can occur with long-term use of the medications. This can be detected with careful monitoring of medication use.
Weight gain may occur because of increased appetite and fluid retention, which can begin after one month of taking larger doses of corticosteroids.

Infection; skin rashes and irritation; skin thinning; and formation of dilated blood vessels are other side effects that are often associated with the use of topical corticosteroids. To prevent these, dermatologists may limit the time that patients are on the topical agents or select less potent treatments for more sensitive areas of the body, such as the face.
Despite the side effects, topical and systemic corticosteroids remain important, effective eczema treatments. Experts say that when administered and carefully monitored by a dermatologist, corticosteroids generally control atopic dermatitis safely and effectively.
To me … but that is just me … my eczema was moderate to mild and I did not want to take the risks of using a drug that may or may not even work. I decided I'll stick with the emollients. What is an emollient?

The terms 'moisturizer' (to add moisture) and 'emollient' (to soften) are interchangeable as they describe different effects of these agents on the skin. Basically they have two actions:

• Occlusives, which provide a layer of oil on the surface of the skin to slow water loss and thus increase the moisture content of the stratum corneum.

• Humectants, which are substances introduced into the stratum corneum to increase its water holding capacity.

Some moisturizers contain both occlusives and humectants.

Now, how do you know what to use when there seem to be millions of claims on the market promising relief for the itchy painful skin condition we know as eczema?
Gather information … which ingredients work best for eczema? Which ingredients make your condition worse?

Helpful emollients – or things that actually moisturize your skin –
Find products that actually help your skin heal and that keep your skin hydrated.

Here are some different types of emollients and their characteristics:

• Jojoba oil has very good effects on the skin, acting as a moisturizer and emollient agent to improve skin elasticity and suppleness.

• Shea Oil: During the pressing of the butter, a liquid fraction appears as Shea Oil, which offers an exceptional skin feel. Shea Oil offers an elegant feel, but also promotes anti-inflammatory properties due to its natural phytosterol content. Due to its high content of unsaponifiables, Shea Oil draws its traditional properties: protection of the skin against weather, sun and aging, elimination of superbicial irritations. Shea is well known to assist cutaneous dryness, dermatitis and dermatoses, eczema, solar erythema and burns.

• This is the choice oil for most professional massage therapists. It Contains vitamins and minerals, and is good for aging and sensitive skin due to its moisturizing properties.

• Palm Oil is superior oil that is considered to be a luxury oil as opposed to other vegetable oils. It makes a hard bar of soap that will last a long time. Saponifies easily and is mild to the skin. It is very high in vitamin E which is said to play a protective role in cellular aging.

• Coconut It has wonderful lathering and moisturizing qualities

• Olive oil is a very good moisturizer, not because it has its own healing properties, but because it attracts external moisture, holds the moisture close to the skin, and forms a breathable film to prevent loss of internal moisture. Unlike so many other substances used for this purpose, Olive oil does not block the natural functions of the skin while performing its own. The skin is able to continue sweating, releasing sebum, and shedding dead skin. Olive oil does not inhibit this necessary function.

• Castor oil is often used because of its humectant properties – it attracts moisture to the skin and then holds it down.

• Sweet Almond Oil is often used for super fattening soaps, for lotions / creams, and for lip balms. It is a great moisturizer. It makes stable lather and helps condition the skin.
Knowing all these characteristics can help you choose a product that will actually alleviate many of your skin problems. Be careful of those ingredients that will make your skin feel worse. One of the worst is alcohol, in any form. Check your ingrediological labels and do not bother with those containing alcohol.

So, is the above information the ultimate cure for Eczema? Well, no. for the following reason:

Eczema is believed to be a hereditary condition, passed from parent to child. It has been suggested that people who develop eczema are very sensitive to certain allergens. These allergens cause the immune system to overreact, causing inflamed, irritated and sore skin.

So, since Eczema and many allergies are believed to be hereditary, you can not cure them. However, you can relate the discomfort and pain associated with these. Use this information to make educated decisions about your skin.

• Keep in mind, use of petroleum based products on your skin can increase the chance of those allergens getting through your skin.

• Try to find all natural products that are vegetable based; with plant derived emollients and moisturizers.

• Avoid artificial or chemical scents and dyes.

• REMEMBER if alcohol, in any form, is in the list of ingredients, the alcohol is likely to undo any good you would have had with the emollients on the list. Alcohol dries and irritates your skin. Yes, it controls germs and makes the moisture evaporate faster than your skin. But is that your goal?

• Organics are often capable

• All natural is always better for dry, allergy prone, cracked skin.

I never found a product in department stores, pharmacies, or bath and body stores that actually worked to heal my skin and followed the above policies. So, I took matters into my own sore cracked hands.

I experimented with different all natural ingredients. After 2 years of research and experiments, I found the best combination for me. Goat milk and oatmeal proved to be a healing balm for my hands and the rest of my body. I began making products for my family and friends. My business, Dream View Farm, great from there. I continue to try to serve the needs of my clients with new combinations and I continue to research the best ingredients for skin. You can find these truly amazing products at http://www.dreamviewfarm.com . There also, you can find a way to contact me with your requests and recommendations.

I made my own relief and enjoy helping others find relief from dry, cracked painful skin conditions. I teach school full time and dedicate my summers and week-ends to further research and product development. If you have ideas or requests, please visit my website for more information.

http://www.dreamviewfarm.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emollient

http://dermnetnz.org/treatments/emollients.html

http://www.answers.com/topic/emollient

[http://www.chemistrystore.com/butters.htm]

This article is not intended to provide medical advice. This article makes no medical claims. The intention of this article is to share research and success of individuals.

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