If you have problematic skin, you’ll be aware that certain products can cause irritation. Whilst some products are more of an issue than others, and it can be very individual, here’s a list of things you should start with if you’re trying to get your eczema, psoriasis or sensitive skin under control:
1. Wheat and Dairy
Avoiding foods is something that shouldn’t be done without advice, however wheat and dairy have been shown in many cases to trigger skin complaints. When the gut is out of balance, both wheat and dairy can cause further imbalance and inflammation which can then cause the immune system to react and worsen skin problems. Why not try eliminating one, or both, for a few weeks to see how you feel, or get in touch to find out about our Allergy Testing.
Stress affects the entire body by causing certain hormones to be released. These hormones can lead to inflammation which affects the skin. Try to practice meditation, yoga, slow breathing and take daily walks.
3. Wool and Lanolin
A natural product created from sheeps wool. However it’s been shown to be an irritant for many people with sensitive skin. If you find that woollen clothing can irritate you, we’d advise steering clear of Lanolin also.
4. Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, rapeseed, etc are high in Omega 6 which is inflammatory. Whilst small amounts are essential for our health, most of us eat far too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3, which is anti-inflammatory. This leads to systematic inflammation which can express itself through the skin. Avoid all vegetable oils and instead opt for olive oil, avocado oil or grass-fed butter or ghee.
5. Hot baths/showers
Water which is too hot will strip the skin of essential oils which are needed to protect against water loss. This leads to dry, itchy skin. When taking baths or showers, opt for warm water instead of hot, and keep them short. Never bathe/shower more than once a day.
6. Perfumes and fragrances
Fragrances are added to many products, from skin care to toothpastes to washing powders. These are usually highly synthetic chemicals which irritate skin when they come in contact. Opt instead for fragrance-free products.
7. Central Heating
Probably unavoidable for most people in the UK and northern europe, but central heating reduces the humidity in the air. This then increases the rate of water evaporation from your skin and leads to dryness. Try to keep room humidity around 50% – you can pop a bowl of water on top of your radiators if humidity is too low
8. Mould and pollen
These airborne particles can be inhaled and kick-start your immune system. Because most people with eczema, psoriasis or other skin issues often have overactive immune systems, it’s important we avoid other substances which could also trigger it. Using a HEPA filter during the pollen season, and ensuring your bathrooms and windows are well ventilated to prevent mould will help.
9. Biological washing powder
This contains enzymes which break down the proteins and fats found in food stains. The problem is, they can also eat away at your skin, causing contact dermatitis. Switch to a non-biological powder, or even better look at a Laundry Egg which contains no chemicals.
Some dogs and cats can be a trigger for those prone to skin problems. Interestingly, it’s not the fur that often causes the problem but instead of the saliva. If you do have a pet, keep them well groomed, ensure they have plenty of outdoor space and keep rooms well ventilated.