Archives for category: eczema


Eating foods with anti-inflammatories help to boost your immune system and promote healthy skin, for instants; foods like dark leafy greens and those rich in fatty acids, like sardines, fish oils, Indian gnee and flax seeds.

Keeping skin nourished with healthy fatty acids and fats, like coconut, avocado and olive oils, help your body absorb minerals and vitamins.  Fatty acids help repair and renew skin cells and promote a hormonal balance.

Depending on your skin concerns there are different things your can do to help de-stress your skin:

For Eczema- to prevent additional inflammation, drink immune supportive tea made from reships, echinacea and chamomile.  You can also apply room temperature tea bags to irritated skin for relief.  Avoid inflammatory chemicals, artificial dyes, harsh soaps and laundry detergents, and cleansers and disinfectants like chloride.

For Acne & Breakouts- these can be caused by bacteria, pregnancy, menopause and hormonal shifts.  Eat nutrient-rich foods and use skin care products that contain Vitamin C, antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea, willow bark, tea tree oil, juniper and rosemary extracts.  Exfoliate both face and body regularly with willow bark or other antiseptic ingredients to help minimize breakouts.

For Dermatitis- symptoms of dermatitis can include; swelling, itching, burning and blotchy redness.  Severe symptoms are blisters, crusting, and oozing.  The causes are mostly from allergies or physical contact, for example, with synthetic fragrances, colorings, alcohol, FD+C dyes and synthetic preservatives.  Vitamin-rich ingredients with antiseptic qualities like antioxidant-rich elderflower, peppermint, aloe, witch hazel and calendula can help heal dermatitis.

For Redness + Rosacea- this is triggered by sun exposure, primarily.  Symptoms include redness around checks and nose, broken blood vessels, bumps that look like pimples, swollen or painful vein, stringing, itching and flushing easily.  The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, although it is most common in women ages 30-50 and fair-skinned people.  Treatments include topical vitamins, anti-inflammatory herbs, like turmeric, and skin soothing ingredients, like aloe and especially seed oils, like carrot and calendula.  Calendula contains bisabolol, an anti-inflammatory compound, because of this it helps reduce redness associated with rosacea by calming skin.  Switch to mineral-based makeup, use products with calming plants with antihistamine-like qualities, and healing herbs like sage and jasmine.

Sensitive skin has become one of those “catch all” phrases that describes a variety of things but does not carry a clear definition. Millions of people have sensitive skin but what does that mean exactly? Do they react badly to skin care protects? Are they especially affected by exposure to the sun? Do certain types of fabrics cause problems?

It’s easy to understand why the term “sensitive skin” may carry different meanings for different people. For example: if someone is complaining about sensitive skin to their esthetician, do they mean they are allergic to certain products or perhaps their skin simply reacts to certain ingredients more intensely than most people do. With so much variation in how a person may define their “sensitive” skin, it is important to understand how they are defining the term, sensitive.

Acne or Rosacea: Skin that is especially sensitive to products may react by producing acne or inflaming an existing rosacea condition. Excessive oils in products can easily clog the pores for people with this type of sensitivity. Instead of using products specially designed for “sensitive skin”, search for the underlying problem such as oily skin or inflamed skin.

Burning and Stinging: Some people apply a skin care product and immediately (or even after a few minutes) begin to experience a “burning or stinging” sensation on the face. This is not necessarily the same as an allergic reaction. Usually the cause of this sensation cannot be pinned down and remains unknown. Some ingredients have been known to cause this reaction more frequently including: lactic acid, azaelic acid, benzoic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin c and AHA’s.
A dermatologist may perform a test (once again, not an allergy test) to determine which ingredient the skin in reacting to so a patient can avoid products that will invoke a reaction. Currently there is no substantive research to determine why the skin will responds this way or a treatment that will work for everyone when it occurs. Usually removal of the product will reduce the sensation and it will go away on its own after a few minutes to several hours (depending on the original application amount).

Contact Dermatitis (Allergies): Finally, the issue most people refer to when they talk about sensitive skin. This refers to a specific allergy to a product, material or ingredient that causes an adverse reaction. An allergen is a reaction to a specific ingredient which your body is producing anti-bodies to combat the reaction. This is not the same as an irritant which will cause a reaction when applied to the skin (such as bleach on skin) but your body is not actively fighting as an allergy.

Trying to Determine the Cause: When a dermatologist is searching for the cause of an allergic reaction, they will need to rely heavily on a patient’s history to narrow down possible suspects. Remember, doctors need complete disclosure of any product usage to obtain accurate results. When you withhold critical information for one reason or another, it prolongs the process and could lead to misdiagnosis and unnecessary additional tests to find an unknown cause.

Avoiding the Problem: If you are shopping for new products or want to undergo any skin care treatment, make sure to inform your esthetician of any adverse reactions you’ve had prior to your appointment. This will prevent complications when specialized products are used. Remember that many spa products use higher concentrations of ingredients to obtain more dramatic results so telling your esthetician in advance can prevent a severe reaction.

Conclusion: Searching for products geared towards “sensitive skin” can be a waste of time and money if you don’t know to root of your problem. Determining a true allergy versus and irritation can help resolve a lot of mystery and ensure you have proper treatment should an allergic reaction occur. Remember that not all skin reactions require medical attention but if you have any concerns or contact with potentially dangerous materials, contact your primary care physician immediately. A referral to a skin care specialist may be necessary for especially sensitive care cases or concerns.

Learn more great skin care tips online at

Itchy and irritated skin is not only uncomfortable, it’s a hassle! There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a conversation with someone and have an unbearable itchy sensation. Scratching may provide a temporary relief but within a few seconds that annoying sensation will come back to taunt you.

So what can you do when you develop a rash and need some sort of relief?

An important first step is to understand the cause of your rash. If you have an allergy or reaction to products touching your skin, discontinuing use or contact may offer immediate relief. The type of rash you develop could be a generalized rash (all over the body) or appear only on discrete areas. Area specific rashes may be the result of new product use or contact with an irritant.

Depending on the source of the rash you may have itching, redness, tingling, burning, pain or inflammation. A rash is a general term that refers to an outbreak of bumps on the body that alter the way the skin looks or feels. There are common categories for the types of rashes people develop including:
 Scaly patches of skin not produced by infection
 Scaly patches caused by infection
 Red, itchy bumps or patches on the body

A rash should be evaluated by a health care professional to determine cause and proper treatment options. Home treatments can be an effective choice for many rashes and one of the most popular is a topical cortisone treatment. These are available over the counter or by prescription, depending on the strength needed.

Cortisone is a steroid hormone that can be administered orally, topically, intravenously, cutaneously or intraarticularly. Cortisone works to suppress the immune system (thus reducing inflammation). Cortisone, like any steroid, can be risky when used long term.

What are the side effects of cortisone?

Cortisone can lead to a permanent thinning of the skin in the areas it is used most frequently. Since cortisone suppresses the immune system it should not be used by people suffering from kidney/liver diseases, heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers, osteoporosis or other medical conditions. Consult with your health care provider regarding any specific questions.

Benefits of Cortisone

While it may not be a long term solution, cortisone is a wonderful option for quick relief of those annoying rash symptoms! Over the counter cortisone treatments are a much lower dosage and may need to be applied more frequently to relieve symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Cortisone is one of those popular treatments that are frequently used as a “cure all” for skin conditions, especially the rash. While it may provide temporary relief, long term treatment should be under the consultation of a health care provider. Cortisone has many benefits but should be used with caution by people with any type of chronic health condition.