If your skin is irritating you more than the most annoying characters on reality TV then follow BigGreenSmile.com’s top tips to combat common problem skin conditions, naturally.
You’ve got a painful itch, stemming from that escalating rash. Your skin is looking a little fishy with scaly, dry skin. You have an eruption of spots of volcanic proportions – on your face – and there’s no sign of it stopping. We agree these scenarios are total confidence knockers, but they are common skin setbacks, so don’t panic.
First things first, none of the below common skin problems are contagious. Phew. However, do feel free to blame your family for some of them - that’s genetics for you!
What is it? Not just the woe of teenage boys – although it does usually begin at puberty – acne is when blackheads, white heads and pus-filled spots form. And annoyingly, it always seems to be most fierce on the face.
The science bit: Acne occurs when your dead skin cells don’t shed properly, clogging up the skin follicles, whilst at the same time your glands produce excess oil. Topical treatments and oral antibiotic treatments are prescribed by doctors.
Natural tips to combat Acne:
- Save the squeeze. Picking and squeezing your spots will only aggravate acne and can cause scarring.
- Keep your skin clean. Use only mild soaps and gentle cleansers – we like Yes to Cucumbers – and don’t scrub your skin too hard as it won’t help. Topical treatments can irritate the skin so choose a moisturizer that’s oil free or use a gel such as Jason’s Aloe Vera 98% Moisturising Gel and apply sparingly. Try a non-greasy and natural acne clearing spray.
- Go easy on your war paint. Keep make-up simple, if any; colour pigments can often cause skin sensitivity.
What is it? Eczema and common atopic dermatitis are one and the same. (Don’t confuse this with dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a rare condition mostly caused by an allergy to gluten.)
Eczema creates redness and dryness that can lead to fish-like scaling and occasional pink polka dots around your skin’s hair follicles. It will reveal itself most around the elbows, knees, wrists and neck. When your skin gets itchy you get irritable and the desire to scratch goes through the roof. Don’t. Scratch marks and blood should be saved for Twilight Saga characters.
The science bit: Eczema flares up most frequently when you’re stressed or sick or when you’re in hot and/or dusty places. When there is a reaction find out exactly what caused it. Sufferers of eczema are often allergic to something: it could be from contact with household pets, pollen, dust mites, latex (rubber) or even a particular food in your diet.
If your eczema gets worse, your doctor might recommend a topical steroid cream and the instructions should be followed carefully. If your skin begins weeping then it means your eczema is infected and often antibiotics are needed. Dermatologists often advise against long-term prescribed treatments as they have their own set of side effects including thinning the skin.
Natural tips to combat Eczema:
- Keep moist. Eczema can occur and build up when your skin is super-dry so apply a kind and natural daily moisturiser, such as Essential Care’s Organic Avocado Replenishing Cream. Moisturise as much as six times a day and use in the shower or tub. We also recommend moisturisers with natural antiseptics, such as tea tree oil.
- Fragrance-free. Chemical ingredients (“parfums”) can aggravate. Get your mitts on a non-perfume product such as Balm Balm’s Fragrance Free Face Balm.
- Herbal heroes. Natural creams, with their potent herbal ingredients, do not imply allergy-free, so choose your product wisely. Organic beauty brand Odylique/Essential Care was formed when Margaret Weeds found natural solutions to soothe her daughter Abi’s eczema by making skincare products by hand in her kitchen. Margaret and Abi decided to share their secrets of using fresh unrefined raw materials. For example, virgin coconut oil is used for its excellent vitamin-rich skin conditioning properties in Essential Care’s creams and lotions.
- Ban the bubbles. Soap and detergents can be real irritants. Wear gloves on those gloomy domestic days to cut contact. Shower straight after you’ve been for your aqua aerobics class at the local pool. Foaming agent sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate (“SLS”) is rampant in mainstream beauty products and a no-no ingredient for sensitive complexions. Instead choose soap-free unscented body washes such as those by A’kin.
- Re-think your fashion. Woollen clothing aggravates whereas cotton calms. Costume jewellery can also cause allergic reactions, so avoid those cute nickel necklaces.
What is it? When your skin gets pink-red flaky patches, often on the elbows, knees and sometimes the scalp. The causes include dry skin and viral infections as well as cuts and insect bites.
The science bit: Your skin cells grow deep in the skin and normally rise to the surface each month. For sufferers this process happens too quickly. Doctors usually recommend ointments containing cortisone or coal tar or creams that remove the scaling.
Natural tips to combat Psoriasis
- Vitamin up! Befriend moisturisers with plenty of vitamin D and vitamin A like Green People’s Vita Min Fix. TV’s own Sarah Beeny just loves Odylique by Essential Care’s Organic Calendula Balm.
- Food friends & foes. The preachy part….plenty of fresh fruit and veggies never hurt. Too much booze and smoking exacerbates psoriasis.
Now comrades, you’re almost prepared for battle. Our final tip? Try Salcura’s specialist products. The skin is your body’s barrier to the outside world. Look after it.
Disclaimer: Skin types vary depending on the individual, and you should contact your GP or a professional dermatologist for expert advice. If the first signs or symptoms of a skin condition appear, don’t delay.