Immune System Wellness for Eczema: What to do while you are stuck at home

cold and flu season coronavirus COVID-19 eczema immune system health music for eczema

 immune wellness for eczema coronavirus

Karen Fischer and Grace Pettitt here...

There’s a lot going on in the world at the moment so we wanted to reach out to our community and provide some positivity and useful tips. 

We've also created a soothing and calming Spotify playlist for you (see the end of this article for the direct link). 

The world may seem chaotic atm, and you may need to stay home more often but, as Katie from the Eczema Life office said, "That's an introverts dream". Well said!

I'm a big believer in reframing your perspective in order to calm down the body's nervous system. Yes, we have to change and adapt but we must also keep calm and carry on. 

eczema experts at skin friend and eczema life

So what do we do now?

Here are 5 ways to improve immunity while stuck at home...

1. Calm down the nervous system

I'm a sensitive person and while I want to be informed, I don't want to be informed every 5 minutes of the day. So after getting informed, I had to switch off the telly as the constant news updates on COVID-19 were making my skin itchy and my eczema was slowing returning. Stress will do that.

So maybe switch off the telly or watch a comedy special on Netflix instead? After all, laughter is the best antidote to stress. 

Create an inner sanctuary

Another great solution I found is to create an inner sanctuary... I needed to look after my immune system (it tends to get crazy if I don't) and focus wholeheartedly on wellness (not potential sickness!). And, of course, my eczema disappeared once again. 

I encourage you to remove yourself from the constant news updates and alerts and educate yourself only where necessary.

No matter how perfect your diet is, if you are over-stimulating your nervous system, you are preventing any profound healing from taking place.

Is your overstimulated nervous system worsening your eczema?

Over stimulation of the nervous system increases the hormone cortisol which in short-term stressful events, is crucial for our survival... It helps us to run away from lions and meet deadlines.

However, stress day after day increases inflammation by increasing pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 (proteins that are secreted by cells of the immune system). This is a response triggered when the body thinks it's under threat. Hello eczema!

Children are particularly sensitive to stressful events, so try to protect them from viewing the news too often, as they can grow up feeling unsafe. Feeling unsafe triggers a stress response which can worsen eczema. 

2. Chill out in a bath

Here are some tips to create an inner sanctuary:

  • Breathe slowly and deeply: slowly inhale and make your exhalation twice as long as this switches on your “rest and digest” nervous system response... and it feels good. 
  • Take a warm bath. While you are stuck at home, make Oat and Zinc Bath Bombs (it's an eczema-friendly recipe), grab a good book and take a warm bath. You can order the ingredients online and have them sent to your home. Find the recipe here 
eczema bath bomb recipe

      3. Take immune protective vitamins and minerals

      • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with anti-viral effects which is thought to be via its ability to up-regulate natural killer (NK) cells.
      • Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a starring role in immune responses.
      • Glycine is an important precursor which plays a key role in the reduction of inflammation.
      • Magnesium is an important for calming muscles to help switch off the fight or flight (panic) response in the body. 

      If you have eczema, finding supplements that are free of tabletting agents, gluten, soy, seafood, rice and other potential skin irritants is nearly impossible. So we recommend a pure powder supplement made specifically for people with eczema, called Skin Friend AM. AM contains Vitamin C, Zinc, Glycine (as excipient), low dose B vitamins and Magnesium which you can read more about here.

      4. Drink liquorice tea

      Traditionally liquorice has been used as an anti-viral agent. While more research is needed, it seems the targeted receptor for COVID-19 virus may be blocked (or at least interfered with) by consuming the herb liquorice. 

      Keep in mind liquorice tea contains salicylates but it does taste yummy so it's worth trying if you are not too sensitive to salicylates.

      Detox soup recipe

      5. Make a warm bowl of soup 

      There’s a reason we crave warm meals such as soups and stews when we’re unwell: it’s the body's way of providing easy to digest nourishment.

      Similar to a cold or flu, heat generally makes us feel better which is why some of you may crave a warming bowl of soup when you’re unwell. It has been suggested that COVID-19 (a type of coronavirus) does not like heat so stay warm and make some soup, like the Lentil Vegie Soup (p. 164) from The Eczema Detox.  

       

      The Eczema Detox book for eczema

      6. Listen to Wellness Music ... just landed

      The nutritionists at eczema wellness brand, Skin Friend (that's us) have created a Spotify playlist called Vagus Nerve Wellness just for you. It's a calming and nourishing playlist designed to calm down an overstimulated nervous system. It's new so you will need to access it via the link, below.

      When you listen to calming music, the vagus nerve is stimulated and a calming and soothing neurotransmitter called acetylcholine is released. The vagus nerve governs the "rest and digest" side of your nervous system so it’s important to your mental wellbeing, especially in times of stress.

      When to switch off and listen to music?

      Anytime. 

      We recommend listening to the Vagus Nerve Wellness playlist when you are cooking dinner and especially when you are eating as it switches your body into rest and DIGEST mode. {Yep, you need to be relaxed for the body to digest food properly.}

      Click on the playlist, take a deep healing breath in, and out, and feel the relaxation sweep over you.

      You can find the Spotify playlist Vagus Nerve Wellness here. If you do not have a Spotify account, you will need to search the app store (on your smart phone) and download the Spotify app. Search "Vagus Nerve" when on the Spotify app and find the playlist by Skin Friend.

      Alternatively, if you are on your computer you can sign up to Spotify online here if you haven't already got an account. It's free to listen to. 

      Enjoy the peace and serenity...

      music playlist eczema

      Read: Getting a Good Night's Sleep with Eczema 

      Read: Caring for Someone with Eczema: Tips from a Former Eczema Sufferer

      Shop the Story

       

        Oat and Zinc Bath

       

      Research links (Immune System Wellness for Eczema)

      https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/10253890.2015.1121983?scroll=top&needAccess=true

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659258/

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334492528_The_Role_of_Zinc_in_Antiviral_Immunity

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350494/

      https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859128/


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