Inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis are all itchy, annoying and reoccurring conditions causing unsightly dry, red or patchy, scaly skin. None of them are good, and everyone who suffers from these symptoms wants to get rid of them - but the eczema keeps coming back, the psoriasis won't go away and the dermatitis is just always there...
Apart from sharing itching, scratching, flaking, discomfort and the shame we all feel about showing affected skin in public - there are a few other common factors.
Skin rashes like eczema and dermatitis, and even psoriasis can be caused by environmental factors. When I say environmental factors, I don't mean the quality of the air, or pollution in our oceans, but something a little closer to home. In fact I do mean the home environment - your home, your haven.
Most people, especially mums with young children spend more than 80% of their time in the home. It's where we eat, sleep, relax and unwind, and it's also where we shower, get ready for work and wash our clothes. In the process of doing all of these things, our body, and our skin in particular is exposed to hundreds of different chemicals present in the products we use.
If you suffer from any form of skin rash, irritation or inflammation, the first thing you should do is take a good hard look at what you put on your skin. Most of the products you buy from the supermarket or event the health food store will still contain many chemicals and allergens, even if they claim to be 'organic', 'natural' or 'green'. This type of label may mean they do have a few ingredients in them that are good for you, but it does not mean that ALL the ingredients that might be bad for you have been removed.
The obvious culprits are soaps, lotions and bath products. But what about the products you clean the bath with? Did you realise that these are also still lurking in the tub when you take a soak? Or that the shampoo you use is absorbed by more than your hair as it washes off your head and runs down your body?
By far the most problematic product for skin irritations is laundry detergent. If you look at the box, not one product will give you the full list of ingredients in the packet. But what do they all have in common? I have done some basic web research on what they are made of, and its scary.
When you wash your clothes, residue from the detergent remains in the fabric. When you wear your clothes next to your skin, this residue, and that 'fragrance' that you associate with freshly washed clothes rubs against your skin and is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. And how many hours a day do you wear clothing?
We all want to stop the dermatitis, the eczema, the psoriasis - but let's face it, none of us are going to stop wearing clothes, cleaning our homes or taking a shower. So therefore, we need to change the products we are using.
The products you use in your home need to be chosen very carefully. There are not many options on the market that eliminate all exposure to potentially harmful ingredients. But there are safety conscious alternative products out there that really work. You just need to find them. Your eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis will thank you - and then quickly disappear!