Oy! It’s Eczema And Allergy Season Again?

Herbal Skin Care - Ora's Amazing Herbal

A Time To Itch And Wheeze, A Time To Shmear And Breathe

In our house, the eczema comes and goes, just like the weather. Come to think of it, it comes and goes with the weather. When the flowers bloom and the temperature goes up, the sneezes and scratches are likely to follow. Here is what we do for the kids in our house that are prone to allergies, asthma, and eczema.

Try to avoid dairy and sugar. I know, it’s a bummer during ice cream season, but dairy is the #1 food sensitivity associated with both asthma and eczema. Sugar is a known irritant in addition to suppressing the immune system. The main real danger of eczema is infection, so we want to keep our immune systems strong.

Eat lots of veggies, the darker and more colorful the better. I don’t want to explain this one again any more than you want to read about it, so let’s move on, shall we?

Hydrate. Drink lots of water. Wet is the opposite of dry. In order to keep skin from getting dry it helps to keep the whole body hydrated.

Fragrance free everything. Even the green laundry detergent that we use that only has essential oils in it, can irritate our reactive ones when their systems are agitated. We switch to the unscented version for this season.

Essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants. There are a million ways to supplement these nutrients, but the most important thing we have found is that consistency is the most important. We do a yummy real foods based chewable that the kids always come asking for that is very high in vitamin C and flavonoids. We also do a lemon flavored liquid cod liver oil. With 4 kids, we simply can’t keep any of the fancy chewable fish oil pills in stock! Just keep the bottle in the fridge and act like it’s the best treat in the world. Take some with them every time too to make it look good. We do this anti-inflammatory regimen year round but I really try to be more mindful to do it daily during this time.

Nettles (Urtica dioica) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) seem to be the two most important herbs in our house for this season. I buy them in bulk and keep a pitcher of iced tea sweetened with raw honey in the fridge and bring it out at meal time. I put about 2 cups of dried nettles (don’t touch with your bare hands, it stings) and 1/4 cup licorice in a 1/2 gallon mason jar of hot water. Steep covered for a few hours then strain, add a little raw honey or maple syrup and fresh lemon and chill. If it tastes too strong for you, you can always add water. Delicious and quenching.

Shmear them down. Doing a daily or twice daily shmear of all the areas prone to dry and irritated skin, really makes a huge difference. My bigger kids have their own jar of herbal infused salve, and I just make sure to remind them to shmear. My little one still gets the mommy spa treatment. Applying an herbal salve regularly gives the herbs a chance to work their magic so waiting for kids to complain doesn’t do anyone any favors. Just like you wouldn’t brush your teeth every three days and expect a good dentist visit, you have to be diligent with the shmear. Keeping both internal and external inflammation down requires maintenance. Make sure that whatever you use is free of those toxic parabens and/or petroleum based products.

So there you have it. Nothing ground breaking here, just a couple of good reminders on how to keep touchy skin happy during the weather change. Have a happy spring!

Ora Assayag loves creating simple and pure but effective concoctions for the skin, tummy, and soul. Ora’s Amazing Herbal, natural skincare for the whole family.

– Ora Assayag, Ora’sAmazingHerbal.com

Our little one loves her Touchy Skin Salve
Our little one loves her Touchy Skin Salve

5 Ways to Cross That Road Without Chicken Skin

Herbal Skin Care - Chicken Skin - Ora's Amazing Herbal

How to deal with Keratosis Pilaris (not so affectionately referred to as “chicken skin”)

Unfortunately, I have yet to find one single thing that gets rid of chicken skin, but I have found a number of things that work well together to completely and totally get rid of it… um, mostly. But you have to do it all the time, as a maintenance thing.

1. Cod liver oil. When I take cod liver oil daily, with the essential fatty acids and the vitamin A that naturally comes with it, it reduces my dry and/or irritated skin all around, and in particular my chicken skin. The amount of vitamin A naturally occurring is safe, but if you are taking any other supplements with vitamin A in them, make sure to consult with your trusted healthcare provider. I like Carlson’s lemon flavor liquid. It’s good quality and affordable enough to give daily to the whole family. Keep it in the fridge. We take a tablespoon (more like a soup spoon fished out of the silverware drawer) every day or every other day. It helps with all sorts of stuff but we are discussing chicken skin right now…

2. Drink lots of water. Duh.

3. Don’t eat things you have sensitivity to. You know, those foods that you are kind of allergic to, but you eat them anyway just because you love them? Like cheese, melon, avocado, or maybe eggplant? It’s no big deal because you just get a little itchy for a minute, or a little bloated in the tummy, and then it goes away. It is also likely that it contributes to general inflammation in your body. Red itchy bumps on your skin, well that’s inflammation so.. I’m not telling you what to do, I’m not even telling you what I do, (as she spreads avocado on her gluten-free flatbread) but, be aware that it is likely to contribute to the bumpy skin. Often when people do elimination diets, the bumps go away. Just sayin’.

4. Anti-inflammatory stuff. There is much discussion about keratosis pilaris and how it is genetic and a nutrient deficiency (particularly vitamin A) and it is an allergy. The truth is, I think it is partly all of these things. Regardless, it is clearly an inflammatory condition. It follows that whatever anti-inflammation practices you have up your sleeve will help with your skin, and also most likely your hair, digestion, breathing, sleep, and emotions, behavior and general outlook as well. Ok, I will add this to my list of future posts.

5. Exfoliate and then shmear. When I take a shower, I wait till after I’ve dealt with my hair and all so that my skin has softened a bit. Then I scrub that chicken with a nylon brush. (OK, I can hear you peanut gallery! ) After the shower I dry off, do my powder and essential oil blend in the armpit thing, and then before my skin gets a chance to really dry out again I shmear it with my Touchy Skin salve. I do have to wait a minute for it to absorb before I get dressed, but this is the thing that really works for me. In the meantime I deal with my hair…I see another post from me in your future.

So there you have it: five ways to chase that chicken across the road.

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