Science Fiction Solution for Eczema Sufferers?

April 18, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health, Skincare

The very best discoveries are usually in response to a personal need, and when that need is driven by the health and wellbeing of your own family then the need to find a solution becomes imperative. Graham Lea had that need because both his son and wife suffer from Eczema. In his wife’s case it become highly aggravated and their son suffered from it terribly as a baby and toddler.

As he describes it ‘The usual rounds of GP visits and Eczema clinics ended with a prescription for corticosteroids, emollients, and a pat on the head, thank you goodbye’ but happily as his wife is a qualified herbalist and also has a degree in chemistry they decided to do work on a solution on their own. People with eczema are very sensitive to what is worn next to the skin, particularly as many fabrics have can contain pesticides that become impregnated into clothing at source.

Graham Lea’s research led to the discovery of work done by the University of Minho in Portugal in association with leading dermatologist Dr A. Sousa Basto and through an associated company to a new range of products called SkintoSkin. These are made from 70% Cotton 10% Silver and 20% brown seaweed algae, which combination gives both a natural antibiotic and soothing effect and is a highly effective drug free natural tool to fight eczema. This is where the ‘science fiction’ element comes in as bio-functional textiles are a new discipline in the scientific field where materials are being created that exert a biological effect on human skin. The textiles of the future, and indeed with us now, will be woven with transporter molecules known as cyclodextrines, capable of absorbing substances from the skin and freeing therapeutic composites or cosmetics to the skin.

As textiles interact with the skin very intensively the micro-organisms of the skin can be influenced by them, and vice-versa. The current interest in bio-functional textiles is focused on their use for therapy and prevention in dermatology and they are breaking new and exciting ground with applications emerging to help chronic skin condition sufferers. The therapeutic effects are not diminished by washing; the wearer gets constant therapeutic effect while wearing them and all medical and durability results are clinically tested and proven.

As well as helping with eczema, research and development is going on to develop the textiles use for humidity management and body temperature control and gloves to help with contact dermatitis (currently undergoing clinical trials); anti-insect clothing; and an occlusive suit for occlusive treatment of psoriasis;

More information is available here: Skin To Skin
If you would like to know more then Graham is happy to discuss the range of children’s clothing with you and can take orders on 01268 733788 or email him at info@effjey.co.uk – and they hope to have the products available on Amazon shortly.

Action on Eczema

October 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, Skincare

Eczema-baby

Well in case you missed it, September held  National Eczema Week and I have a number of suggestions for anyone suffering from this distressing condition.

First you are definitely not alone as currently one in five children and one in twelve adults in the UK are affected. The National Eczema Society is offering a free booklet to help patients and carers cope with one of the most distressing symptoms of eczema – the itch. Normally there is a charge for this, unless you are a member, but until 31 October you can get your free copy by emailing helpline@eczema.org or call the very useful National Eczema Society helpline on 0800 089 1122.

Why me?

Bottom line is that skin affected by eczema releases chemicals which stimulate the nerves and the nerves pass the itch sensation to the brain, and so you scratch and make everything worse. But the itching drives you so mad you are prepared to put up with it for the temporary relief.

Much eczema is stress and environment related and for children in particular, tiredness can make it worse. Soaps and detergents, fragrances, temperature changes, sweating, some clothing , such as wool, and irritant substances such as paint and dyes can all add to the mix so finding out what triggers your eczema would be the first step.

Keeping the skin well moisturised is the next step and your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream as these are anti-inflammatory and work well in the short term for some people. However, nothing works for everyone, and steroids do have unpleasant side effects associated with them, particularly with long term use.

Whether your eczema is persistent, or intermittent, you might want to try one of these natural remedies that have proven to be effective.

Natural help

There are several ways you can help yourself with an outbreak of eczema. Essential oils have shown they have the potential to be very effective at clearing up or relieving the symptoms of eczema.

Peppermint is especially effective at relieving the itching that accompanies this skin disorder. To get the most relief simply rub a drop of diluted peppermint oil over the affected area.

Tea Tree Oil is very popular due to its ability to clear up eczema patches, relieve the accompanying itch, and reduce the redness and swelling that results from an outbreak. This oil can be applied topically to the skin, or it can be used as a cleanser, lotion, or cream when purchased as the active ingredient in these items.

Oatmeal can help relieve the constant itching, reduce some of the redness, and help soften the dry skin of eczema. Using it in a bath is quite effective; just tie a handful of natural oatmeal into a piece of cheesecloth and let it circulate in the warm bath water. Soak awhile and DO NOT add anything else, no soap or bath oils.

Aloe vera was used on the skin of burn victims at Hiroshima and has a great reputation as a healing balm for damaged skin. You can either break off a leaf from the plant and squeeze out the gel to put on your skin, and it is a good to use on the affected areas directly after an oatmeal bath.

Ayudara Natural Skin Balm is a new product that I have been trying out on a patch of eczema that has been quite persistent on the side of my nose. It is a non-steroid all natural treatment for dry skin and contains a combination of Chlorophyll-C and marine extract of golden sea cucumber These actively helps the skin’s cell rejuvenation process and can be an effective treatment for ailments like eczema, dermatitis or dry skin.

In Malaysia people have used golden sea cucumber in natural skin remedies for centuries and it certainly cleared up my small patch of irritated skin very fast.

For specialized information on eczema, do have a look at this website at www.eczema.org for helpful advice and the newest research.

Omega-3 health benefits for babies

September 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Childrens Health

omega3

Despite the known benefits of omega-3 for a healthy heart, immune support and guarding against dementia, less than a quarter of British adults fail to reach even their basic requirement needs.

Now it seems that it is even more important for babies, but they need to have their supply from their mother while in the womb. In a detailed review of existing published scientific papers, published in Nutrition and Food Science Journal, leading dietician Dr Carrie Ruxton and Dr Emma Derbyshire, senior lecturer in Human Nutrition at Manchester Metropolitan University, examined the role and scope of omega-3 EFAs on health, as well as the likely intake needed to produce good results.

Baby asthma and eczema can be very distressing for new parents, and one discovery from their research has suggested that women who take fish oil capsules during pregnancy, and while breast feeding, may reduce the risk of asthma and eczema in their babies and aid normal brain and eye development. It also has benefit for the mother as having a good intake of Omega-3 can also reduce post-natal depression.

The benefits for the baby continue into childhood as it seems that children whose mothers had taken cod liver oil capsules (containing DHA and EPA) during later pregnancy scored considerably higher on mental processing tests than children whose mothers had taken a placebo during the research.

You may think you get enough Omega-3 from your diet, but the omega-3 content of certain foods is becoming more limited due to changes in farming practice, and if you eat fortified foods then they contain very little. Additionally, in the UK we are not meeting the Food Standards Agency’s recommended levels of fish intake by a long margin – and that’s another good source of Omega-3. Most adults would benefit from an Omega-3 supplement, and certainly anyone planning a family, or pregnant, needs to be its benefits in mind.

How to cut eczema rates in babies

September 30, 2007 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, Skincare

You can’t turn on the television without endless ads promoting products that encourage us to eradicate every single germ I the vicinity with a variety of chemical products. My mother’s favourite dictum of ‘you’ve got to eat some dirt before you die’ is now deeply unfashionable, but there was a lot of sense in it. For children to build up immunity they need some exposure, so a completely sterile environment is not the answer. WE are now seeing a huge increase in cases of eczema – in fact the number of children suffering from it has doubled in a generation. It wasn’t widely reported, but Dr Chris Steele spoke up on television on the This Morning programme and suggested that one reason why at least 35% of babies now suffer from sore, flaking and itchy skin be in part due to the fact that our drive for cleanliness means babies are being washed too often and this causes damage.

Nor is it just children who are affected; eczema affects more than 5% of adults and many skin experts agree that a lot of it is down to our over use of artificial cleaning agents, solvents and detergents. If you want to try some natural solutions for dry, itchy skin and eczema then first look at your diet and increase the amount of essential fatty acids. A Danish study showed a 58% success rate when patients were given fish oil supplements over a 4 month period and every time you add oily fish like mackerel to your diet you are giving yourself a dose of Omega-3 oil and also vitamin D, both of which are good for the skin. Zinc is an essential trace element for healthy skin and natural sources include oysters, red meat, poultry, pumpkin seeds, dairy products, beans and lentils, yeast, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals.

For more help with skin conditions like eczema there is a useful website at Skin Care Campaign