Emu Oil Institute
Emu Oil & Eczema
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a chronic skin disorder. When it is flaring up - which can be weekly or monthly for some - it is characterized by red, itchy skin. This condition usually occurs in people with a personal or family history of atopy (allergic asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, or food allergies).
To aid in the relief of this disease you need to identify and reduce those factors in your life that exacerbate the disease. These are different for each person, so no one therapy is appropriate for all eczema sufferers.
Irritants: Environmental factors can have a big effect on eczema. To prevent irritation, minimize the use of soaps, solvents, and other drying compounds. If soaps are to be used they should have minimal defatting activity and a neutral pH. Non-soap cleansing agents are also available. Since residual laundry detergent in clothes may also be irritating, a second rinse cycle would be beneficial. Changing detergents may also help.
For hand dermatitis, it is important to avoid irritant contact with solvents, soaps and detergents. If you wash your hands frequently, it is important to apply emollients after every washing. Pure Emu oil and emu oil based lotions are an excellent method of re-hydrating the skin after washing. Wearing appropriate gloves when using potential irritants is also important.
Allergens: Allergens in the air and in food are often triggers for a flare-up of this disorder. Allergy testing is helpful in determining what allergens to avoid. Occasionally, using an electrostatic air purifier can help reduce aeroallergen exposure at home or in the workplace.
Dietary management of atopic dermatitis continues to be a controversial subject among doctors. The most common allergens appear to be eggs, cow's milk, soy, wheat, nuts and fish.
Infections: If you get a bacterial, fungal or viral infection, it may cause a flare-up of eczema. If eczema is weeping or oozing, if it is crusted, or if it has small bumps, have your doctor test for the presence of bacterial infection.
Athletes foot (tineas pedis) can occur in older children and adults in addition to foot dermatitis. When standard topical therapy for foot dermatitis fails, you doctor may test for this fungus.
Helpful Hints for Eczema
Hydration: Your skin is dry, not because it lacks grease or oil, but because it fails to retain water. Therefore, to correct dryness, water is added to the skin, followed by a grease or oil-containing substance to hold the water in. This can be done by soaking the affected area in a basin of water, in the bath or in the shower, for 20 minutes using warm water. Pat the skin with a soft towel to remove excess water, and immediately apply Emu oil. You should bathe and lubricate at least once a day or more for optimum hydration. Many folks find additional applications (2 or 3 times a day) of agents like Emu oil that hydrate the skin, help keep their skin moist.
Although eczema can be difficult to live with, we hope the above suggestions will help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with it. Remember: no two cases are exactly alike and each person may have different needs.