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My Experience with DermaTherapy Bedding Sheets as an Eczema Sufferer

Precision Fabrics Group(PFG) was kind enough to let me try their new highly engineered bed sheet linens.  PFG is a company that specializes in creating advanced high tech fabrics for many different industries such as healthcare, the military and aerospace.   They are a research group consisting of engineers and scientists.  The DermaTherapy sheets (FDA-Cleared) that they sent me were designed for people with skin conditions such as Eczema.

Just look at the benefits below.

I tested the product over a 6-7 week period and I have to say that I am very impressed. Please read on to find out why.

My unboxing

What I received in the package

The package was a Full size bed set that included – bed sheets(flat and fitted) and 2 pillow cases. *Note – it also comes in Twin, Twin xl, Queen and King.

The materials used in the linen sheets are of a poly/nylon blend (continuous filament fibers) that provide a silky, smooth and cool feeling sensation on the skin.

This will greatly reduce any itchy feeling and discomfort during sleep.  Furthermore, the material contains anti-microbial treatment.  This special property helps reduce allergic reaction and repel bacteria.

Instructions

It is a good idea to wash all sheets before you use and wash them separately to avoid any lint contamination from other materials such as other clothing.  What surprised me is how fast all the sheets dried after the wash.

The Big Test

The first time I slipped into the sheets, I felt a much different feeling on my skin than my usual cotton sheets. It felt cooler and slippery (definitely silk feeling).  To be honest, it almost felt a bit uncomfortable at first, probably because the weather was still cold outside. Regardless, I was able to sleep amazingly well the first night considering I was not sleeping well the past few weeks from working long shifts at work.

The Big Question IsDid I Ever Wake up and Scratch during my sleep under these Sheets?

Nope – Had no scratching and hardly any itching during my 6-7 week test.  The sheet has the ability to keep the body temperature at a steady cool state preventing excess heat, which can produce sweat that often aggravates our eczema.

Here is my breakdown for the weeks

1st week – I hardly itch.

2nd week – The same result as in week 1.

3-4th week – Still consistent.

5-7th week  –  Very Happy Overall.

There was a few times where I slept under a different sheet only because I fell asleep on the couch and during a weekend vacation.  Using the other sheets, I felt itchier more than ever.  It is probably due to being so used to the comfort of the Derma-Therapy sheets.  This is a problem I always had in the past when sleeping in a different environment and under a different sheet material.  A solution would be to purchase another set of DermaTherapy sheets especially when travelling. This leads to an issue, the cost?

Cost

The cost of the sheets is pricier than your average bed sheet, but this is understandable because the product is specialized (heavily researched) and the material used is of a high-tech grade.   It is totally worth it as I have slept well every night under this material with no complaints.

As an Eczema sufferer I highly recommend it and I believe it is worth it.  Having a good night sleep is one of the keys in maintaining your Eczema and you can read more on this in my article here.

Three Reasons why it Benefits Eczema

1. To reiterate my last point on sleep, current studies are showing that sleeping under a certain temperature (specifically at a lower temperature) can optimize the quality of sleep.  These sheets will keep you cool especially during those summers.

2. It is important to note that relaxation is part of the key in reducing stress that can also cause itching. That is the second thing that I believe this linen targets. Relaxation! It just feels good on the skin.

3.  I don’t get that itchy sensation throughout the night. I automatically feel relaxed once I jump in to bed.

My verdict

I do recommend this product for anyone who has issues sleeping at night especially if you are suffering from a skin condition or if you have a tendency to sweat a lot.  Yes, there are many factors that could be causing your restless sleep, but the chances of having a good night’s sleep are so much greater when using Derma-Therapy bed sheets.

It is similar to wearing dri-fit clothes during a sweaty workout where it keeps you cool and keeps the sweat off of you.  Wearing cotton would be the last thing to wear in that condition because sweat and moisture would be trapped.

It will take a bit of time to get used to the coolness of the sheets at first, BUT you will much appreciate the benefits because your skin and state of mind is in a relaxed state.  The best part is I can sleep without worrying.  No more waking up in the middle of the night because of feeling hot and itchy.

I would like to say thanks to Precision Fabrics Group for letting me try the sheets and also the hand-written card that they sent me.  Also right now you can get a 15% discount using the code “BATTLE15” by clicking the image link below.

 

What is Tea Tree Oil and its Skin Benefits

Having a fresh and camphor-like smell, the interesting scent of tea tree oil has a powerful antimicrobial property that treats a variety of conditions for the skin.  You are probably wondering why I say the scent is interesting?  Well many people I talked to have said they either don’t like the smell or are just okay with the smell after only using many times because of its strong scent.   And there are those who say that it gives off a pleasant smell since it has a eucalyptus type odor providing a relaxing atmosphere.

Extracted from Where?

The oil is extracted from the narrow-leaved paperbark “Melaleuca alternifolia” which is endemic to Australia. The plant is classified as a tree or a tall shrub that grows particularly along streams and swampy flats of southeast Australia.

Danger! Do not Consume!! Skin Application only.

While Australia is known to house some of the most dangerous animals and toxic plants in the world, it is the same with the tea tree oil.  It is considered highly toxic when consumed. Ingesting tea tree oil can instantly cause drowsiness, hallucinations, weakness, diarrhea, stomach upset and severe rashes. Hence reason why the oil is used on the skin (topically) and remember that it is not considered a common tea used for drinking (unrelated from actual tea plant), as the last thing you want is to ingest any of it into your system because of the high toxicity.

Also note – The exposure of this oil in air and light can cause some its compounds to oxidized where some people will have an immediate allergic reaction once exposed.

Bit of History

The commercial tea tree oil industry started way back in the 1920s where claims of several health benefits have been reported. Due to its apparent popularity, cultivation of it has spread out in the Middle East and the United States using several varieties of closely related adaptive species. But you may wonder why the cultivation has flourished despite being a toxic plant?

Gimme the Benefits

Manufacturers of tea tree oil has processed it to have a lower concentration where it can become an ingredient in cosmetics or as an essential oil. The use of tea tree oil has claimed to be useful in treating a wide variety of health conditions.  This oil is great for treating infections with its natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.  It is very versatile and can treat many issues as shown below:

Got Acne?

One of the most common uses is the treatment for acne. Study shows that it is just as effective as other acne treatment with some minimal associated side effects like redness and drying of the skin. You can search for many home remedies in this area on the net.

Flaky scalp?

Tea tree oil is also proven to be beneficial to your hair and scalp where it has the ability to sooth dry and flaky skin while removing dandruff and lice. Some have even made their own tea tree oil shampoo by mixing several drops of the oil with aloe vera and coconut milk.

Have warts?

Apply some of the oil once a day to the infected area for 30 days.

Have a bad cough or bronchial issues?

Try applying a FEW drops of the oil into your bath water.  There has some incidents where people put too much of it in their bath water and when they came out, their skin had burning sensation.  I wouldn’t put more than 2 drops, but I heard 5-10 small drops is safe.

Got bad body odor?

With its anti-microbial properties, you can use it to as a type of deodorant.  I would recommend just purchasing the deodorant sticks that have tea tree oil as an ingredient.

Mixing with other Oils?

It can also be mixed with other essential oils, like for instance; mixing with lavender oil will make a great homemade ointment for treating cuts and other small wounds.  If you have Eczema, try using a coconut mixture (half cup of coconut oil) with 10-20 drops of the tea tree oil.  To learn more on mixing different essentials oils please read this instruction article or you can also join my email list below.

Emu Oil- Benefits on the Skin and How to Use

Extracted from the second largest living bird in terms of height, emu oil is found in the adipose tissue of the emu bird. It has been used by the Aboriginals of Australia for centuries as a natural remedy.  They also use other parts of the animal for clothing and food as nothing goes to waste.

Depending on the diet of the animal, the extracted emu oil varies in color and thickness ranging from a white creamy consistency up to a thin yellow solution which is composed of fatty acids, oleic acid and linolenic acid.

Skin Application Benefits

Aside from being used to improve cholesterol level, weight loss and as an additive ingredient in cough medicines, it can also be applied to the skin.

From the chemicals in its fatty acids, emu oil reduces the pain from skin swelling and inflammation associated with certain skin disease where it has further showed to be more effective in  treating sudden or acute inflammation rather than ongoing chronic cases .

It can somewhat aid in protecting our skin from the sun as it acts as a natural sun block but I still recommend using traditional sun screen especially it is cheaper for the amount needed on our exposed skin. Essentials oils are usually expensive for the amount you get.

Moisturizer? Pimples?

One good factor in using this oil is that it does not clog the pores of the skin which in turn prevents the occurrence of pimples. With this unique oil characteristic, it has become a good skin moisturizer which further exhibits to promote the anti-aging of the skin. This is due to the unique combination of saturated + unsaturated fats which in effect enhances the health and wellness of the upper skin layer helping to hold more water.  One last thing I want to mention is that since it has properties of Terpenes it can act as a natural insect repellent thereby eliminating those irritating insect bites.  If you want to make your own repellent then follow my homemade recipe (no deet).

Penetration – Use in Chiropractic Practices

Emu oil can penetrate deep in our skin reaching the profound stratum corneum layer.  One of the popular applications of emu oil is in the chiropractic field. Massage therapist uses emu oil messaging it on the skin and allowing the muscles to be fully relaxed and rejuvenated from stress brought about especially from work. It also reduces pain caused by the swelling and stiffness of the joint particularly in sports related muscle strains.  In other words it is great for relieving joint and muscle discomfort.

But do take note there have been individuals who do not find it useful for muscle or joint relive because in fact this oil is quite strong as compared to other types of oil that are used in the same field.  Please speak with your specialist if you have concerns or have any issues.

Is it Safe? Lack of Data?

Emu oil also possesses an incredible antibacterial element. Supposedly no bacteria can grow in a pure emu oil solution. Compared to other essential oils, it has a low potential for causing any skin irritation and no known side effects known for its use.  But the issue is the fact that there isn’t enough information and data available.  So do take precaution and according to WebMD, it should be avoided during pregnancy or if you are breast feeding.

But like always when you are apply something new onto your skin; please test a small sample to see if you will have any skin irritation, discomfort or allergic reaction.  Follow this post to see how I test any new products on my skin.

How do I use EMU oil?

This will depend on your situation as it can be applied directly as a mix or on its own. It is also dependent on which part of the body you are applying it to.  Generally for myself as an Eczema sufferer, I prefer to mix any essential oils with a thicker base agent such as Shea or Cocoa butter. I wrote an article on this topic and I give directions and pointers on how to make your own.  You can read it at this page or join my mailing list below.

I never use essential oil on its own since I do not like the oily feeling on my skin since I prefer a creamier feel. It is a preference thing as some do use it on its own or mixing it with other oils such Peppermint or Coconut.

Stress and its Negative Effects on Eczema

While we can define stress in many ways, let us just put it this way: stress is caused when something disturbs your physical, social and mental routine. For example, when your job is described as a routine work then suddenly you are loaded with a pile of document or perhaps tasked to solve an office problem and come up with an immediate solution, that’s stress.  Studies show that people with demanding job has an 80% chance of being depressed.

Acute Stress – A Good thing?

Our bodies response to stress is it will trigger the production of hormones like adrenaline which will surge throughout our body’s system where the stress level in each person varies. Caused by a short term and a minimum amount of stress, acute stress can actually be good for us as it keeps us active, alert and accomplish the task easily. Continue reading

Itchy Scalp? What are the Causes and some Tips

Worried that despite just after having a shower, your scalp continues to itch? It is time to dig the causes and give you some remedies to prevent this possible embarrassing moment. Itching of the scalp is caused by several sources and knowing that particular source of itching and how to treat it is very important to prevent the further occurrence of an itchy scalp.

Clinically termed as seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff is the most common cause of an itchy scalp. While yeast naturally lives on the scalp and other hairy areas of our body, this condition will take place when there is an overgrowth of yeast where your body’s inflammatory response will cause the flaking and itching of the scalp.

In mild cases, you can control the growth of yeast using over the counter shampoos that specifically has the ingredient selenium or zinc pyrithione. In serious cases, you must use a prescribed anti-fungal shampoo, a topical cortisone or medicated ointment.

Possible Causes of having an Itchy Scalp?

Eww – Ringworms?

Continue reading

Phototherapy (light therapy) and its Benefits for my Eczema

A little history (Click here to skip history): The practice of phototherapy has started since the ancient times where they use a combination of natural light and herbs in treating non-pigmented skin areas. Since then, it has developed into a formal science where a Faroese physician named Niels Finsen was considered as the Father of modern phototherapy.

Finsen was the first who used an artificial light to treat skin disease. He started his study by treating Lupus vulgaris which is a skin infection caused by a bacteria and the results where promising as the light treatment has killed the bacteria and greatly improved its skin condition.

Since then, phototherapy or classically referred to as heliotherapy, has evolved and became a clinical method which exposes your body’s skin to a specific wavelength of light using polychromatic polarized light, lasers, LED, fluorescent lamps or full spectrum lights. The administration of artificial light is controlled by the intensity and amount of time which has been found out to be effective in treating skin disorders particularly psoriasis, acne vulgaris, and eczema.

New hat by treehouse1977, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by treehouse1977 – baby with high levels of Jaundice being treated

The treatment involves exposing your skin to ultraviolet light only on a small or specific area. On the other hand, often but seldom, a full body therapy can be done only on doctor’s order and with the availability of a large high power ultraviolet booth. Considered as the safest range of exposure, the common phototherapy treatment uses narrowband wavelength of 311 to 313 nanometer.

Treating Eczema?

In treating eczema, ultraviolet B-light is used where the specialist will pre-determine if the condition is widespread and if the patient needs a full body exposure or just localized for a condition.  PUVA and UVB/UVA-1 light-therapy are other forms of phototherapy that is specifically designed to treat eczema as this is the one I tried for 2 years of my life .

What You Need to Know about Light-therapy

Sessions and Procedure

YOU HAVE TO WEAR SUNSCREEN!  It is also recommended to wear any prescribed cream 45 minutes to 2 hours before the session. Do not worry; your specialist in charge will make sure you follow all the steps necessary before jumping into the unit.  The clinic will also provide you with the goggles or you can purchase your own.  My goggles cost me 14 dollars and I purchased them within the same clinic.

Starting off, I had to do 2-3 sessions per week and I had to do this for 2 years as recommended by my dermatologist who said many had success after that amount of time.

Before entering the unit, you will have to take off your clothes except for your underwear.  Then you will put on your goggles.

The first many sessions, I went in the unit for 30 seconds each time.  Over a few months my skin immunity and tolerance was higher and I went in for 1 – 2 minutes each time. The maximum from what I recalled is 3 minutes.  Again this will depend on your progress over time and the decision by your skin specialist based on the acquired data.

*NOTE The specialist will make the necessary adjustment of the levels/strength of the light therapy based on your progress and severity of Eczema and your Skin tone .  They do this in low doses and will never go pass a high level so this prevents any burning of the skin.

For me, at the beginning as mentioned, I went 3 times a week and each session was for 30 seconds.  These short sessions help build the skin immunity to the light therapy and help decrease your photo-sensitivity. Once I hit the 3 minutes max tolerance after many sessions, I only needed to attend the therapy twice a week.  At that point, you can leave the therapy anytime you want. I left after 2 years.

My Results and Opinion

Based on the risks that I mentioned further below in the article, I never really had any side effects.  After my 2 years of the Therapy, my skin was much better and my scars and bumps disappeared.  My skin was evenly consistent in tone and not patchy (also not scaly).  I also remembered after the therapy, it was the first time in a long time that I started to wear dresses, tank tops and shorts.  What I like most about it was more natural than taking pills or steroids creams.

Do I recommend it trying this therapy? My answer is YES!  Right now I am considering going back to this therapy after 5 years.

Others Opinions

About 70% of the patients got better after phototherapy where some have claimed that their condition has been confined to a dormant stage and does not experience any eczema flare ups.  It also helped those with a reduction itchiness and inflammation. Aside from this, it promotes our body’s natural production of vitamin D as which can help in ramping up the bacteria fighting cells in our skin. You can read this article to further understand the benefits of Vitamin D for eczema.

Understand it is a gradual process, some people may see immediate results, but for me, it took 2 years. Generally you will see positive results after a year but it depends on your severity.  When I started my sessions, my skin was at its worse.  I had bad oozing Eczema also known as weeping Eczema and I was constantly bleeding.

Some Possible Risk or Dangers?

Undergoing this therapy treatment has its own potential negative effects. Understand the risk of burning your skin is low because you are closely evaluated and monitored. As a protocol, you must wear an eye protection at all times during treatment. There is also the potential of ultraviolet radiation which can progressively damage your skin instead of improving the condition.

There could also be other side effects including headache, eye irritation, possible premature ageing and nausea.

All of these mentioned above are the same side effect that you could get, if you were spending time outside on a hot sunny day.  The difference is that you are being closely monitored and the levels of lighting will be appropriately adjusted for you.  So these symptoms are rare.

Get Recommended for Photo-therapy?

It is best to discuss the therapy with your dermatologist and also understand that your general doctor may not know much about it.  So if you do not know of a dermatologist, then ask your doctor as he or she will recommend one for you.  Then it will be up to the dermatologist to decide if phototherapy is right for you.

I want to mention that if you live in a warm climate area, then this therapy will or may not be recommended for you.

Before you consider undergoing phototherapy and for the treatment to be effective, understand it will cost you money (unless you are covered like I was), as it generally requires 2 to 3 sessions per week.

Understanding Good and Bad Soap Ingredients for Eczema

Derived from reacting fatty acids with a strong alkaline solution which produces a chemical reaction known as saponification, soaps are a great medium in cleansing our body. Different kinds of soap can be made depending on the type of solution used during chemical process. Sodium soaps, which are hard and firm, are produced from sodium hydroxide while liquid soaps come from the reaction of potassium hy-drox-ide.

When applied to your skin, both types of soap dissolves natural insoluble particles in your skin that is easily washed away during rinsing. This is best exhibited when soap cleanses your skin with excess oil that might be contaminated with dirt and dust particles.

Ingredients Review

Glycerine

The cleansing powers of soaps are composed of several ingredients that are both good and bad for your health. One of the good ingredients is a product during saponification. The results of this chemical process will yield naturally 75% soap and 25% glycerine.

Did you know that glycerine is removed from soap found in your everyday stores?

glycerine-info-banner Continue reading

24-48 Hour Skin Sensitivity Test (New Products or Ingredients)

Step 1 – Apply cream/lotion on small patch of skin.

add-cream1

Step 2 – Wait and see within 24-48 hours if there are any bad and negative reaction.

24_48hourwait-01

Step 3 – If you  react badly  such as the area turns red, becomes itchy, or appears bumpy(bubble like) then please NOTE down the ingredient or all ingredients that is in that product.

add-cream-reaction

If you  have NO bad reaction after 48 hours  then you can skip step 4 and continue using the product but always monitor your use and evaluate its effectiveness.

Step 4- Bring the product with you to the clinic and discuss with a Dermatologist about your reaction as you may be allergic to an ingredient.  This will help you choose the right cream and lotion down the road.

 

Benefits of Lipoic Acid in Skincare Products? Any Side Effects?

On top of having anti-inflammatory properties, lipoic acid is also an antioxidant where it was found to regenerate other damaging antioxidants earning its name as the universal antioxidant. This naturally occurring enzyme can be found in both plants and animals as a bi-product of photosynthetic activity and in foods such as spinach, however only in tiny quantities.

Where does it come from?

Lipoic acid is vital specially in neutralizing the damage caused by free radicals from chemical by-products as this can interfere with our body’s function. Since our body naturally produces a small amount of it, supplementing this will give you an optimal level where your body can function well. There is a synthetic version of this enzymatic antioxidant called alpha-lipoic-acid that is now very popular with skincare products.

Unlike previous products containing only vitamins c and e which acts as skin enhancers, consumers today favor skincare products with lipoic acid because it is four hundred times more soluble in water and in fats. This means that it can penetrate both the skin’s outer surface and the inner membrane which is considered as the enzyme’s most important characteristic. Continue reading

Uses of Lanolin Ingredient in Creams and its possible side effects

Lanolin is another name of wool grease and is derived by extracting and processing wool by shorn from domestic sheep. The main reason why sheep have Lanolin is because of its amazing waterproof properties that helps to keep the sheep’s internal body moisturized. It also helps to maintain the integrity of the wool on a rainy season by preventing is from getting wet. It also acts as an antibacterial agent and helps to soften the skin. Because of its protective properties, it is usually used in lotions and cosmetic creams designed to moisturized and smoothen the skin.

Why Lanolin is used as an ingredient in cream products?

One amazing property of Lanolin is that, it offers a bi-directional water transportation. This actually means that it not only attracts moisture but it also redistributes it to the environment with low relative humidity. When applied topically, it penetrates to the skin and hydrate it as well as prevent moisture loss. This helps to create a smoother and softer skin.

Benefits of Lanolin as a cream ingredient

It helps to maintain soft facial skin

Lanolin molecular structure closely resembles that of human skin and for that reason it is commonly used in skin care products. It can actually helps the skin to retain moisture as well as create a barrier on the surface of the skin to protect it from external elements. This enables you to have a softer smooth face.

This ingredient can be found in “Nivea”, the original that comes in a blue container. I actually would recommend it if you are experience super dry skin caused by eczema as many skin products on the market doesn’t come close to its match. If however, you are allergic to Lanolin then I suggest another alternative. Continue reading