Sep 26, 2009
I have: seasonal allergies, eczema induced by dry/cold weather and barometric pressure changes, flushing rosacea, and ocular rosacea. This is what I do to alleviate symptoms. Keep in mind that these are chronic conditions and I can't "make them go away". Rather, I can treat the symptoms of the conditions and try to manage my outbreaks as much as possible. My treatment depends on the day. Thank God yesterday I had a day where I was about 95% symptom-free. That was AMAZING. Unfortunately, though, due to slipping down to laying flat in bed, my head filled with fluid and it set off an inflammation and swelling response in my eyes and in my facial skin. So we begin treating again...
My products/management methods:
--Day-to-day I like Burts Bees products. I love their buttermilk lotion for my body and sometimes on my face.
--When my allergy/rosacea eyes flare up, I use NeemAura Concentrated Neem Cream AND 100% Pure Neem oil on my eyelids. I get my neem from a local natural food store or www.iherb.com (use GAN033 to get $5 off first order). Neem is an ayurvedic plant/herb (traditional medicine from India) that has calming and healing properties. This SMELLS when used in 100% oil form and it can burn if you're inflamed, but it settles down after a few minutes. I always see improvement the next morning when I use it on my eyelids.
-- Natural cocoa butter (the natural, hard, chunky kind, NOT the kind you get in a bottle at the store) and natural coconut oil, melted in a double-boiler and mixed together. The coconut oil keeps the cocoa butter solids soft and pliable. Believe it or not, yes, I put straight oil on my skin. When my skin gets so dry that I look like a flaky snowstorm, it's all that will moisturize. Plus, with only two ingredients, it's wayyyy more natural than the stuff you get from the drugstore or pharmacist. I am a firm believer that when possible I should be able to read and understand the names of things I put on or in my body. If it reads "oxyzyphomexilocistearate" or some medical prefix gibberish, it probably has all manner of things in it that didn't come from the earth. I'm not opposed to using pharmaceuticals when necessary, but I definitely think God put things on this earth to heal us and that we should use them.
-- Weleda skin food. I get this at the natural beauty/grocery store near my house. It's super thick and great for dry patches, but not as oily as, well, the oil I talked about above. If you let it soak in right after bathing, it works well under makeup to keep your skin looking more even and not as caked or dry like makeup can look on dry skin.
-- Store-brand hydrocortisone cream. I use this if I'm having a terrible, "oh my goodness, I'm scratching my face off" outbreak. Otherwise, I stay away from topical steroids because they just aggravate the rosacea.
-- Zyrtec. Right now it's the allergy medicine I respond to. I've just weaned myself off of the Zyrtec D because my doc prescribed a new nasal inhalant spray, which leads us to...
-- Astepro nasal spray. I like this because it's a LOCALIZED relief method. Any time you take a medicine orally, it affects your body systemically, or "whole body," because it has to travel through and spread through your cells to work. This nasal spray is just in your nasal cavities and fights allergies via congestion just in the nose, throat, and head. It works very well, though it has a sweet "drip" that I dislike, which runs down the back of your throat at times, especially if you have post-nasal drip.
-- Zicam allergy. I like this homeopathic allergy relief drug. If I'm going somewhere dry and dusty or working outdoors, the "schmootz" that you put in your nostrils via a little cotton swab in an individual applicator opens the airways with natural oils and the product itself traps allergens before they can get into the airways. Beautiful!
-- Zyrtec allergy eye drops. The eye drops they make are a) not made from "Zyrtec" allergy medicine, but a different type of medicine with the "Zyrtec" name brand. They soothe for a long time and they work very well with just one drop, as directed. They are very hard to find, because they are so darn popular right now.
-- Vitamins and supplements, including a daily multivitamin, Omega-3 supplement, chlorella, spirulina, and a spoonful of raw, locally-produced honey (the kind with pollen bits in it), which can help boost the immune system. I believe that these things are complimentary to "westernized" medicine.
So yes, I've tried a ton of other things and have liked and disliked some. Some work better than others on different days. What worked yesterday is definitely not working today, but I've begun to track my symptoms and what works. But overall, one last way to deal with the symptoms is to have them not happen in the first place! That's both the hardest and easiest way. Lowering stress, meditation (guided or alone), moderate exercise, avoiding very hot or spicy foods, etc. can prevent the onset of one of my flushing rosacea episodes. Staying hydrated (lots of water), sleeping propped up to allow for nasal and lymphatic drainage during the night, using lukewarm showers, etc. will all help my skin stay more normal.
So, am I a doctor? No! Will this work for you? Maybe. See your doctor first and don't be afraid to do research, research, and some more research on your own, or consult a naturopathic doctor, lymphatic drainage therapist, massage therapist, acupuncturist, herbalist, or whomever you think might provide some insight into these conditions. Beware of anyone who says "I have the CURE!" They don't. But reputable folks will have some insight into condition management, and that's a good start.