Training for Pharmacy Staff
"We use the natural healing properties of botanical extracts and natural ingredients to give you a product that will reduce redness and inflammation, soothe the skin, hydrate and moisturise dry, itchy skin. Ingredients are chosen for their anti-oxidant properties, healing, and nourishing actives. We do not to use too many ingredients in the base as we realise that there are many people who have allergies or intolerances for example to food-based products such as wheat (oatmeal), milk and nuts."
Eczema & dermatitis
The skin as a barrier
Current management of eczema and atopic dermatitis include:
- the application of topical steroids.
- frequently moisturising or using an ointment such as Dermeze or Epaderm to create a barrier over the skin.
- using wet or dry wraps with Tubifast dressing.
- avoiding allergens in the environment which may include food such as egg and nuts and foods that may cause more inflammation such as dairy, wheat, gluten and sugar.
- bleach baths, and/or topical or oral antibiotics to decrease the amount of Staph. auerus on the skin.
- bathing with mineral salts.
Photo: Mild dermatitis flare-up: An example of using the Manuka Cream twice a day for 4 days with a Tubifast dressing.
Eczema & dermatitis
The skin acts as a barrier to keep allergens out
This barrier needs to be intact and healthy to do it’s job. This includes healing the skin if it’s broken from scratching as the barrier is now compromised. Open, broken and inflamed skin is also more likely to react to products which may have irritants in it, such as preservatives, acids, and alcohol.
When the skin barrier is broken, this also allows other micro-organisms such as bacteria (Staph. auerus), fungi (Candida Albicans) and viruses ( Herpes or Molluscum) to invade the body and cause an infection. It is crucial that topical steroids are never applied on open, broken or infected skin, as this increases absorption and also increases the risk of other microbial infections.
Healthy skin also has it’s own microbiome, so it’s important not to kill all the good bacteria on the surface, or use products that are too acid or too alkaline, as the pH of the skin is neutral and that is the best pH for maintain a healthy skin flora.
After the gut, there are more microorganisms on the skin than anywhere else in the body. Bacterial species are by far the most numerous; however fungi, viruses also live on our skin. Staph. auerus bacteria is most commonly associated with eczema patients. This bacteria also releases a toxin (called a super-antigen) that causes the immune response to flare up, resulting in a rash, pruritus and impaired skin barrier function, as inflammatory cytokines are released.
When the skin barrier is broken, this allows other micro-organisms such as bacteria (Staph. auerus), fungi (Candida Albicans) and viruses ( Herpes or Molluscum) to invade the body and cause an infection. It is crucial that topical steroids are never applied on open, broken or infected skin, as this increases absorption and also increases the risk of other microbial infections. Side -effects of topical seroids also include delayed wound healing, masking and aggravating fungal infections and aggravating existing bacterial infections.
Our products that contain Manuka oil such as the Manuka Oil Balm, Propolis Balm and Manuka Oil Cream, help to soothe the rash, relieve the inflammation, hydrate the dry skin and support the healing of the skin barrier.
Eczema & dermatitis
The role of Staph in Atopic Dermatitis
According to this particular study, in some people with a genetic predisposition an external factor such as an allergen (food, pollen, colouring, preservative) can trigger the immune response in an abnormal fashion. This response is know by several names, Atopic Dermatitis, Eczema, or Atopic Eczema.
They also found that the skin of patients with Atopic Eczema had high levels of a common bacteria normally found on the surface of our skin, Staphylococcus aureus, which correlates with the severity of the eczema. S. aureus releases a toxin with super-antigenic actions which irritates the immune system. The inflamed skin gets irritated and itchy, causing the person to scratch the skin, and breaking the skin barrier which allows S. aureus to multiply and spread. This becomes a vicious cycle as more bacteria colonises the skin, causing it to be more itchy and inflamed.
According to the study, therapy of Atopic Eczema will be more effective if it breaks the vicious circle at two points. Topical steroids, which is conventionally prescribed, is used to decrease inflammation and supress the immune response, breaking the circle at one point. Intensive emollient therapy and antibiotic/steroid combinations should then be applied to reduce the number of S. aureus and the penetration of the toxins through the skin, thereby breaking the circle at a second point.
Once the symptoms are under control, the topical steroids needs to be tapared gradually to reduce a rebound flare-up. This is what is done by Dr's who prescribe according to Dr. Aron's regime (ETSIN).
If used incorrectly, or for prolonged periods of time, or on areas of the body where the skin is very thin (such as the face, eyelids or genital areas), or on babies that have very thin skin and a smaller surface area to body weight ratio, the body can build up a resistance to topical steroids with some very serious withdrawal side-effects. ( Read more at ITSAN.org).
If we can use other products that help manage the symptoms of mild eczema or dermatitis before getting dependant on potent topical steroids and using them for prolonged periods of time, we may be able to avoid Topical Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms all together.
Our mission at Dermagen by Botanical Chemist is to formulate 100% nature-derived products which are steroid-free, with botanicals and essentials oils that have been shown to help support skin healing, calm itchy rashes, and soothe the inflammation, bringing you and your child relief, so that we can reserve topical steroids and anti-microbials for when it is really needed, in the smallest amount and the least potent strengths as required.
Eczema & dermatitis
Dealing with a bacterial skin infection on top of an eczema flare-up
Here are some tips and recommendations when dealing with a bacterial skin infection on top of an eczema flare-up:
- Wash towels and clothes that are in contact with the skin daily as they may have traces of the bacteria on it and promote the spread of the infection.
- You can use mild anti-septics such as Chlorhexidine liquid as a wash (dilute it if it'a baby) or diluted bleach baths.
- We have a natural Liquid Soap & Shampoo which is a gentle, healing soap-alternative. It is pH balanced, and contains healing oils such as Manuka Oil, Lavender and Lemon-scented Eucalyptus.
- Reduce the amount of scratching as this breaks the skin, and bacteria can spread as it gets on the finger tips and under finger nails. Trim nails (or get acrylic nails) or put cotton gloves on for children.
- Wash hands frequently with a gentle-soap alternative such as our Liquid Soap & Shampoo or a Chlorhexidine wash to minimise the spread.
- Using products that help with skin healing and soothing the redness and inflammation as well as preventing minor infections can help with managing the symptoms of eczema and secondary bacterial infection.
- If the skin is infected, you need to treat the infection or the Staph infection will keep spreading. Please consult your Dr if you are uncertain if it is a bacteria, fungal or atopic rash.
For more information on skin infection and eczema, visit Eczema.org.au.
Eczema & dermatitis
Supplements and lifestyle modifications
Here are some supplements and lifestyle modifications commonly adopted to help manage symptoms in individuals suffering from inflamed skin conditions. Always seek advice from a qualified health professional prior to changing treatments. Individual results may vary depending on medical history.
These natural supplements may help to support gut health, reduce stress which is one of the triggers of eczema and dermatitis, and decrease inflammation in the body.
- Vitamin C, Zinc and Collagen: helps with wound healing and making new skin.
- Probiotics, S.Boulardii and L-Glutamine: helps with gut healing.
- Withania, Rhodiola and Magnolia Bark: Adaptogenic herbs to reduce cortisol levels if stress is an issue.
- L-glutamine and Magnesium: L-glutamine converts to GABA and helps to reduce anxiety. Magnesium also helps with anxiety and stress.
- Fish Oil, Olive Oil and Sea Buckthorn: natural source of Omega 3, 6 and 9, reduces inflammation.
- Reduce or eliminate energy and caffeinated drinks as stimulants increase cortisol, a stress hormone.
- Reducing foods that can cause inflammation such as dairy, gluten, wheat and sugar is also highly beneficial.
- Milk Thistle helps with detoxifying the liver.
(Please do not stop treatment abruptly without first consulting a health professional. If symptoms do not improve, please see your Doctor. Topical Steroid Withdrawal is a very serious medical condition and the process can be long with very uncomfortable symptoms. Your doctor will be able to help manage the more severe symptoms, while these products may help with symptomatic relief for minor symptoms.)
Learn more about the natural actives, how they work and the benefits to the skin barrier.
Our recommended steps for clear and healthy skin.
1. Clean skin with the Cream Cleanser for the face, and Liquid Soap & Shampoo for the body and back.
2. Apply the Manuka Cream, Manuka Oil Balm or Propolis Balm* twice a day if skin is red, inflamed, sore, or irritated.
3. Apply a few drops of the Active 8 Serum when required for an extra boost of healing and hydration.
4. Use the Skin Radiance Lotion** when the symptoms have settled down as maintenance.
* Use the Manuka Oil Cream or Manuka Oil Balm if allergic to Propolis.
** Use the Manuka Oil Cream if allergic to Vitamin B3.