A. How To Treat Acne When You Have Eczema
Acne and eczema are caused by different problems and manifest themselves in different ways, but unfortunately, they can sometimes coincide, which obviously is not fun for the poor sufferer!
Eczema is characterized by red, inflamed, itchy and painful skin patches. It is the result of a hypersensitive and over-reactive inflammatory response system, along with a defective skin barrier. In the long run, it is best to deal with lifestyle changes, avoid triggers and large amounts of emollients to keep dry or damaged skin well hydrated.
Acne is an overproduction of sebum that leads to clogging and then infection of the pores and is characterized by blemishes, bumps and sores. Ironically, sebum, a natural oil that the skin produces to protect itself and keep it resilient, is something that people suffering from eczema tend to underproduce.
1. What do they have in common and what can you do to treat them both at the same time?
Well, they both involve inflammation. To reduce the risk of your skin becoming irritated and inflamed, there are a number of changes you can make to your skin care system and lifestyle, designed to help treat eczema and acne.
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a. Changes in skin care
- Keep things simple: avoid soaps, personal care products or hair products with perfumes, SLS, known irritants and highly synthetic products. Stick to softer, unpredictable areas, made for sensitive skin, and find a soap-free cleanser that your skin can tolerate.
- Keep calm: Wash in warm water, short baths and showers, moisturize after bathing. Avoid extreme heat or cold and get used to regulating the temperature with fans and light, loose clothing.
- Moisturize regularly: Use mild, light and nutritious creams daily to replenish your skin with the essential fatty acids, nutrients and vitamins it needs to maintain and normalize its regular regeneration cycle. Our daily moisturizer is great for eczema and acne as it is not comedogenic (meaning it does not block your pores), but it is rich enough in essential fatty acids to keep your skin supple and supple.
- Keep it clean: if you want to avoid microbial infections that suffer from acne and eczema, try a natural antiseptic in the form of tea tree oil! You shouldn’t use it clean, but if you have acne on your forehead, scalp or back, you can try our award-winning scalp oil. It is a blend of purifying tea tree and nourishing borage with nettle, hemp seeds and other fantastically nourishing oils. Do the patch test first if you also suffer from eczema, as eczema can make your skin sensitive to essential oils.
- Treat different areas with different products: If acne is on the face and eczema behind the knees, you can use different products for each one. Acne products need to be light, not clog and clean; For eczema, you can use an intensely moisturizing ointment like Skin Salvation. The goal is to normalize the production of skin cells and avoid irritating the area. However, you can exchange products depending on what is needed, when and where.
3. Lifestyle changes
Reduce Your Stress! Stress can make acne and eczema worse. So take your relaxation seriously, even if it seems like an impossible task. Small steps are better than nothing. So take five minutes to take a long, slow breath or take a walk outdoors. Exercise can really help you inside and out. Therefore, consider eczema-friendly exercises whenever possible. A good night’s sleep can also help! Sleep tracking apps are useful ways to make sure you’re really getting the hours you need.
Review your diet: acne and eczema can be made worse by an inadequate diet, either because you eat anti-inflammatory foods or because your diet lacks the nutrients and probiotics needed to maintain a healthy gut. Research what works for you and keep yourself fed up with the good stuff. It also means making sure you are drinking enough water and not drinking too much of this well-known inflammatory alcohol!
B. 8 Natural Skin Care Practices to Heal Acne and Eczema from the Inside-Out
As a naturopathic doctor, my patients often ask for my recommendations on how to help them choose a natural skin care system. Our skin is what we show the world and of course we want to show our best face! As someone who fights acne and eczema, I know firsthand the frustrations that come with skin problems. Whether it’s rashes, premature aging or scaly, irritated red skin – these rashes can seriously affect your self-esteem. However, I want you to know that it doesn’t always have to be just because you currently have skin problems!
Treating my own skin with a natural skin care system and helping many of my patients to do the same, I have repeatedly seen that it is not our current skin care regime, but what we create in our bodies or damage our skin health ! I want you to feel safe in your skin and today I am sharing 8 exercises to help you show your most beautiful and radiant face in the world!
1. Identify your food sensitivities
You probably know that the quality of the food you put in your body can have a big impact on your skin’s appearance. However, did you know that food sensitivities are an extremely common cause of acne and other skin conditions, such as eczema?
Food sensitivities occur when your body has an immune response to the foods you consume frequently as part of your daily diet. Unlike a food allergy, food sensitivity occurs due to a delayed immune response, and this gradual response causes inflammation throughout the body. Along with the liver and kidneys, our skin is one of our main detoxifying organs. Therefore, food-related inflammation usually appears as acne, eczema, and spotty, irritated skin.
Recognizing and avoiding my eating sensitivities has transformed my own cystic acne-prone skin and allowed my patients to discover their chronic skin problems. While there are certain foods such as wheat, dairy products, eggs and nuts that are more common than other immune triggers, the responses are very individual and it is important to properly assess and identify your own triggers.
2. Taste the rainbow (and no, I do not mean to eat cones)
Like all other organs in the body, the skin needs enough vitamins and minerals to thrive! Examples of two important nutrients for skin health are vitamin C (which strengthens collagen and prevents wrinkles) and vitamin A (which helps to heal skin damage).
To ensure a varied intake of these and other nutrients that support the skin, you should fill your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables. When serving the dish, half should be colorful vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, kale, sweet potatoes, beets and carrots. These vegetables can be eaten in the form of a delicious salad, sautéed or in soup! When you look at your plate and find that it is regularly full of beige foods like bread, pasta and rice, you know you are not getting the nutrients your skin (and other organs) need. Filling your plate with a rainbow of colors is the basis of a natural skin care system!
3. Change the excess of sugar to the crab
Whether you have acne, eczema or premature aging, ALL of these skin disorders are made worse by too much sugar in the diet. Acne occurs when the pores are clogged with dead skin cells and sebum (oil) and bacteria can grow and develop in our pores, causing inflammation, pain and redness.
a. What does this have to do with sugar? Everything!
Excess sugar increases sebum production while allowing acne-causing bacteria (Propionum acnes) to develop. It is a double blow that can devastate your skin and cause skin rashes, despite all your preparation with topical skin care treatments. Unfortunately, the effects of sugar on our skin do not stop there! High blood sugar levels can also feed yeast, which can often be seen as one of the causes of eczema and other skin rashes.
Last but not least, too much sugar in your bloodstream leads to a process called glycation, in which sugar molecules (glucose) bind to proteins like collagen. This leads to premature cell aging and can cause premature wrinkles and fine lines. Not what the doctor ordered! You don’t necessarily need to be 100% sugar-free to see improvements in your skin, and most people consume a lot more sugar than they realize on a daily basis! If you want to enjoy a dessert, do it carefully and choose one of these delicious recipes instead of taking home a jar of Ben and Jerry (which if you are sensitive to milk can also activate your skin, as described above) . .
4. Cool in the coffee outlet
Caffeine, especially in the form of coffee, can be an important trigger for acne (this was definitely my case!). This is because coffee increases the release of one of the stress hormones called cortisol, which in turn acts on the skin’s sebaceous glands, causing them to produce more oil. Another reason why coffee can irritate our skin is not the coffee itself, but the large amounts of cream (a common food sensitivity) and sugar that are often added!
If you have acne, I recommend trying a free 2-3 week caffeine test to see if you notice any improvement. If you are not yet ready to completely eliminate caffeine, try to relax with the following suggestions:
- Keep your coffee consumption to 1 cup a day
- Choose organic coffee to minimize exposure to pesticides
- Drink your coffee pure or add coconut milk instead of cream (a common food sensitivity).
- Swap your coffee for green tea – although it still contains caffeine, it also has calming benefits due to its L-disinfectant content
Years ago, when I was battling severe cystic acne, coffee was one of the things that started my constant flare-ups. Now that I have improved my general health and corrected other imbalances, such as food sensitivity and adrenal fatigue, I am grateful to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee or American again without the same worries. It is important to remember that you may need to make more initial efforts to find out what is causing your skin problems. However, this does not necessarily mean that you need to avoid these potential triggers for the rest of your life!
5. Hydration, hydration, hydration!
The human body is made up of 60% water and it is vital that you get enough water every day to help detoxify your body. Although the actual amount of water needed varies based on your size, you should drink enough water every day to keep your urine relatively clean (except for the first morning). For most people, this is about 2-3 liters of water per day.
Remember that caffeinated coffee and teas do not count towards fluid intake and that, for each caffeinated drink, I want to drink an extra glass of water to compensate for the diuretic effects of caffeine. Herbal teas (hot or frozen) definitely count towards your fluid intake, however, and they often have many other health benefits! So, prepare a pot of Rooibos Chai or your favorite herbal blend and enjoy!
6. Support your microbiome with fermented food
When working with a patient with acne or eczema, I always focus on their digestive health as part of my assessment and treatment plan. This includes identifying whether they have food sensitivities (which is extremely common), as well as assessing whether there are imbalances in the intestinal microbiome (which is a sophisticated name for the bacteria that live in your digestive tract).
An easy way to promote a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria is to consume fermented foods at least once a day. This includes foods like sauerkraut, Greek yogurt, miso or kimchi, as well as fermented drinks like kombucha or kefir. However, it is very important to note that dairy products are a common food sensitivity and often the cause of skin problems like acne or eczema. Before adding yogurt or kefir to support your skin, the first thing you should do is to ensure that dairy products are not an immune trigger for you by taking food sensitivity tests with a naturopathic doctor and / or following an elimination diet.
7. Sweat it out
Exercise offers many benefits in terms of improving our appearance and feeling, and can dramatically improve your skin’s health! Your skin is one of your body’s main ways to detoxify hormones, chemicals and toxins. If you sweat regularly, all of these substances can be eliminated through the pores. Exercise also causes vasodilation, increasing blood flow to the skin, providing oxygen and nutrients to cells and promoting a youthful glow.
My suggestion is to exercise enough intensity to sweat for at least 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week. Infrared saunas are another great way to stimulate sweating and cleanse your skin from the inside out! Just make sure to always rinse as soon as possible after your workout or sauna to avoid skin irritations that are counterproductive to your clear skin goals.
8. Use cleaners and natural moisturizers
Although the way we supply our internal bodies plays an important role in our skin care routine, the products we choose for topical use are still important! Traditional acne treatment recommendations often include aggressive chemicals designed to remove oil from our skin and kill bacteria. These products often irritate already sensitive skin and, ironically, can actually lead to an increase in oil production and persistent microbial imbalances. For eczema, traditional skin care recommendations often use topical steroid creams, which suppress the immune system and can cause side effects such as skin thinning and stretch marks.
My approach to skin care, regardless of whether you suffer from acne or eczema, is to always choose natural, gentle and supportive products that reduce inflammation while healing the skin at the same time. I am looking for simple product formulations that contain natural healing ingredients such as marigolds and that do not contain unnecessary chemicals and preservatives.
Some of my favorite lines and natural skin care products are:
- Jurlique – When I had severe cystic acne, I used the Balancing Foaming Cleanser and Calendula Redness Rescue Serum to soothe and clear my clogged and irritated acne.
- O.R.G Skin Care – I suggest a smooth formula based on enzymes like O.R.G. Skin Care Mineral Peel For Acne – This will help keep the pores free of dead skin cells and prevent the appearance of acne.
- Andalou Naturals – I have a range of Andalou Naturals products for natural skin and hair care. I think it’s great that they use natural ingredients and at the same time have a good price on their products!
- Communion botanicals – Now that I have no acne, my focus has shifted to a smooth, pore-free anti-aging support. One of my new favorite products in this regard is the Cellular Renewal Facial Serum from Communion Botanicals. It feels amazing on my skin and I love that the company is based in Nelson, BC!
As a reminder, your skin care routine is important, BUT it shouldn’t be the main focus of your focus. When in doubt – keep it simple on the outside and focus on beautiful skin on the inside! I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to fight against the skin, and by diving in and incorporating ALL of these principles and strategies into my own health, my skin has become clearer. Now, I am grateful for the opportunity to help other people achieve the same!
When you’re ready to incorporate these strategies into your own health, I have an online program called the Elimination Diet Meal Plan that will help you discover your eating sensitivity while enjoying a delicious eating plan that will fuel your body and help you inside. to shine out there. It will also help you eliminate caffeine, fill your plate with color and significantly minimize your sugar intake.