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psoriasis and eczema

Skin Conditions | Psoriasis and Eczema

Skin Conditions | Psoriasis and Eczema

Psoriasis and Eczema are two common skin conditions that affect many people, including children. Both skin conditions can have similar symptoms and are commonly confused for one another. Read on to learn about psoriasis and eczema.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is when skin cells build up and will form red, patchy scales. It is considered a chronic disease that comes and goes with no cure*. There are ways to manage and reduce symptoms. Symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • itchy, red patches
  • dry, cracked skin that can bleed
  • silvery, white scales on the skin
  • swollen, stiff joints

Psoriasis can appear as a few patches or can cover a large area. It often flares up for several weeks or months then disappears for some time. It can also go into complete remission.

Causes of psoriasis are not completely known, however it is thought to be an immune response. In psoriasis, cells attack other healthy cells by mistake. This triggers an overproduction of skin cells that build up to form psoriasis. Those with a family history of psoriasis are more at risk to have it. It typically first shows up between the ages 15- 35. It is rare for babies or children to have psoriasis.

Psoriasis is often starts or worsens because of a trigger. Identifying one’s triggers is an important step in the treatment and remission of psoriasis. The following are common triggers:

  • stress
  • smoking cigarettes
  • heavy alcohol consumption
  • injuries to the skin or skin infections
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • some medications

Psoriasis is often treated with creams and ointments and for more severe cases with oral medication or injections.

Eczema

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, makes your skin red and itchy. Just like Psoriasis, it is chronic, flares up then goes away and a cure has not been found. Eczema is the skin’s inability to protect itself from environmental factors, irritants, and allergens. Symptoms include:

  • Dry skin
  • Itchiness
  • Red patches especially around hands, feet, neck, and inside the bends of elbows and knees
  • Thickened, scaly skin
  • Red bumps that ooze fluid
  • Stinging and burning feeling on skin

Eczema often begins before age 5 and can continue into adulthood. About 20 percent of babies and young children experience eczema with most developing symptoms within the first year. In babies, eczema tends to show up on the scalp, cheeks, arms and legs. Many children outgrow eczema by age 2. Food allergies can contribute to eczema in children.

Eczema is very itchy and scratching can cause problems. Scratching can cause thickened and darkened skin that scars over time.

Like psoriasis, eczema is more likely if there is a family history. Allergens or irritants in the environment can also trigger it. This includes pollen, cigarette smoke, or allergens in one’s diet. The rash is often aggravated by heat and irritants (such as chemicals in soaps and lotions). Stress can also cause a flare up of eczema.

Eczema is typically treated with topical treatment and avoiding known allergens and irritants.

*Joan’s Cure

Psoriasis and Eczema can be very difficult to deal with. Not only are they irritating and painful, they can cause a lot of embarrassment. While the mainstream medical field will say there is no cure for psoriasis or eczema, Joan was able to cure her psoriasis and has not experienced any symptoms in over 5 years. For Joan’s story on how she healed her psoriasis, come back to our blog next week for her story.

Irritants in body care products can trigger and/or exacerbate outbreaks of both psoriasis and eczema. For those looking to make more natural body care products check out our online courses and ebooks:

Online Courses

Do you suffer from psoriasis or eczema? What has your experience been? Please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

St. John’s Wort Oil | Make Your Own St. John’s Wort Oil

St. John's Wort - Joan Morais Naturals

St. John’s Wort Oil | Make Your Own St. John’s Wort Oil

Have you heard about St. John’s Wort? It is often taken as a supplement and some studies have shown it may benefit those with mild depression (make sure you check with your doctor prior to taking, as St. John’s Wort does have interactions with other medications and supplements). St. John’s Wort is a flowering plant also called Hypericum perforatum. St. John’s Wort oil, made from the plant, is an excellent oil to use in skin care products.

St. John’s Wort Flower

St. John's Wort

The St. John’s Wort plant is wild grown and is often looked at as a weed due to its pervasive growth. The plant grows one to three feet tall with bright yellow flowers. St. John’s Wort is easy to grow and it blooms June through August. After it’s done flowering, it’s important to trim back, otherwise it will take over.

St. John’s Wort Oil Uses

St. John’s Wort oil is regenerative and soothing which makes it great to heal injuries, especially for nerve pain. It can be used for wounds, bruises, burns, inflamed skin, chapped skin, psoriases, eczema, sunburns, herpes, carpal tunnel, sciatica, and shingles.

St. John’s Wort oil can be added into creams, lotions, balms, salves and body butters.

Making St. John’s Wort Oil

Making St. John’s Wort Oil is not as hard as you may think and it’s cost efficient. A high quality oil comes out to be $6- $11 per ounce whereas one pound of St. John’s Wort flowers cost around $10- $20 and can yield about 12 cups of oil!

If you are interested in making your own St. John’s Wort oil, it is important to check with your local nurseries or online flower resources for ordering your flowers ahead of time, as the harvest period is a short one and only once a year. With the harvest time coming up (June through August), now is a good time to start planning.

Our ebook, How to Make St. John’s Wort Oil, provides a step by step guide with pictures along with resources on where to purchase St. John’s Wort flowers.

plant essential oils herbs

Know Your Skin- Part 2: Plant Oils, Essentials Oils and Herbs for Your Skin

Know Your Skin- Part 2: Plant Oils, Essentials Oils and Herbs for Your Skin

It is important to take care of you skin with pure and nurturing ingredients. In this blog post we will be exploring plant oils, essential oils, and herbs for your skin.

Plant Oils

Plant oils nourish, protect, moisturize, soften and smooth the skin. Most commercial products do not contain plant oil, or if they do, it is usually a minimal amount. You can easily find these plant oils in your local grocery store and they have a long shelf-life.

Organic Avocado Oil: Use for most skin types, including sensitive, mature and dry skin. Avocado oil is restorative and nourishes, hydrates, soothes, and moisturizes the skin.

Organic Coconut Oil: Use for most skin types, especially oily and those with acne. Coconut oil is protecting, moisturizing, cleansing and softening.

Organic Sunflower Oil: Use for most skin types. Sunflower oil is deeply nourishing and conditioning.

Joan’s Top Luxury Plant Oils

These plant oils are going to be more expensive and you will likely have to get them from a specialty store.

Organic Argan Oil: Great for dry, mature, and hormonal reactive skins. Argan oil promotes skin elasticity and smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles.

Organic Jojoba Oil: Use for most skin types. Jojoba oil provides natural sun protection, and is softening, smoothing, and moisturizing.

Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil: Great for mature skin and acne. Sea Buckthorn Oil is has anti-inflammatory properties and is revitalizing, rejuvenating and helps with the reduction of wrinkles.

Do you have a favorite plant oil that you like to use for your skin? As a baby my daughter had sensitive skin and would easily develop baby acne and rashes. I used coconut oil on her and it would nourish and clear up her skin immediately, not to mention it smelled great! I felt good about putting the coconut oil on her as it was pure compared to majority (if not all) the baby lotions on the market. To help with her cradle cap, I used Avocado Oil on her scalp.

To learn about additional plant oils and what skin types they work best with, make sure to check out How to Make Your Own Natural Facial Products.

Essential Oils

Essential oils smell great and can promote different moods/energies. They also have different properties that can promote skin health. One of the easiest ways to start using essential oils is to mix a couple of drops with your favorite plant oil then rub on your skin- it’s that easy!

Joan’s Top Economical Essential Oils

Geranium (Rose) Pelargonium graveolens: Use for most skin care including acne, eczema, psoriasis, broken capillaries, dry, oily, mature, congested, and inflamed skin. Geranium is uplifting, relaxing, antifungal, regenerative, and balancing (especially for menstrual cycle and menopause).

Lavender Lavendula angustifolia: Use for most skin types, especially acne, eczema, psoriasis, wounds, burns, dry, oily, sensitive, combination, and mature skin. Lavender is calming, relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic with excellent regenerative properties.

Mandarin Citrus reticulate: Use for most skin care including acne, eczema, dry, oily, combo, and mature skin. Mandarin is balancing, calming, and soothing and can be used in pregnancy as a prevention to stretch marks.

Peppermint Mentha x piperita: Use highly diluted for dull, lifeless skin, but make sure to keep away from the eyes. Peppermint is refreshing, stimulating and reviving.

Joan’s Top Luxury Essential Oils

Roman Chamomile Anthemis nobilis: Use for most skin care, redness, eczema, broken capillaries, rosacea, dry, oily, sensitive and combination skin. Roman Chamomile is relaxing, soothing, anti-inflammatory, and calms nerves.

Rosemary Verbenone Rosemarinus officinalis verbenone: Use for most skin care, acne, scars, wrinkles, combination, oily, mature, and congested skin. Rosemary is stimulating, invigorating, and regenerating.

Rose Otto Rosa damascene: Use for most skin care, broken capillaries, eczema, wrinkles, dry, oily, combination, sensitive, and mature skin. Rose Otto is calming, soothing, balancing, nourishing, softening, and regenerating.

Do you have a favorite essential oil that you like to use on your skin? I always have a bottle of lavender around to put on minor burns and cuts.

To learn about additional essential oils and what skin types they work best with, make sure to check out How to Make Your Own Natural Facial Products.

Herbs

Herbs are wonderful to add to toners and you can easily make your own herbal extracts to use in lotions, creams, aftershaves, shampoos, conditioners and more.

Here are a few herbs that are readily available and great for skin care:

Calendula: Use for most skin types. Calendula is skin-healing with nourishing and soothing properties.

Lavender: Use for most skin types. Lavender is calming, relaxing, soothing and skin reparative.

Lemon Balm: Great for acne, blemishes, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. Lemon balm soothes and calms the skin.

Rose: Use for combination skin. Rose softens and soothes skin and is a mild astringent.

Rosemary: Use for oily skin. Rosemary purifies, cleanses, rejuvenates, and tones.

Check out the ebook How to Make 47 Herbal Extracts with Herbs, Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables for detailed instructions and recipes for extracts.

We’d love to hear from you about your favorite plant oils, essential oils and herbs for skin care. Make sure to come back next week to read part 3 as we put it all together and give you some easy do-it-yourself skin care recipes.

For those of you that are more serious in your skin and hair care product making, make sure to check out our Professional Product Making Courses on Skin Care and Hair. Joan mentors the courses only one time per year and it is coming up this spring!

Get to Know Your Skin- Skin Types and Conditions

Get to Know Your Skin- Part 1: Skin Types and Conditions

Do you really know your skin? Your skin, aka your face, is the first thing people tend to notice when they see you. It covers every inch of your body and when it feels fine you probably don’t even notice it, but if it’s off, it can really affect your physical and mental wellbeing (do you remember having the chickenpox and how itchy and awful your skin felt?!?!).

In honor of our skin, we will be having a 3 part blog series in getting to know our skin. In today’s blog post we will get to know your skin type and some of the most common types of skin conditions.

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of the body? It is the protective barrier for all our internal organs and internal body system. Our skin naturally knows how to take care of itself, yet we often interfere with its job by not properly nurturing it. We can support our skin better by only using pure and nurturing ingredients and products, and by staying hydrated.

Skin Types

Most people misdiagnose their skin type. Our skin is always changing- it changes during the seasons, by our diet, and as we age. Therefore, our skin type is also always changing. What may have worked for us at one time, may no longer work in the future. It is important to pay attention to your skin and reevaluate when a product may no longer be working for you or if a new and different product may be needed. Here are 6 different types of skin.

Normal Skin: Balanced with oil and moisture evenly with firm, vibrant, blemish-free skin tone, color, and texture. VERY FEW people have normal skin.

Dry Skin: Skin does not produce enough oil and usually feels tight and dry.

Oily Skin: This produces too much oil from over stimulated glands and can be greasy with blemishes.

Combination Skin: Will be different at different areas of the face. It tends to be dry around the mouth, cheeks, and eyes and oily in the forehead and nose.

Sensitive Skin: Reacts to allergens, detergents, preservatives, chemical irritants, sun, stress, etc.

Mature, aka Aging, Skin: May show sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles start to form. May have some signs of pigmentation and sagging and lack vibrancy and moisture.

Common Skin Conditions

Many people suffer with skin conditions that affect the health and vibrancy of their skin. Here are 3 common types of skin conditions.

Acne: Can happen at any age with any skin type. Acne treatment is one of the top google search terms in beauty care. Often can fluctuate due to hormones from menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, etc.

Eczema: Causes your skin to be red and itchy. Has a genetic component and can be made worse due to environmental factors, irritants, and allergens.

Psoriasis: Causes skin to have scales and red patches that are itchy and can be painful. It is chronic that comes and goes with no cure, however can be managed better with lifestyle changes.

With both Eczema and Psoriasis it is important to better understand your condition and triggers for flair ups. Individuals with either of these conditions are recommended to consult with a wellness care professional that is well-versed in them.

What type of skin do you have? Do you suffer from any of these common skin conditions? We’d love to hear more from you in the comments below.

Interested in learning more about skin and how to make your own facial products personalized for your own skin type, conditions and preferences- check out our ebook- How to Make Your Own Natural Facial Products.

For those of you that are more serious in your natural product making journey, Joan will be mentoring her Natural Skin Care Product Making Course this spring. This opportunity occurs only once a year. For more information click here.

Come back next week to read part 2 of our skin series on Plant Oils, Essential Oils, and Herbs for your skin.