Eczema Exposed: Myths and Essential Oils
If you have dry patches of skin that itch, blister, or turn red, then you might have eczema. Eczema can be an unsightly and irritating skin condition — and it often appears at the worst times and in the worst places. If you have eczema, you're not alone. Millions of people suffer from this skin condition. However, you, just like all those others, may have heard "facts" about the condition that are just not true. Let's look at some of the common myths about eczema and see ways that you can use Essential Oils to combat this often debilitating condition.
Myth #1: Eczema Is Contagious
If you have been told that eczema is contagious, you will be happy to hear that it absolutely is not. Unless your skin becomes infected with staph infection, MRSA, or other contagious bacteria, you are not contagious. Eczema may look unsightly, but it isn't going to spread to your friends or family. Unfortunately sometimes it looks so bad that others might think you are contagious. That is one reason that it's important to control this skin condition. However, while it may not be contagious, eczema does have a hereditary component. If your parents have eczema, you might contract it. Likewise, your children could inherit eczema from you.
Myth #2: Eczema Is One Disease
There are several different forms of eczema. The most common forms are atopic dermatitis (mostly seen in children under five years of age) and contact dermatitis in adults. However, there are more than a dozen types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a hereditary form of eczema that is often chronic. It usually improves as the child grows older. Contact dermatitis appears when your skin comes into “contact” with something that irritates it — something to which you are allergic or sensitive (such as detergent or a scratchy wool sweater). While different types of eczemas may have similar appearances, they often have different causes. This is why it's important to understand which type of eczema you have, especially so that you know how to avoid what causes you to break out.
Myth #3: There's Nothing You Can Do About It
Eczema can be an extraordinarily frustrating condition. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to avoid and mitigate the problem. If you suffer from this condition, you should be moisturizing your skin all the time to prevent it from drying and you should be using a good jojoba oil to help seal in moisture. You can also take a bath using essential oils, such as lavender and tea tree oil, to help prevent infections and to soothe your irritated skin. In fact, many essential oils can help to combat eczema. Rose and rosehip essential oils work as anti-inflammatory agents, helping to reduce swelling. Eucalyptus is another powerful essential oil for reducing pain and inflammation. And there are other essential oils that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as fennel, turmeric, and chamomile essential oil.
Myth #4: Stress Causes Eczema
Stress doesn't cause eczema. However, it is true that stress can bring on episodes. You will likely find yourself seeing more eczema breakouts when you're anxious or overloaded. If you find yourself stressed out, try to relax by meditating, practicing yoga, or taking a massage. Be sure, also, to take some time out for yourself to relax. No matter how busy you are, you can't perform at your peak if you are in pain or you are itching and uncomfortable from an eczema breakout. There are natural remedies that help you relax and ease your eczema. Try using essential oils, such as lavender, rose hips, and chamomile, all of which not only help to ease inflammation but also help to ease stress, depression, and anxiety.
Myth #5: Eating a Gluten-Free Diet Will Eliminate Eczema
If you've been diagnosed as sensitive to gluten, or if you are allergic and have celiac disease, eating a gluten-free diet will help you avoid your gluten sensitivity, but it will not cure your eczema. Certainly, eating a healthier diet could help your eczema problem, especially help you avoid possible allergens, but quitting gluten won't end your eczema. Instead, work with your doctor and look for alternative therapies that can make a true difference in the magnitude and persistence of your breakouts.
Myth #6: You Have to Take Prescription or Over-the-Counter Medication to Control Your Eczema
In some severe cases, people who suffer from eczema have little choice but to take medication to control their eczema. However, there are alternative therapies that can greatly reduce, or even eliminate, eczema flare-ups. Essential oils not only act as curatives but also don't carry many of the side effects that come with prescription, or even over-the-counter, medications. Furthermore, by adding essential oils to your lotions, you can create a pleasant and soothing treatment that will also moisturize your skin. Essential oils can help to cure or ease your eczema without you having to worry about the numerous problems that can be caused by steroids (such as weight gain) or can be caused by non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen (such as liver damage).
Eczema can be a frustrating battle for those who suffer from it. However, there's no reason to believe the common myths that people perpetuate about it. By understanding the disease and treating it with both conventional and alternative methods, you can enjoy life with fewer and less severe breakouts.