A co-worker of mine has really bad exzema on her hands. Does anyone have any ideas for treatment that she could use. She would like natural products if posible.
What is her occupation?
What materials does she handle frequently?
She is a counsellor, so her hands are not exposed to alot of materials.
Paper is very drying to your skin, and those "carbonless" multi-part forms are well-known cause of contact dermatitis. Even an allergy to the stuff the cleaning staff uses on the desks and counters can cause it. Or something she uses at home or for grooming (fake nails?)
It could also be a food allergy - one woman I know gets hand excema whenever she has dairy products.
Treating the symptoms - the excema - is useless. she has to investigate her environment to see what's causing it.
My daughter has eczema which flairs up badly when she eats too much dairy or spends the night with a friend with a house full of cats. Until she has allergy testing I won't know what else she is allergic to. I treat her with Aveeno oatmeal baths, Aveeno lotion, also prescription steroid and non-steroid ointments as needed. Her eczema is all over her body, cropping up in her armpits, groin, buttocks, knees (front and back), ankles, toes, wrists, fingers, and elbows. It's a devil to keep under control.
If the eczema is contained at just her hands, I would suspect contact dermatitis. She shouldn't wash her hands with soap. Cetaphil is a good non-drying cleanser sold OTC. Aveeno lotion on her hands might help as well. Aveeno helps control the itching. Scratching the itch only makes the eczema worse. NO SCRATCHING!
Dairy allergy is a common trigger. Dairy allergy is different from lactose intolerance. So all dairy products need to eliminated. Label reading is important as dairy ingredients may read as whey, casein, etc. No cheese, no caramels, no yogurt, etc.
I have an adult friend who had bad eczema when she was younger. She was tested for allergies and now eliminates all the food allergins from her diet and uses traditional Chinese herb pills or capsules to control her symptoms. If you have an herbalist in your area, check with them. Her pills come in a labeled bottle and are formulated in China. Not terribly expensive. My daughter tried them but said they upset her stomach.
Your friend should make sure that what she has isn't psoriasis, which is much more difficult to treat. Also if she has broken skin, she should use some Polysporin on her hands at night to prevent infection.
Stress can be a trigger for some people as well. If she is a big coffee drinker she might try cutting back or stopping for a while. It's apparently the coffee, not the caffiene, that causes the problem.
The following may offer some relief:
Peppermint tea, drink it
Evening primrose oil, oral and topical
Jojoba oil, topical
Emu oil, topical
Tea tree oil, topical
Vitamin A, oral and topical
Flax seed oil, oral and topical
Vitamin E, oral and topical
and other skin soothing herbs might be helpful.
If she is having a bad flair up it may be best to use a steroid cream to get it under control and then use non-steroid methods above to keep under control. Start with an OTC hydrocortisone cream and see if that's strong enough to take care of it. Then manage it with natural methods and avoidance of triggers and allergins.
Part of keeping the eczema from flairing up is too keep the skin moisturized and supple. The Aveeno lotion is nice because it isn't oily at all.
Good luck to your friend. I know first hand how difficult this can be.
My sister suffers badly from this, really bad. We read somewhere that blackcurrent oil is helpful. She has been taking capsules (get them from a healthfood store) for some time with a remarkable improvement.
It took a few weeks before a noticeable difference but she swears by it - she has the steroid creams, has been to doctors, wears gloves and keeps her hands out of water. This is the best so far - for her.
Everyone is different.
My brother was born with exzema and my mother got rid of it.Now this was over 60years ago and I don't know if the salve is still made,It is called Sayman salve and she also used a salve called cuticura ointment.My brother's son also was born with it and his wife used the same method,He too was healed.I might add what ever you use you have to have faith it will work otherwise you are wasting your money.
I went to google and found it right away.Sayman salve
I just went to my local drugstore and bought some. Hope it helps.
Tell her to wear rubber gloves when doing the dishes or better still have her husband wash and she dry.Next year get a dish washer.In the meantime try Sayman salve .It works.Now if Rogain helps with my thinning hair we all will be happy in 2004. Happy NEW YEAR.Goldy
Oats caused me to have a rash on the back of my arms. I was annoyed with exzema, but it wasn't a huge problem. It went away when I got off of HRT.
Excema. or dermatitas. is normally due to some kind of infection, be this atopic (hereditory) or contact dermatitis which are the main culprits. Normally caused by the body's immune system getting carried away when fighting infection, hence the use of corticosteroids to fight the problem. Use of antibiotics and steroid creams can effectively fight the problem. If the area is localised, as in hands, then leans towards being contact dermatitis. The potions will alleviate the problem but you need to find the source either by using patches, changing diet or using other targetive methods. Prolonged use of steroid creams can cause atrophy ( thining of skin tissue) and possibly osteoporosis so make sure you use the correct strength on the correct areas (normally mild for facial tissue) I suffer from atopic dermatitis so it can just flare up. Treated by corticosteroids and an antibiotic cream along with the use of emoliant cream ( as an alternative to soap) my latest outburst was curtailed within 3 days. And try not to scratch. I'm no doctor but it worked for me.
I've had exzema on my hands and feet for over 20 years. It happened after I got a bad case of sun poisoning. It seems to have gotten worse lately. I've been on HRT and Boniva since November; is that known to aggravate skin conditions?
Read this article this morning. Can't remember where I found the second one, but hopefully, it might be helpful.
Dust mites, roaches can weaken your skin
Researchers say finding is important for eczema patients
Feb. 28, 2008
HONG KONG - Dust mites and cockroach allergens can weaken defense mechanisms of the human skin, making it more permeable and vulnerable, a study in South Korea has found.
In an article in the latest issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, researchers said it was important, especially for people with eczema, to protect themselves from such microscopic bugs and filth.
Cockroach allergens are particles of feces, saliva and other matter found on the bodies of these insects.
In the study, the researchers disrupted the skin barrier function of a group of volunteers by repeatedly sticking cellophane tape on a part of their forearm and then stripping it off. They were then exposed to roach allergens and dust mites.
These particles were later found to have triggered a receptor in the skin, known as PAR-2, which delayed the skin repair process.
"The skin barrier function is already damaged in eczema patients and it has to repair itself. But allergens like dust mite and cockroach allergens will delay the repair function," said Jeong Se Kyoo, senior researcher at Neopharm Co. Ltd.
"Then more allergens will penetrate the skin, it's a vicious cycle," he said in a telephone interview.
Over 15 million Americans suffer from eczema, a chronic skin condition characterized by dry patches of very itchy skin. The most common form, atopic dermatitis, affects between 10 and 20 percent of the world's population at some point during childhood.
How You Can Use Your Body's Bacteria for Better Health
Many scientists have begun to argue that the trend of using antibacterial soap and other antibacterial products may actually cause diseases like eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes.
What's more, the solution may be to feed patients bacteria.
Probiotics, which are pills containing bacteria, have resulted in complete elimination of eczema in 80 percent of the patients treated with it. Probiotics have also been used to treat irritable bowel disease, acne and premenstrual syndrome. In one recent study, infants given a probiotic were, after two years, 25 percent less likely to develop eczema.
From 50 trillion to 100 trillion bacteria live in your digestive system, where they have a complex relationship with digestion and health. Antibacterial products can disrupt the balance that protects you from allergies and malfunctioning immune responses.
Wired April 26, 2007
My family was suffering from Eczema as well for many years...we changed our cleaning products and laundry care products even our personal care products to a safer healthier alternative for our family and the environment. We are also using a wonderful lotion they manufacture as well called ReNew! It has been proven to beat out the store brands. Everyone I know who has tried it...gets pretty much immediate relief...and doctors have been amazed at the difference in their patients skin after using it as well.
Hope this helps.
I have studied eczema quite a lot, and I even built a site about it. Feel free to check it out.
Here is a link that might be useful: Exzema