Have you ever seen a TV advertisement for a prescription medicine to treat eczema and psoriasis and carefully listened to the list of potential side effects? Has a doctor warned you about the risk included with long term steroid usage? Have you ever asked yourself why such hazardous medications are regularly used for such common yet abnormal skin problems?

Here are some tips to help you with a holistic approach to address eczema:

1. Find a different approach:

If you have never given the holistic medicine approach a try and have had limited or no success with traditional medical approaches it might be time to try something new!  It’s interesting to consider that the symptom of a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis may be a sign of a larger problem and that when the underlying problem is addressed the skin condition often times clears up. Thousands of chronic skin conditions are remedied every year with this approach to resolving chronic skin conditions.

2. Treat from the inside out:

It’s very rare that psoriasis or eczema can be successfully managed long term when the answer lies with pharmaceutical treatments alone. True healing comes from within. In holistic medicine, many coaches and practitioners may recommend customized herbal remedies to be taken in order to address what is ultimately causing the skin condition. Topical creams, salves, and homeopathics certainly assist, but they are rarely used by themselves and not designed to fix the underlying issues causing the skin disorder.

3. Eat right for your skin type:

A standard anti-inflammatory diet will benefit any skin problem. Eat organic vegetables such as leafy greens and foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seeds, avocados, and fish oils. Organic low glycemic fruits also contain many antioxidants and healing benefits as well.

Remember that healthy diets vary according to the condition and unique needs of the individual. Trying an elimination diet is a great place to start on your own to find out which foods might be triggering or exacerbating your skin issues.  For an easier approach you can ask your holistic practitioner for a food sensitivity test.

As a general rule, people with psoriasis should avoid spicy foods, red meat, shellfish, coffee, and alcohol. Some people take advantage of cutting out nightshades (like tomatoes and eggplant), while others are fine with them. If you have a leaky gut it’s likely that there are many foods, even ‘healthy’ ones that could be making your skin issues worse.  This is where working one on one with a holistic health coach will help resolve the conditions much faster as they can help you navigate testing and protocols to get to the root of the issue and provide long term solutions.

Eczema sufferers often times find they must avoid foods like shellfish and peanuts. Common allergies to cows’ milk, soy, eggs, wheat, fish, and nuts can all be tested through your health coach or holistic doctor.

4. Include foods to help your body detox including detox teas:

Teas have healing properties specific to particular issues. With skin issues, for example, you might consider an herbal detox tea in addition to cleaning up your diet. For psoriasis, for example, one can alternate between milk thistle (to regulate immune function and protect the liver) and burdock (to purify the blood). For eczema, one can also try adding oolong tea as an everyday drink since it benefits by reducing inflammation and itching and has been shown to have anti-allergic properties. Having adequate intake of purified water is super important when detoxing.  If you are dehydrated while trying to detox your symptoms could definitely get worse.

5. Don’t believe in miracles:

If you have heard about a  “miracle cure” that really speaks to you, research it to ensure that there are no harmful side effects or potential risks. Don’t give up!  Find a holistic practitioner and work with them and understand that with time and the right course of protocols, your skin can get better!