Flaking, itching, redness and pain – if you suffer with eczema, psoriasis or rosacea you’ll know these symptoms all to well. According to statistics 31.6 million people (10.1%) in the U.S. have some form of eczema, while 7.5 million Americans (approx 2.2%) suffer with psoriasis – the most prevalent auto immune disease in the US. And as for Rosacea, it is estimated 16 million Americans are waking up to this condition every day.
Add it all up, and that’s almost 20% of the population in distress over their skin every day.
And while there is no definitive answer to these afflictions, as you’ll see, they do share a common link that can help sufferers find some soothing relief.
Image Source: Neosporin
It’s a term used for a group of medical conditions that cause red, inflamed and itchy skin. There are 8 known conditions, and while each has its own trigger, they all share the same symptoms of redness, itching, and inflammation.
Image Source: CBS News
Instead of being an umbrella term, this is a specific condition where skin cells grow at a faster rate than normal. This creates a build up of lesions, and has an appearance very similar to Eczema, In fact many people can’t tell the difference.
But there are differences; eczema is often reported as far more itchy, unbearably so. Psoriasis sufferers may feel a more burning sensation, along with the itch. And medical professionals say Psoriasis will be thicker and more inflamed than eczema.
But just like Eczema, there are different presentations, 5 in fact.
Image Source: Medical News Today
This is a poorly understood condition, but unlike Psoriasis and Eczema, it only appears on the face. Rosacea causes redness, inflammation, swelling and acne-like spots that leaves people feeling self-conscious. Rosacea has 4 Subtypes:
There are many theories about what causes eczema. In natural health practices there has been a large focus on gut health and its role in skin conditions, but as of yet there is no agreed upon scientific evidence or “single” cause of eczema.
But there are some triggers to be mindful of:
Unlike Eczema, Psoriasis is triggered by an overactive immune system, skin cells form too fast, and old cells can’t shed fast enough to keep up, and this creates the itchy, red, inflamed buildup. The immune trigger is something experts are still yet to “solve”, and again natural health practitioners, and functional medicine places a large focus on the gut and healing issues like leaky-gut, dysbiosis, bacterial imbalances, and other issues.
Other things that can trigger the immune system to malfunction are: stress, medications, genetics and even a period of illness or infection can alter the way your immune system responds. Autoimmune diseases like psoriasis are still a large mystery to the medical world.
Again, it’s another unknown. But genetics and malfunctions in our immune system may be linked. And of course, there are Rosacea triggers reported by those who suffer from it, such as:
As you’ve seen, while Eczema, Rosacea and Psoriasis seem to look the same – each has its own distinctive cause or trigger. But despite those unique triggers, sufferers still struggle to find the relief they’ve been itching for. And when you have a family with multiple conditions, it can be frustrating, not to mention costly trying to keep everyone soothed and comfortable.
But, there are 5 common things that all these skin conditions share. And when you manage these 5 things, you may be able to find relief and can spend less time thinking about your eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, and more time doing what you love.
Psoriasis, Eczema and Rosacea are all inflammatory conditions. What that means is they produce the symptoms commonly associated with inflammation – pain, swelling, redness, itching, heat. So anything that reduces inflammation, will reduce those awful symptoms. Perhaps you need to remove inflammatory foods from your diet, the wrong skincare… even inflammatory thoughts and emotions! An anti-inflammatory lifestyle will serve you well.
Stress can also be inflammatory and promote flare ups. When stressed, we release the stress hormone cortisol. This chemical is supposed to reduce inflammation in normal conditions, like the micro-stress of an insect bite. But we also release inflammatory chemicals too. And when chronically stressed we stay stuck in our inflamed state. We recommend having a good laugh every day (movies, comedy, friends), aiming for 7-9 hours sleep, solving stressful problems and getting them out of our head, and managing our skin with a positive heart instead of anger or despair. Don’t worry, the irony of that is not lost on me! Just be kind to yourself, ok?
As mentioned, natural health practitioners place a huge focus on gut health when dealing with skin conditions. But first, a disclaimer - although this is common practice, it is not peer reviewed medical science yet. It is hypothesized that dysbiosis, leaky gut and other inflammatory gut conditions directly show up in the skin. Anecdotal evidence shows folks are getting skin relief, when managing their gut health. A great place to start is simply to remove any foods that feel stressful or inflammatory on your body. Look for symptoms like bloating, stomach cramps and constipation, and adjust your diet to soothe those and see how that influences your skin. Common dietary triggers are hot and spicy foods, allergens like dairy/gluten and foods not fresh from nature (like preservatives, additives etc)
Isn’t it funny, we talk about hot foods, sun and inflammation but it’s just as common for your psoriasis, rosacea or eczema to be worse in winter with dry air, and wind! So it’s important to replace this hydration with an anti-inflammatory eczema lotion to give the skin added protection while helping to soothe the inflammation that’s already there.
There are many skincare solutions for Eczema, Psoriasis and Rosacea but even some of the specialist products can cause problems by throwing your extra delicate skin out of pH balance creating yet another trigger! When you use a lotion, hair shampoo or cleanser that supports your skin’s eco system and focuses on balance, you can reduce stress and inflammation at the skin’s surface so you can feel a little more soothed and in control.
It’s tempting to rush out and use a medicated psoriasis treatment, or thick greasy body cream. But before you do, you need to understand these can make your inflammation worse!
To explain, we’ll do some quick (…and easy) science.
You may be familiar with the term pH. This is the measure of acidity or alkalinity. We won’t get any more complicated than that. A good example is a chlorinated swimming pool that’s safe to swim in has a pH of 7.4 – 7.6. An acid burn has a pH of 1.0, and an alkaline burn has a pH of 14.0.
And our body has it’s own unique pH levels too!
Your skin has an acid mantle and a pH of 5.5 (or a broad range of 4.0 – 6.0). Healthy skin is acidic, and that’s what keeps it healthy! In particular for those who suffer with atopic dermatitis it becomes even more important to support this mantle with pH balanced skincare, as skin barrier malfunction can be the source of the dermatitis. Most of us know that soap is bad news for skin, but did you know that’s because it is incredibly alkaline?
So, pH matters!
And many sensitive skin products may not match our own skin’s levels. Cetaphil for example, offers a “pH balanced” solution, but has a pH of 6.3 – 6.8. And while that may be close to matching the pH of water (7.0), it’s not within the broad range of our skin.
MYTH: pH balanced means balanced for skin.
TRUTH: pH balanced for skin means pH balanced for skin
So, What Is the Best, Unscented Lotion For Eczema, Rosacea and Psoriasis?
It’s hardly surprising the Soapberry has been used for thousands of years to keep skin clean and healthy – ancient wisdom has long known that the Soapberry is a natural source of cleansing saponin, but not only that! It has a skin-healing pH 5.5!
The Soapberry is also naturally antibacterial, and soothes inflammation.
So when you use a Soapberry Based Sensitive Skin Lotion, you support your skin’s pH acid mantle, and healthy barrier function, along with soothing inflammation and offering anti-bacterial support. And when you combine this amazing plant botanical with natural plant oils, your skin also gets to quench its thirst during those dry months. With a balanced dry skin lotion like this one, Eczema, Psoriasis and Rosacea can all be managed without any problem.
When it comes to cleansers, the same rules apply – it’s all about balance. Unless a specialist has advised otherwise, all your skin care products should match your skin’s broad pH 4.0 – 6.0 pH. By matching your lotion with a hypoallergenic Soapberry Body Wash, and Facial Wash your skin holds its pH balance, while being primed to absorb lotion easier.
Of course, you have skin on your head too! So this also applies to Dry Scalp Shampoo and Sulfate Free Conditioner! The scalp has a pH of 5.5, while the hair itself has a more acidic pH of 3.67. So not only does a pH balanced daily shampoo and conditioner help with skin conditions, but it can also leave you with less flyaways and smoother hair too! And anything that makes us feel great is a welcome bonus!
We know it’s frustrating that science doesn’t yet have an answer, or a cure for psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. And we understand the triggers can be quite different for everyone. But when you focus on keeping your delicate skin in balance by cleansing and moisturizing with a pH balanced, gentle skincare routine, you can soothe inflammation, replace lost hydration and nurture your skin so you have less flare ups and a lot more comfort in the skin you’re in.
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