Eczema is the word which is normally used for the tenderness and soreness stemming from an inflammation of the skin.
The physical symptoms are usually red and/or swollen places on the skin as well as itchy, red patches in various areas of the body. Anyplace where the skin can be ‘bent’ such as the crook of the arm and behind the knees seems to be a favorite location of eczema. Another area is around the belt line of the stomach
There are a many reasons named for the cause of the inflammation of eczema, but normally, as are nearly all health problems, eczema is an immune-system reaction. Children and adults alike can experience eczema, but more often than not, you will see eczema affecting children, and normally these children will be infants or toddlers. The FDA warns against overuse of several of the topical creams that are available for children who are under two years of age because of the strength of the topical ointment. Natural, “home remedies” as they are sometimes called, seem to be the safest route to use for small children and infants.
All dairy products and most forms of nuts, among other foods, can aggravate the symptoms of eczema. Eczema is believed to be connected to food allergies, so any food that a person or child may be allergic to could in theory cause the symptoms of eczema to worsen. Some of the other common food antigens are fruit, wheat, eggs, seafood, dairy products, and nuts. Keeping a diet log is not a bad idea since this can sometimes show a connection between a particular food being and the eczema symptoms growing in severity.
Eczema and Yeast or Candida albicans Problems
It’s interesting to note that when a person who has both a Candida overgrowth and suffers from eczema as well starts a Candida diet and protocol, as their Candida symptoms improve, so do their eczema symptoms. This fact alone points to a Candida albicans and eczema connection.
Research Studies: According to an article in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Malassezia sympodialis is an opportunistic yeast form which normally lives among the natural flora in the human intestines but can also cause a type of mediated sensitization in patients who are suffering from eczema. This is more proof of a connection between eczema and yeast.
In yet another research article, this one published in The Journal of Translational Immunology, a percentage of infantile patients initially diagnosed with infantile eczema also exhibited a defect in yeast opsonization. “Opsonization” is the natural process that causes pathogens such as yeast and disease-causing bacteria in the body to be coated with opsonin, a substance which marks the pathogen for elimination by the immune system. This proven research outcome showing that infants with a defect in the body’s protective mechanism against yeast also exhibited eczema symptoms is just more proof of the connection.
An antibiotic (a drug which destroys bacteria) does not appear to improve symptoms of eczema when an actual infection is not apparent, and the non-infected cases seem to be the most common when it comes to the symptoms of eczema; however, it makes perfect sense that, since a Candida diet is known to improve eczema, so could an antifungal (a natural or manmade substance which destroys fungi). In fact, some doctors recommend the use of antifungals to their patients suffering from eczema. More proof that eczema is connected to a fungal overgrowth.
Some natural food sources of antifungals are garlic, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, cloves, ginger root, cinnamon, and virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil can also be rubbed into the eczema patches for relief as well as for better absorption into the bloodstream. Remember, you don’t want to purchase a ‘hydrogenated’ coconut oil, but preferably organic and virgin coconut oil. A natural oil which is also an antifungal is oregano oil but this should not be rubbed on the skin.
NOTE: If you have a Candida albicans overgrowth, you should be very careful with some of the stronger antifungals because they will cause the Candida die-off toxins to be released in your body, so if this is your situation, you should start with very low amounts of the following stronger antifungals; garlic, Brussels sprouts, and especially rutabaga and oil of oregano. Because of its powerful strength, oil of oregano should always be mixed with another oil such as olive oil; a premixed supplement of this can be purchased over the counter at vitamin and health food stores.
Probiotics suggested along with Prebiotics
In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition researchers looked at the effects of probiotics fed to mice. In this study, all of the mice exhibited intolerance to whey which is a component of milk. The mice were given milk, probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics are food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestines to help them survive as well as to quickly reproduce and repopulate the intestines. With this combination, the mice that were studied showed significant improvement with a dramatic reduction in skin reactions. Many health supplements as well as probiotic drinks and foods now contain both probiotics and prebiotics.
Beneficial bacteria in the human intestines which make up about 70% of the immune system are like any other living creature in that they must be fed in order to survive. A prebiotic is an indigestible oligosaccharide that is found in many common foods. Prebiotics are digested by the bacteria which live in the human digestive system. They promote growth of the bacteria by providing them with energy and nutrition. The MayoClinic.com website states that prebiotics support our immune function. Prebiotics contained in food are normally stable and can survive during the cooking process.
There are many vegetables which are rich in a compound called inulin which is the most common and abundant type of prebiotic. Examples of prebiotic vegetables are Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, leeks, onions and chicory root or 100% chicory coffee or tea. Chicory coffee and tea is caffeine free; organic 100% chicory tea and/or coffee should be on any Candida or yeast diet. Other vegetables are green vegetables with fiber such as asparagus and lightly steamed cabbage, broccoli, and kale, all of which contain some prebiotic properties.
Silica: Silica is an essential mineral necessary to the human body; a supplement of silica can also help with eczema problems by increasing the amount of collagen in the skin. This gives the skin additional strength, and in turn will decrease the risk of skin damage that is often contributed to eczema.
Image Credit Care_SMC @ Creative Commons – http://www.flickr.com/photos/75491103@N00/
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