Yesterday was the conclusion of National Eczema Week, an annual event to raise awareness of this (in more ways than one) irritating condition which according to the National Eczema Society, affects 5 million people in the UK alone. Eczema is a particular concern to us personally as it’s part of the reason Essential Care exists at all – Margaret first began creating natural remedies to help her own eczema-prone skin – and mine when I was little and couldn’t stop scratching!
That was in the 1980s and Essential Care grew out of those foundations when Mum and I set up the company together in 2003. Unfortunately the treatment and prevention of eczema doesn’t seem to have moved on much since either of those points in time. Natural alternatives to steroid creams are still not prescribed by doctors in spite of their unpleasant side effects and poor long term results.
I am sure there are some open-minded GPs out there who will point eczema sufferers in the direction of calendula or other herb- and plant-based creams and natural emollients. But natural eczema remedies will probably never be available on the NHS in a widespread way until a natural brand wins the lottery and is available to afford clinical trials and a massive sales support network.
Until then we need to rely on word of mouth and testimonials of the brave who have ventured out beyond doctors’ advice to seek a steroid-free solution. It is one of the most heartening moments of what we do when we receive a testimonial like the many here that yes actually, plant oils do perform better than petroleum and that chamomile, calendula and chickweed can help stop itching! My 4-year old daughter also suffers with our family’s atopic eczema so, impartiality apart, I’d happily add my own testimonial here!
Following lots of requests, Margaret also wrote an info sheet to helping distressed skin, based on her personal experience with eczema and knowledge of herbal medicine. Have a look at this Skin Info Sheet if you’d like more tips and suggestions of a non-synthetic way to manage skin problems.