Taking Charge of Your Health

hi everybody my name is dr. Martinez and
I’m a naturopathic doctor at PhysioChiroWellness today I’ve prepared a
presentation about eczema because I have many patients with eczema and also many
people ask me about what a naturopathic doctor can do for somebody with eczema
so first of all let’s talk about some of the quick facts regarding eczema so
right now in Canada we have approximately eight point five percent
of children aged 6 to 7 and 9.4% aged 13 to 14 who suffer from eczema is which is
quite significant and approximately 1% of adults have eczema here in Canada one
in five Canadians are affected with it at some point in their lives and the
worldwide prevalence ranges from 5 to 20% and it’s interestingly its highest
in developed countries and the annual cost of it to the Canadian healthcare
system is around 1.4 billion dollars a year which is really significant so what
can we do to help people with this ok so next let’s talk about what some of the
causes and or risk factors are so we as men as I mentioned earlier it tends to
be more prevalent in developed countries particularly in urban environments we’re
not a hundred percent sure why this happens the one of the theories is what
we call the hygiene hypothesis and that basically just means that we’re very
clean in these areas of the world we tend to want to sanitize everything and
keep children from playing in the dirt we’re sanitizing our hands all the time
and sanitizing our children’s toys so that might be one of the reasons why we
tend to see this why is that important we need to be exposed to various bugs to
build our immune system and big SEMA is part of what we call them
allergic triad so it has to do with an allergic Constitution so if you are
exposed to bugs you build your immune system and therefore you don’t have this
type of Constitution also it can be genetic so if the father or the mother
have a history of what we call atopic disease and again that just means any
kind of allergic Constitution that actually is one of the biggest factors
so if mom had asthma or allergies we might see a baby with eczema also we
know that exclusive breastfeeding can be protective for somebody developing
eczema in the future in a vitamin D deficiency this might also be why we
tend to see it in some developed countries more because we tend to have
colder climates with less sun exposure so that could also be an explanation so
let’s talk about some of the things that go wrong usually some of the
physiological changes that are present in somebody with eczema compared to
somebody who doesn’t have it so basically as I mentioned we see that the
immune system is going towards an allergy type of response there’s also a
deficient skin barrier and the skin microflora or the different bugs or
bacterias that we naturally have in our skin is different between somebody with
eczema and somebody without it and we also tend to see more inflammatory
markers in people who have eczema so what are the naturopathic options that
we can offer first I’d like to focus on lifestyle implementations that may be
simple and cost effective for people so one of the main things that I talk about
is just limiting the amount of hot water that is used
and at least try to fit or at least I should say try finishing your shower
with cold water the reason why I recommend this is because with really
hot water you tend to open up the pores in your skin and so your natural oils
just kind of dissipate but if you use cold water at the end you’re closing
your pores and therefore retaining those great natural oils that we not we have
in our skin and therefore you end up with less dry and irritated skin
of course moisturizing right after a shower or a bath and by that I mean with
a natural moisturizer so I always recommend to my patients that they
choose natural gentle body care products that don’t contain synthetic fragrances
no harsh chemicals and also as much as you can go scent free even with natural
essential oils for some people who are just very very sensitive that might be
an issue as well also choose gentle products for washing your clothes and
cleaning your house some fabrics such as wall may also aggravate the itching and
avoid allergens and irritants such as tobacco dust mites mold pollen I also
I’m a huge fan of Opeth’s many of my little parent patients moms love these
as well they definitely see an improvement in these and usually I
recommend to just place a cup of oats in a coffee grinder so that you bring it to
a powder and then you can place them in a tied cheesecloth and then you would
place them in a warm bath and just soak there for about 20 minutes and then you
can just Pat the skin dry choose a right moisturizer so one very popular and
really helpful moisturizer is just plain natural virgin coconut oil there’s some
evidence that it decreases the risk of Staphylococcus infection which we can
see in people with eczema if there’s enough irritation and enough cracking in
the skin that may develop an infection later one thing one word of caution
though coconut oil is not great for everybody I have a few patients who
actually get its year after the application of coconut oil so this is
again just as reference finding the right one might be a process for some
people the other one that I really like is shea butter cocoa butter and herbal
salt selves as well creams ointments and oils can be really helpful watching what
you eat is really important or what you feed your child and what I mean by watch
what you eat this is specifically for mothers who are breastfeeding if you are
consuming a food sensitivity then that might be contributing to your baby’s
eczema so that’s why it’s important to identify these or of course identify
your child’s sensitivities as well if they’re old enough we know that they’re
linked to to eczema or at least to having more flare-ups of it so the more
common sensitivities include wheat dairy eggs peanuts soy and tree nuts the way
that we identify food sensitivities if that’s something that we are going to
focus on is by two means one is a hypoallergenic diet and that is a diet
that we discuss with you and basically it involves removing the main allergenic
foods for about six weeks and then we start in reintroducing one food at a
time if we see a flare-up when you introduce that food we know that that’s
a sensitivity and then the next way of identifying food sensitivity is what’s
called an IgG food sensitivity test this is a blood test so you’re a naturopath
be writing you a requisition to go to the lab where they draw the blood and
they send it off to the lab where they do the analysis of your blood I’m also a
huge fan of vitamin D so checking for a vitamin D deficiency has been checking
for vitamin D deficiency is important because it has been linked to a higher
risk of eczema in addition to oral supplementation you can also make your
own vitamin D cream by adding a whole bottle of vitamin D drops to about a 50
or 60 gram jar of aloe cream or another gentle fragrance free cream of your
choice and that can be really soothing as well for the skin probiotics are also
well researched when it comes to eczema especially as a preventative measure the
specific strains of probiotics that you may consider are lactobacillus rhamnosus
and acidophilus and bifidobacterium some of my other favorite forms of therapy
for eczema include acupuncture homeopathy gemma therapy which is a form
of herbal medicine herbs and of course stress management specially with my
adult patients who have eczema we definitely see a direct link between
stress levels and their eczema severity so if you have any questions regarding
anything that we’ve discussed today feel free to call us or email us and now our
website has a chat function that you can use and we are able to respond to your
questions very quickly thank you and I will see you next time

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