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7 naturopathic tricks to kick eczema flare-ups this winter

Australia has one of the “highest incidences of eczema in the world”, dermatologists have claimed. Naturopaths at Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market have compiled a list of seven treatments to prevent nasty symptoms over the approaching winter.

Eczema is an often-taxing skin condition that affects between 10 to 15 per cent of the Australian population, with 25 per cent of children affected developing the condition before the age of two.

It is not well understood why people develop eczema, according to Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market, and it can often be associated with a variety of allergies.

Common symptoms often include redness, itching and dry skin, while in extreme cases, outbreaks of hives, blotches and cracked skin are not uncommon.

Eczema is also more vulnerable to bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and viruses such as the cold sore virus.

Caroline Robertson, naturopath at Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market, said: “Eczema can develop for a number of reasons, including climate, lifestyle, hygiene and genetics and can become easily infected, causing pain, inflammation and lack of sleep.”

She added: “It isn’t contagious and, frustratingly, there is no single factor which causes an eczema flare-up. It can be kept well managed, but it is often stressful and costly to get under control.”

Caroline’s top seven tips and products for combating eczema include:

1. Diet

Reducing or avoiding sugar and yeast is crucial. Opting for oily fish, vitamin A and E rich foods and omega-3 rich foods like flaxseeds and walnuts can be beneficial. Keeping a food diary can be helpful to track when flare-ups occur.

2. Supplements

Raking skin strengthening vitamin B supplements such as Herbs of Gold Activated B Complex can reduce flare-ups. Increasing omega fatty acids, hemp oil and fish oils can also be beneficial, while probiotics with the lactobacillus rhamnosus strain “are also great”.

3. Irritants

Avoiding harsh soaps, foaming agents, fragrances and preservatives in skincare or washing detergents is crucial.

4. Heat

Reducing the heat of the water while showering is important, as it “strips natural oils from the skin and further irritates it”. It is best to bathe in lukewarm water and add Himalayan rock salt

5. Moisturise

Apply fragrance-free products straight after bathing that include “calming ingredients” such as shea butter, calendula, lavender, oatmeal and licorice

6. Gut health

Issues occurring in the gut can reflect itself on our skin, so following on from the above, you can also look to increase your gut-friendly foods such as nourishing bone broth and probiotics.

7. Seek medical help if necessary

Make sure to consult a healthcare professional or a naturopath if the issue persists, they can also assist in identifying environmental, dietary or other allergens that may be contributing to your skin problem.

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