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Category: eczema

  1. Kitchen Pharmacy

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    I've always known oats are renowned as an effective treatment for itchy dry skin but have never tried it out (not sure why? ). The traditional way is to run a bath with a muslin bag of oats in the water or held under the tap to create an oat milk bath.

    After a friend came to me yesterday, desperate for a jar of Hand Soother to help her dry, sore hands I reminded her about using olive oil in an emergency and I got to thinking about the other treatments you can find at home. So over the next few days I'm going to try one each day or so and report back giving you an honest view on how effective each one is.

    Today's kitchen pharmacy visit is to the cereal cupboard to try out the oats. oats

    Rather than use them in a bath, I wanted to see how they worked as a quick treatment on my hands. They are feeling dryer than usual at the moment I guess due to the weather and central heating, although not as sore and chapped as my poor friend.

    I took at handful of oats and held them in my hand as I ran warm water over them. Once they felt slightly mushy, I 'washed' my hands with them - messy but actually quite nice (or maybe that's just me!).

    Quick tip - I did this over a sieve to save me picking soggy oats out of the sink afterwards.

    After I rinsed them off my hands felt a lot smoother - this does act as a gentle exfoliator - and soft too. I'd imagine if your hands are feeling sore and chapped, this would be a really soothing treatment.

    So nothing new - but a natural treatment I've known about and never tried. Give it a go if your hands are dry and let me know what you think.

  2. Keeping it simple when your skin needs help

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    A flare up of eczema on my arms means that I just want to keep things very simple when it comes to my skin. I find myself opting for pure coconut oil or olive oil as well as my unscented Pure Rosehip Face Oil. I know that essential oils can help skin flare ups but sometimes I think that – just like with food – your body craves what it needs, so pure, unscented and simple it is for now.

    If you have a sudden problem with your skin - whether you suffer from eczema or perhaps have a reaction to a product – you’ll probably want to reduce the load on your skin to give it a chance to heal and help it along the way. These two oils are great for ‘emergency’ skin care.

    Olive Oil

    Of course this has the added benefit that you more than likely have a bottle already in your kitchen. Olive oil can be used as an all over moisturiser, ideally added to a bath to give your skin a light coating of oil; a cleanser - warm a little in your hands and apply to your face then wipe off with a warm flannel. As most make up is oil based it dissolves in the olive oil. Even waterproof mascara will come off with an oil cleanser; an exfoliator - after any redness has gone and broken skin has healed, mix with a little table salt to exfoliate the dry areas on your body (don’t use sea salt on fragile skin - it will be too rough).

    coconut oil

    Coconut Oil

    The other fabulous oil to keep to hand, and my personal favourite as I love the smell, is coconut oil. It has a long shelf life so it’s worth tracking down a jar at your local health store. Make sure you opt for extra virgin coconut oil - this should have a scent of coconut which shows that it’s gone through the minimum amount of processing and therefore retains more nutrients. Again it’s great for cleansing (I use it all the time even without skin flare ups), but the main benefit for me is that it’s very soothing on itchy skin. I’ve also come across several people who’ve been unable to use anything on their skin apart from coconut oil during an eczema flare up so it’s an oil that most sensitive skins will tolerate.

    Let me know what you've found that works as an emergency treatment on your skin.