Dermatitis

Natural Healing Research

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Aloe vera gel: The antibacterial and anti-microbial properties can prevent skin infections which a person is more prone to, with dry, cracked skin. The immune system boosting and wound healing properties may soothe the broken skin and promote healing. The fleshy bit of the skin of the plant is used. Apply the gel neat to the affected area. The gel can also be bought from health shops. *do not buy gels with preservatives and chemicals in them, as they will irritate the skin further*. – Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Apple cider vinegar: Vinegar is acidic. The skin is acidic. Those with dermatitis could have less acidic skin, which can weaken the skin’s defences. Diluted ACV could balance the acidity levels in the skin. Many soaps, detergents and cleansers are alkaline and can disrupt the skin, leaving it vulnerable to damage. Hence soaps can irritate Dermatitis and create flare-ups.  *The ACV will help keep bacteria at bay and prevent any infection*.

*Wet Wrap: 1 Cup warm water, add 1Tbsp ACV. Soak some clean cotton/gauze in it. Apply to the skin. Cover with the clean cotton gauze. Leave for approx. 3 hours.

*Bath: Add 2 Cups of ACV to a warm bath. Soak 15-20 minutes. Rinse the body thoroughly. Moisturise withing a few minutes of leaving the bath. Be sure to use natural products with no chemicals or petrochemicals.

– Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut oil: Contains healthy natural fatty acids that add moisture to the skin which can help dermatitis. Helps to combat inflammation by improving the health of the skin barrier, thereby protecting the skin. *Apply the oil to the affected areas after bathing and a couple of times a day. Use it before bed to maintain moisture while you are sleeping*. Avoid if allergic to coconuts. – Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Honey: A natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. It can help the body fight off infections by healing wounds and boosting the immune system. It heals burns, boils and wounds. Honey can help prevent infections while moisturising the skin and speeding up healing. Dab a little honey directly onto the skin. – Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Tea Tree Oil: Melaleuca alternifolia: With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory wound healing properties it may relieve itching and prevent infection. Mixing it with a carrier oil is essential. Coconut oil would be a great base since it has its own healing qualities. – Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Dietary changes:

Anti-inflammatory foods: Fish, leafy greens, beans and lentil, colourful fruits, vegetables, turmeric and cinnamon.

Inflammatory foods to avoid: Dairy, eggs, soy and wheat.

It’s a good idea to keep a food journal, to see which foods cause a flare-up and the foods your body reacts to. – Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Lifestyle changes:

Soaps/cleansers: Avoid chemicals and preservatives in soaps and cleansers. Many soaps, lotions and laundry detergents can contain harsh chemicals. These can dry out and irritate the skin. Soaps can be harsh due to their alkalinity.

Use: Gentle, no-lather, fragrance-free, colour free, chemical-free soaps and detergents.

Avoid the heat: The hot dry air of a heater or alike may feel good but it will dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itch. Use a humidifier in winter and avoid close proximity to heaters and fireplaces.

– Listed by Sharon Olivier, February 2021

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Essential Oils

We would suggest the following:

  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil

Massage – Buy a base oil: coconut, sweet almond, grape seed for example. If you have 20ml of base oil, add half the amount of Essential Oil drops. In this case, you will add 8 drops of Tea Tree and 2 drops of Peppermint. Rub the mixture over the affected areas of the body, as required. Especially effective after a bath.

Bath – Your skin is the most absorbent part of the body. The heat of the bath assists in the absorption. There are 2 ways to do this:

  1. Diffusing 5 drops (maximum) of Essential Oils into a teaspoon of milk. Or a cup, if you would like more of a Cleopatra style bath. Use 4 drops of Tea Tree and 1 drop of Peppermint. Add Epsom salts.
  2. Or simply add 5ml of your massage blend.

Close all windows. Soak for 15-20 minutes minimum. Avoid splashing in the eyes.

Compress – (A warm compress). Add 2-3 drops of Essential Oil into a bowl of water. Soak the cloth in it. Apply the cloth to the area for 15 minutes or so. (2 drops of Tea Tree and 1 drop of Peppermint).

** A patch test is required – 1 drop of aromatherapy oil to 4 drops of base oil. Apply a coin size amount to a patch of skin on the inner arm **

If sensitivity occurs, apply more base oil to soothe the area. Possibly avoid use for a further 10 days. If you wish to continue, dilute to ¼ of the original amount and test on a small area of skin. If there is no further reaction, continue with that dosage.

** Oils are for external use only and must be blended with a carrier oil. Always avoid the eyes, ears and nose **

** Peppermint – Avoid use during pregnancy/lactating, or if on homoeopathic remedies. Avoid use in children under 5. Use low doses, it’s a very cooling oil and strong. May irritate the skin. It is a stimulant, so do not add it to the bath before bed. Safe all around for inhaling. Peppermint is very potent and stimulating, avoid use for a relaxing bath and never use more than 1-2 drops **

** Tea Tree – Avoid up to the age of 5. Can irritate the skin and be very drying on its own **

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