What is it?
Eczema is a skin condition which affects one in five children and one in twelve adults in the UK. It mild cases it causes skin to dry out and appear red and flaky. The skin is also very itchy and in more severe cases, itching can break the skin causing it to weep and bleed. This causes further problems for sufferers, as open wounds across the skin increases the risk of infection. Children often ‘grow out’ of the condition but it can come back later in life. Often Eczema is worsened by the things we eat or come into contact with, these allergens can be highlighted and later avoided to help relieve symptoms. Often stress is a big factor and by finding ways to minimise stress we can minimise the symptoms of Eczema in a lot cases, which is why the team at YOU Massage Therapy are familiar with helping those with the condition. So that’s what to avoid (in an ideal world!), this blog post goes into some of the things that can help when applied…
How does it effect people?
The lack of moisture in the skin can cause all sorts of problems. Our skin acts as our main barrier against bacteria and irritation, it also regulates temperature and helps keep the body hydrated by storing fats and oils within the cells. The reduced amount of fats and oils cause all layers of the skin to be weakened, the outermost layer of skin being the weakest. This means that bacteria find it far easier to get in, cause infections and prevent healing.
Most people with Eczema have to be very careful which products come into contact with their skin. Due to the weakened skin, they are far more sensitive to a lot of everyday products such as washing up liquid, detergent, cleaning products and even skin care products. If they use the wrong product, this can lead to further irritation, which causes further itching and more damage to their already weakened skin.
How can YOU Massage Therapy help?
Massage can be very beneficial for Eczema sufferers as it increases blood and lymph flow to the skin, which will encourage healing. Caution will be used though, mainly when choosing a suitable medium to be applied to prevent aggravating the skin. It is always best to discuss with the therapist what options there are available. If the condition is very mild, a nourishing oil such as almond or jojoba would be ideal as it delivers nourishing fats and proteins back into the skin. Some people prefer to use a moisturising cream that they have already tested and are happy with, such as Aqueous cream. If the condition is quite severe, the skin is likely to be broken and unfortunately massage treatment cannot be given until the skin is healed as it can spread bacteria and also be quite unpleasant to touch. The main thing to remember when suffering with Eczema is finding what works for you. The therapist will always discuss the treatment with you and work out what is best for each individual, as everybody is different!
A fantastic moisturising cream that we have found is The Feel Good Factory’s Marigold and Lavender Cream. The Feel Good Factory founder, Marian, originally formulated this product for her son, who has suffered with severe Eczema since birth. It is primarily designed to soothe and intensely moisturise the skin; while also preventing infection with the natural antiseptic properties of calendula. Many people with Eczema find that products containing a high amount of chemicals and synthetic fragrances, although they may smell nice, can in fact cause the skin to flare up. It is partially because of this that the Marigold and Lavender Cream (and all other Feel Good Factory products) is organic, free of irritants such as sodium laureth sulphate or synthetic fragrances, and are also free of parabens, phthalates and GM ingredients.
The Feel Good Factory Marigold and Lavender Antiseptic Cream is available to buy from YOU Massage. In fact we are so pleased with the results we’ve had from it, that we are currently giving away free samples so you can try it out before you buy it! If you would like one, all you need to do is ask one of our therapists while you are in for your next treatment!
A great treatment to try for Eczema is a Full Body Holistic Massage. A full body massage will cover all problems areas, encouraging the blood to get flowing, the skin to get healing and overall give your whole body a well needed boost. http://www.massage-southampton.co.uk/holistic-massage-southampton.html
Massage can either be applied using a nourishing base oil, added Aromatherapy such as Chamomile or Lavender to soothe and encourage the inflammation to decrease, or with our in house Marigold and Lavender cream!
For further information about Eczema and the available support, just visit the National Eczema Society website. http://www.eczema.org/