It seems like skin trouble can appear overnight once cooler weather hits. Your complexion looks great, then *wham*, all of a sudden you have a dry, rough, red patch. Could be eczema.
How can you tell if it is eczema or simply dry skin? Eczema will most likely be more red and/or more dry than typical dry skin. Most often it is more persistent too. If you treat it with additional moisturizer and it still doesn’t get better, or even becomes worse, it is probably eczema.
There are different types of eczema, too: dry eczema and wet eczema. Dry eczema, as the name implies, looks like dry skin but often becomes red over time. Wet eczema, or oozing eczema, usually leaks fluid, and can be red or just look like dry skin.
Eczema usually appears on the face, hands, arms, and legs, but can turn up just about anywhere. Did you know that you can even get eczema in your ears? That was a new one to me too, but it does happen.
My son used to get a nasty bout of eczema on his face at the start of each winter. This stuff is persistent and we tried everything to treat it. But it lingered, and even spread and looked angrier over time. Out of desperation I finally took him to the pediatrician, where he was prescribed a topical ointment (petroleum-based) to be applied twice daily over an OTC cortisone cream. I was not at all happy at the thought of applying these unhealthy concoctions to my son’s face daily, but didn’t know where else to turn.
Then Dr. Pratima Raichur came into our picture. Dr. Pratima is an Ayurvedic practitioner and creator of Pratima Skincare. After a consultation with Dr. Pratima on my son’s skin condition, we followed her tips and were soon eczema-free. And without the use of toxic ointments, or ointments of any kind, for that matter. We cured his eczema with diet alone.
Dr. Pratima asked a lot of questions about my son, his skin issue, and even requested a picture so that she could see for herself. Ayurveda addresses each individual person as a whole, rather than looking at the eczema (in this case) as simply a skin condition on its own. She suggested we take a look at his diet, and make some changes there, before going on with any topical solutions. We did, it worked, and we haven’t had a problem since.
What were those changes? As I said above, Ayurveda looks at each person and their issues individually, so what works for my son may not work for you. But I want to share a little of our fix with you so that you can get the idea.
My son’s eczema was dry, red, and irritated. This told Dr. Pratima that he needed to slow down on any red, spicy or overly drying foods. Salsa and hot sauce (red and hot), and chips (dry) are some of his favorite things. He ate less of these foods, and more moist/comforting foods, and his problem was resolved within just a week or two. No ointments or salves of any kind, other than a bit of unscented moisturizer at night to keep his skin from becoming too dry.
This may not work for you if your eczema is wet. You may actually need more drying foods in that case. If you are looking for answers to your seasonal skin issues, Dr. Pratima will have the answers. If you would like to do a little investigating of your own, take a look at her site and fill out the dosha quiz. What you are eating may be causing some of your problems. Another fantastic resource is Monica Bloom’s Seasonal Bloom for Fall/Winter.
If you would like to know which healthy, nontoxic skin care products are right for YOU, contact me for a consultation.
Liz Thompson is a writer with a passion for healthy, nontoxic cosmetics, and founder & editor of Organic Beauty Source.com.
[Image by TheInfamousGdub at Flickr.com, Creative Commons license]