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E is for Eczema (& Psoriasis) | Beauty Glossary ◊ A to Z | Beauty Gospel According to Tash

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Most wonderful humans, I hope you are well and surviving? This year has been a colossal debacle, but I hope that somehow you have all kept some semblance of a sense of humour (no matter how dark that humour has become) to get you through.

Today’s blog is within the theme of vomitous things, in this case, the horrendous skin conditions of eczema and psoriasis that plague many a human and despite numerous attempts for a cure…no such luck.

I have designed an incredible natural skincare range to help alleviate the symptoms of both eczema and psoriasis (and other severely dry skin related skin conditions). In anticipation of that launch, I would like to talk about these horrid skincare conditions.

First up, let’s have a look at each of these skincare conditions.

What is eczema?

To be completely honest, it’s a shitty and very common inflammatory skin condition that produces painful and itchy skin.

Conventional medicine is yet to find a drug that effectively treats eczema and that does not have damaging side effects. Yet it is one of the most common skin diseases, so that sucks. People that suffer from eczema have an overwhelming desire to scratch, which in turn leads to severe scaling, bleeding and weeping of blisters under the skin in severe cases. Not fun, it is unsightly and extremely uncomfortable and frustratingly difficult to cure.

The most common form of eczema is atopic eczema, which is believed to be triggered by allergies and very prevalent in families where there is a history of asthma and hay fever. Atopic eczema is due to a faulty immune system which leads to the body being unable to distinguish invading bacteria and viruses from harmful environmental substances such as pollen, house dust etc.

Dry skins are lacking in the skin’s lubricant, known as sebum. This substance is produced by the sebaceous glands, but the activity of these glands can slow down due to external/internal factors, causing eczema.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis also falls under my category of shitty skin conditions and is caused by a chronic autoimmune condition. This causes the rapid buildup of skin cells that in turn causes scaling on the skin’s surface.

Inflammation and redness around the scales are fairly common. Typical psoriatic scales are whitish-silver and develop in thick, red patches. Sometimes, these patches will crack and bleed.

Psoriasis is the result of a sped-up skin production process. Typically, skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. Eventually, they fall off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is one month.

People that suffer from psoriasis, this production process may occur in just a few days. Because of this, skin cells don’t have time to fall off. This rapid overproduction leads to the buildup of skin cells.

Triggers include stress, infections, cold weather, injuries & alcohol – to name a few.

How to treat/alleviate symptoms of both eczema and psoriasis?

Conventional medication includes steroids and antihistamines, which do work for some sufferers but often come with side effects or are completely ineffective. Cortisone is one of the best-known solutions to get rid of atopic eczema. The problem is, it’s bad for you and your skin and it thins out your skin and leads to more premature ageing.

Like most skin conditions, you can’t just solve the problem from using topical solutions. Diet and even exercise are equally important. What you put into your body has as great an impact as to how your skin functions as to what you put on it.

I recently tested this theory. I am gluten intolerant and for decades, I have never found myself in a position where I have had to have gluten or wheat every day. As I said, I’m intolerant, so a sandwich a week or 2 gluten meals a week will not kill me. BUT, I embarked on a 3 to 4-week journey of having gluten every single day. I knew it was not going to be comfortable, but I did not know it was going to be one of the most horrific experiences my body had ever had to endure. I’ve summarised below what this did to me:

  • In two weeks, I had put on 7kgs (that is insane!)

  • I had fever blisters for the duration of the test.

  • I got a rash under my right arm 2 weeks in until I stopped the test.

  • I developed a rash/bumps on my neck 1 week into the test and they are only now starting to disappear.

  • My skin was itchy during the entire test.

  • My hay fever got worse and my eyes were puffy from the 1st week.

  • I had bouts of crippling IBS.

  • I developed sores on my scalp and the outskirts of my hairline.

  • I got blackheads (for the first time) on my cheeks and forehead.

  • I got pimples on my cheeks and chin (I do get on my chin occasionally during my period, but not this sever).

  • I was lethargic (so much so, I had no energy to even exercise 1 week in) and anxious.

In summation, it was awful. But I’m glad I did this test as it just goes to prove how much your diet has to do with the state of your skin and mental health. So, with that said, here are some recommendations for diet and supplements that can help you combat eczema and psoriasis, without the negative side effects.

First of all, have no fear, Evening Primrose Oil is here! A widely publicized trial carried out by the department of dermatology at Bristol’s Royal Infirmary reported improvements in patients just after three weeks of taking 4000mg of EPO every day (2000mg for children).

Improvement stats below:

  • Itching improved by 36%

  • Scaling by 33%

  • Redness by 29%

Sufferers of psoriasis also benefit from moderate improvements in 60% of the patients trialled over 8 weeks.

The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) present in Evening Primrose Oil is a nutritionally significant essential fatty acid and one of its many functions is to maintain the water barrier that exists beneath the uppermost layer of the skin cells (known as the stratum corneum). A dry and devitalized complexion is not caused by a lack of oil in the skin but rather is due to the evaporation of water through this barrier. Therefore, any holes or weakened areas In it will allow more moisture to escape and lead to excessively dry skin. GLA is an important component of the cellular membranes that make up this barrier, so we need to receive regular supplies to ensure that it remains stable and strong.

As mentioned before, dry skins are lacking in the skin’s lubricant, known as sebum. This substance is produced by the sebaceous glands, but the activity of these glands does slow down. Dry skins cannot retain moisture effectively. To help preserve the moisture-retaining barrier, avoid using soap and water to cleanse your face. The soap will heighten moisture loss and constant wetting and drying of the skin can step up dryness. Use a cream or oil cleanser twice a day. Rosewater is very well suited to dry skin. Steer clear of harsh exfoliators.

Probiotics are the ‘good bugs’ or bacteria and would recommend a 90-day course acidophilus or Bifidus every 12 months as it helps with eczema, psoriasis, herpes and acne. These always work especially well combined with taking Evening Primrose Oil.

Some dermatologists used to dismiss the connection between specific foods and skin reactions, but since then, intolerances and allergies have been proven to contribute to the ‘overload’ effect (read on). The nutritional approach to eczema is based on that the person suffering from this shitshow’s, total environmental ‘load’ has exceeded their body’s capacity to deal with it. Examples would be pollution, stress, poor nutrition as well as specific triggers such as an emotional crisis, consuming too much coffee or eating something that they are allergic too that push the body over the edge (rather than being the root cause). Therefore you need to increase your adaptive capacity and lessen a total load of drama. Cortisone and other anti-inflammatory drugs merely suppress the symptoms but do not cure the disease. Cortisone creams, if used frequently, thin the skin. So try using creams high in vitamin A (helps thicken and protect the skin), C and E which are powerful antioxidants.

First up, identify what your allergies are. There are 2 main types of allergies;

IgE – immunoglobulinE are antibodies produced by your immune system that cause more severe and immediate reactions.

IgC – immunoglobulinG (also antibodies produced by your immune system) and are less obvious and are also known as food intolerances or hidden allergies. These get worse over time, but not immediate severe reactions.

Tests done identified the most common food allergy to cause eczema is milk (so try cutting out dairy products for a month and see if the condition improves).

Best foods >>

  • Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, kippers, sardines)

  • Turmeric

  • Ginger

  • Red onions

  • Garlic

  • Fresh fruits (especially berries)

  • Vegetables (especially greens)

  • Flax seeds (or oil) and chia seeds

Worst foods >>

  • Sugar and refined ‘white’ foods as they promote inflammation

  • Caffeinated drinks

  • Alcohol (promotes inflammation)

  • Dairy products (high in arachidonic acid that promotes inflammation)

  • Meat (same as dairy products)

Supplements >>

  • Omega-3

  • Evening Primrose Oil – 600mg to 4000mg a day

  • Take 2 high-potency multi-vits containing at least; 1,500mg of Vitamin A, 10mg of zinc & 100mg magnesium (zinc and magnesium are natural inflammatories)

  • 2x 1000mg vitamin C tabs or powder

  • Acidophilus or Bifidus (probiotics)

The best song playing on YouTube Music, whilst writing this blog: Fantasy '98, by George Michael.

Good Medicine, Patrick Holford.

You. Looked after.

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Disclaimer: This blog is only intended for informational purposes. Any information associated with this blog should not be considered as a substitute for prescription suggested by beauty, diet and healthcare professionals. Readers are subject to use this information at your own risk. Tash Fromberg does not take any responsibility for any harm, side-effects, illness or any health or skin care problems caused due to the use of this content or anything related to this. Please always remember, products that work for me, may not work for you. Always test them on a small area of skin before buying or using it if unsure.

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