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Eczema Quick Guide: An Interview

I am very excited to announce that I was recently interview by Health Monitor.

You can find my piece in their Guide to Living with Atopic Dermatitis which is distributed across the United States. Also in this guide you will find other interesting interviews and tips on living with Eczema.

Below my image I have added more information that didn’t make into the guide.

1) What do you usually do to relieve your flare ups?

I do any of the following in combination or all depending on the severity of my flare-up attack.

A)    The goal is to get yourself in a relax state.  I will lie down for a while without worry (almost meditative state) but this takes a bit of training.

B)    I will also apply a mix of my apple cider vinegar + water mix (1:1) to any itchy patches if it bothers me a lot.   This little quick remedy has usually works for me. It will sting a little but will get rid of that nasty itch.

C)    Take a short bath in lukewarm water (10 Mins MAX) .

D)    Use a Hair massager (feels good on the scalp, helps with relaxation. Link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZG1L1jBMkU) .

E)    Applying creams and lotions (containing real ceramides or I use my homemade mix).  What I do before application is to softly rinse with cool water before applying the moisturizer to the area of interest.

2) What is your daily strategy when it comes to dealing with eczema?

  • I make sure I go to gym on a regular basis in order to be in good shape and it also helps with lowering my stress levels and keep my immune system high to fight against eczema.
  • Washing my face is a huge must before bed as any make-up left on the face during sleep can make your skin worse… worsening your eczema. Mostly moisturization is key… so I always moisturize after I wash my hands & body & face.
  • Sleep on time on a regular basis. Not having enough sleep will deteriorate your immune system for the whole day.
  • Avoiding caffeine at night.
  • Always wear comfortable clothes like cotton that is loose not too tight.
  • Take short warm shower. (lukewarm water as any hotter you will dry out your natural oils and keep the shower very short – less than 5 mins)
  • Eating well (don’t miss breakfast) and avoid your food allergies.

3) What is the one thing you avoid to keep your skin healthy?

I have 3 answers.

A)    When spring rolls around, I tend to avoid being in the outdoors for a long period because of the dust and pollen that is in the air.   If I do have to go outside for work or school I make sure to cover my hair with a hoodie (or a hat) and wear shades. The hair is the most important to protect because the last thing you want is to sleep on your pillow with all those allergens in your hair.

B)    Another one is to avoid is stress.  This is pretty impossible for any human being but you have to minimize it as best you can.  The stress will increase our skin’s sensitivity to the environment thus increasing the chances of a Flare Up.  Going to the gym or joining a yoga class will help.

C)    Also try to avoid junk food or anything with lots of sugar. Once in a while I do treat myself, but I wouldn’t eat/drink junk on a regular basis.  I believe sugar can lead to complications to the immune system of the body and does increase my flare-ups.

4) What would you say to someone who has just been diagnosed with eczema How can you make living with the condition better? What has allowed you to maintain a positive outlook?

  • First I’ll let them know that Eczema is more common than they think.
  • See a dermatologist (skin specialist) rather than a general doctor for additional help because many general ones will not know enough about eczema and often will give wrong diagnosis.
  • Get an allergy test to see what food you are allergic to.  I find this to be the biggest culprit especially in those with minor Eczema.
  • When applying new skin products make sure to do the “24/48 hour skin test” to see if it’s okay for you to use.  This involves applying a small sample on a small patch of your skin to see if any negative allergic reaction within a 48 hour period.
  • Having a healthy diet is a big one for me and also minimizing stress.
  • What has allowed me to maintain a positive outlook is that I am living proof of what worked for me mainly through lifestyle changes.  You can still live a happy life once you know your triggers. I have been through many struggles and I have overcome them through many years.  Now I can relax and live a normal life where I can continue to pursue my dreams as any regular person can, of course I do still get the occasionally flare-ups but not as much as before but at least I know how to diffuse it.

5) Any other tips

As answered in question 2, going to the gym or being active is important.  Sweat was really concerning for me because it will irritate your skin.  Overtime, my body grew more tolerance to sweat as my immune system improved with exercise and also wearing the right work-out clothing.

Can you tell me more about the right work out clothing? What do you wear?

  • I mostly wear Moisture-Wicking(fabric) clothing  – This includes t-shirt, pants and socks.
  • Gloves – well ventilated ones
  • Wear a Headband to help with sweat especially when your first start to exercising.  I stopped wearing a headband until my body started to tolerate the sweat.
  • As Eczema sufferer never wear cotton while exercising because it traps the sweat making the skin more irritated.  Understand cotton is OK for everyday wear.

Almond Oil Benefits You May Not Have Known

Almonds are fast becoming a preferred snack in many households, and it’s easy to see why.  Right now in Fresno County, California; harvest has just begun where it is a billion dollar business in that area.

Aside from the dramatic evidence to suggest they reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes, this south-west Asian and Middle Eastern delight also boast several other health benefits.

However, in oil form, the benefits are that much more noticeable and enhanced.  If you ever want to use this oil in a cream mixture, then make sure to take a sneak peak at this link where I explain the different mixtures you can use.

Below are just 4 of the many benefits

It regulates your cholesterol levels

Did you know there are two kinds of cholesterol – good and bad? Almond oil can help raise your good cholesterol levels and lowers your bad cholesterol in the process. This results in an overall naturally lower cholesterol level. This is because almonds are full of unsaturated fats and Vitamin E, both which allow oxygen and nutrients to flow freely through your blood.

It can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease

Chronic inflammation is often the leading cause of high cholesterol and heart disease. Because almonds feature anti-inflammatory properties, they reduce chronic inflammation which, in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. Simply add a few drops of almond oil to your meals every day, and start to notice the drastic change in your health.

It can help your skin

While most skin care products claim to feature premium levels of vitamin E for skin health, why not get it directly from the source? Almond oil is mild, it’s hypoallergenic, and it’s suitable for most skin types – adults, babies and children. Because it’s light, it’s easily absorbed by the skin and can help reduce sun damage while leaving your skin feeling soft and supple.

The best part is, almond oil in most cases is far cheaper than several skincare products.

It’s good for your hair

If you’re experiencing hair loss or damaged hair, a few drops of almond oil can make a huge difference. Almond oil works by adding a level of silkiness, all the while nourishing your scalp. It also gives your hair that lovely shiny appearance and infuses magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Too much of a good thing

There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing” and unfortunately this also applies to almond oil. Although it’s exceptionally good for you in small doses, it’s not so beneficial in large doses.

Side effects of excessive almond oil use are:

Weight gainAlmonds are full of fat and calories, and although it’s the good kind of fat, it’s still fat nonetheless. Health professionals recommend people should only consume around 1 ounce of almond oil with each serving, and no more than 3 ounces per day. To counteract weight gain, it may pay to reduce your fat intake in other foods while you give almond oil a try.

Medicine interruptionsIf you’re on antibiotics, antacids, laxatives or even vitamins, tread carefully with almond oil use. Because almond oil is so rich in manganese, it can allow you to inadvertently overdose on it which counteracts the effectiveness of other medications.

Gastrointestinal troublesEven though almond oil is used to reduce the risk of constipation, too much of it can actually have the opposite effect. It can end up causing bloating and constipation. If you find yourself suffering from this problem, drink plenty of water and eat high-fiber foods to get your bowel movements kickstarted again.

How Good is Hempseed Oil for our Skin?

There’s a common misconception that hemp seed oil is too closely related to hash oil in order to be beneficial. However, while one is in the news for all the wrong reasons, the other is taking the health and beauty scene by storm.  Don’t be fooled by its name, for if you’re particularly interested in natural skin care products, you will just love what hemp seeds and its oil can do for you.

For such a small seed, it’s incredible how many vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients are packed into it. You can expect to benefit from its exceptional amount of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, omega 3 and 6 and so much more.  Try it out by implementing it into your homemade cream recipe.

You can even reap the benefits of minerals such as potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.  All of these vitamins and minerals work together to provide a beneficial formula for the health of your skin. You can find out what it can do for you below.

It can counteract aging skin

Have you ever felt like no matter which skincare product you bought, nothing ever did the trick? You would expect with so many ingredients packed onto the back of the label, and a price tag indicative of a product that actually worked, you would see some results.

Sometimes, all it takes is to go back to nature. Because hemp seed oil is high in essential fatty acids such as Omega 6 and 3, you will notice a vast improvement in your skin. These fatty acids counteract aging skin and can even help slow down the aging process due to linoleic acid within the oil as well.

Possibly help with Psoriasis?

There are so many products available on the market seeking to combat the painful and irritable skin condition psoriasis. Although there are several different diets you can go on, you can also look into using hemp seed oil.  Some people suffer from psoriasis, no matter what they do with their diet. So, when conventional methods fail – or come with negative side effects – there’s no harm in trying hemp seed oil.

One study has shown that hemp seed oil, among other cannabinoids, was able to inhibit the growth of overactive skin cells. By using hemp seed oil, the growth was slowed by various levels depending on the level of oil used.

It can help keep your skin moisturized for longer

Many people battle with dry, flaky and often irritable skin. This problem can often be exacerbated during colder seasons, or with manual labor. Drug store moisturizers are okay, but they don’t change the behavior of your skin. Hemp seed oil works by training your skin to retain moisture for longer. Daily use will significantly affect how dry your hands get, and can ultimately remove the need to ever buy hand creams and moisturizers again.

It can help prevent oily skin

If you suffer from oily skin, you are sure to have tried everything to get it under control. In fact, you’ve probably spent several hundred dollars and have still come up short. Give hemp seed oil a go. Because it doesn’t clog pores, it’s thought to be the best kind of moisturizing option to give your skin a proper chance to breathe.

Know the Risk!

However, with all the health benefits, hemp seed oil does come with some risks.  It can increase the risk of prostate cancer because it promotes the growth of tumors. It’s also an anticoagulant and can cause diarrhoea and cramps.

People looking to use hemp seed oil should check with their doctors, in case they have a condition that may become exacerbated with its use.

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 (sent to me FREE by PFG).  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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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 . Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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