Skincare for Children Suffering with Severe Eczema
Yesterday I met with a lovely 15 year old boy and his mother. The boy was very quiet at first yet happy to answer questions and communicate as time went on. Once I got the gist of the situation with his severe eczema, and inquired if there was anything else he wished to share, he began to sob to such an extent that both his mother and I were in tears with him. When he stopped crying enough to speak again, he stated that during the previous treatments when he was using cortisone and other steroids, his clothes would stick to his skin and he would have to peel them off or ask his mother to help him and that his skin came off with the clothes and it was so painful. Swimming in the ocean was painful and he had missed so much school due to this issue. This boy has been suffering with eczema his entire life. As difficult as it was for me to feel his suffering, I felt so empowered and grateful that he was now with me and I knew that he would soon be relieved of his eczema once and for all.
The human skin is the outer covering of the body. In humans, it is the largest organ of the integumentary system. The skin has multiple layers of ectodermal tissue and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Though nearly all human skin is covered with hair follicles, it appears hairless.
Because it interfaces with the environment, skin plays a key role in protecting the body against pathogens – or unfamiliar microorganisms, and excessive water loss. Its other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, synthesis of vitamin D, and the protection of vitamin B folates. Severely damaged skin will try to heal by forming scar tissue. This is often discolored and depigmented.
In humans, skin pigmentation varies among populations, and skin type can range from dry to oily. Such skin variety provides a rich and diverse habitat for bacteria which number roughly at 1000 species from 19 different families.
Skin has mesodermal cells, pigmentation, or melanin provided by melanocytes, which absorb some of the potentially dangerous ultraviolet radiation (UV) in sunlight. It also contains DNA-repair enzymes that help reverse UV damage, and people who lack the genes for these enzymes suffer high rates of skin cancer. One form predominantly produced by UV light,malignant melanoma, is particularly invasive, causing it to spread quickly, and can often be deadly. Human skin pigmentation varies among populations in a striking manner.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body. For the average adult human, the skin has a surface area of between 1.5-2.0 square metres (16.1-21.5 sq ft.), most of it is between 2–3 mm (0.10 inch) thick. The average square inch (6.5 cm²) of skin holds 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, 60,000 melanocytes, and more than 1,000 nerve endings.
The functions of the skin are as follows:
1. Protection: an anatomical barrier from pathogens and damage between the internal and external environment in bodily defense.] 2. Sensation: contains a variety of nerve endings that react to heat and cold, touch, pressure, vibration, and tissue injury.
3. Heat regulation: the skin contains a blood supply far greater than its requirements which allows precise control of energy loss by radiation, convection and conduction. Dilated blood vessels increase perfusion and heat loss, while constricted vessels greatly reduce cutaneous blood flow and conserve heat.
4. Control of evaporation: the skin provides a relatively dry and semi-impermeable barrier to fluid loss. Loss of this function contributes to the massive fluid loss in burns.
5. Aesthetics and communication: others see our skin and can assess our mood, physical state and level of healthfulness.
6. Storage and synthesis: acts as a storage center for lipids and water, as well as a means of synthesis of vitamin D by action of UV on certain parts of the skin.
7. Excretion: sweat contains urea, however its concentration is 1/130th that of urine, hence excretion by sweating is at most a secondary function to temperature regulation.
8. Absorption: the cells comprising the outermost 0.25–0.40 mm of the skin are “almost exclusively supplied by external oxygen”, although the “contribution to total respiration is negligible”. In addition, medicine can be administered through the skin, by ointments or by means of adhesive patch, such as the nicotine patch or iontophoresis. The skin is an important site of transport in many other organisms.
9. Water resistance: The skin acts as a water resistant barrier so essential nutrients aren’t washed out of the body.
Because our skin does so many wonderful things for us, it is imperative that we care for it well.
Adequate nutrition and hydration are most important for the skin, as it is true for all cells of the body. The cells of the skin need to consume quality and adequate nutrients and eliminate waste as do all cells. When imbalance occurs within the system, it means that one of these basic functions is less than optimal. Either there is alack of quality, balance of nutrients entering the cells, or the eliminatory organs are back up, overloaded or shut down. The results will be clogged pores, white or black heads, cysts, acne,yeast or fungal rashes, etc. The bacteria that lives off of morbid waste will live off poorly digested material and perpetuate a disrupted healthy skin ecology.
Exfoliating the skin from head to toe is an excellent way to keep your pores unclogged and open for proper elimination through and out the body. Remember, what goes in, must come out. The body is in a continuous state of consuming and eliminating through all of the digestive and eliminatory organs. The skin is only one of those. Health of the other organs is imperative because if any organ is not working optimally, the other organs must pick up the slack. We must be as strong as our strongest organ; otherwise the weak link will pull down the system. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables, as well as high quality foods suitable to your particular constitution, combined with just plain old soap and water goes a long way.
Keep the pores free of lotions, sun screens and make up a soften as possible, as these will clog pores and inhibit the natural flow and always consult a licensed N.D. with any specific health concerns you have, as God made us all so unique and we must respect and cherish our own individuality.
With Love & Aloha,
Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff