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By: Mildred Bell
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In my many years of working in clinical skin care, one of the most troublesome skin problems is the annoying and uncontrollable itch of psoriasis and eczema.

While often confused psoriasis is genetic in nature and commonly appears as dry, thick silvery plaques. Eczema, sometimes called dermatitis, is associated with allergies and appears as a dry itchy rash and over time can cause a darkening and thickening of skin. Uncontrolled and continuous itching can make both conditions escalate to red, swollen, oozy and at worst a bloody wound. Once the skin barrier has been broken, there’s danger of infection so a trip to your dermatologist is in order. 
 
More recently UV light treatments have been used, but topical steroids are the go-to treatment for stopping the itch and allowing the skin to heal. However, the continuous use of steroids is not recommended because of adverse side effects. Sadly, repeated bouts of inflammation can cause scarring and/or loss of pigment that could be permanent.
The focus of my company is to develop products physicians can recommend for skin health and hygiene As a clinical aesthetician , my goal is to help clients manage their skin conditions on a daily basis and to help them pinpoint possible triggers that should be avoided. 
 
 
My recommendations to ease psoriasis and eczema symptoms:
 
 
Daily Skin Care:
  • Avoid all skin care products with major irritants like fragrance, alcohol, lanolin, dyes , and propylene glycol that could irritate skin and ignite a flare-up.
  • Keep skin hydrated with a moisturizer rich in hyaluronic acid, the most powerful natural moisturizing ingredient known to science…one which I’ve found to be the most effective non-occlusive moisturizer for sensitive skin and skin with diseases/disorders.
  • Use a gentle hydrating cleanser that thoroughly cleanses skin without stripping natural oils. 
  • Avoid too frequent cleansing that depletes the skin of oil and avoid sodium laureth sulfate.
  • Avoid long hot baths or showers that dry skin and make it itch.
 
Environment: 
  • During warm humid weather, prickly heat-like flare ups and itching can wreak havoc with your skin. Wear light natural-fabric clothing, keep cool and wear sunscreen.  
  • Wear a water based hyaluronic acid moisturizer that keeps skin from drying.
  • Keep skin well hydrated in cold winter weather when low humidity and indoor heat can dehydrate the skin and cause it to itch. 
 Contact Items:
  • Avoid contact with items like fragrances, clothing, latex, detergents, pet dander, jewelry and/or cosmetics that might cause irritation and itching.
 
 Lifestyle/Diet:
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Add omega 3 fatty acids, Flaxseed oil, Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin D3 and selenium to boost the immune system.
  • Use a high quality probiotic to minimize candida (yeast) and to keep your gut healthy.
  • Nutritional experts suggest a diet free of gluten, eggs, dairy products, sugar and white flour to minimize the incidence of flare-ups. 
  • Add exercise, meditation and laughter to your life to reduce stress, a major trigger.
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