It’s a new year already! And a new decade! I try not to get too wrapped up in New Year’s resolutions, but the start of a new one always makes me think about what kinds of little changes I can make to feel better. Because to me that’s what life is about: feeling good–and helping others feel good too.
Maybe the New Year is the best time to make changes. Maybe not, if it feels like too much pressure. Just remember that the next new year will be here any minute (hello time flies!) so might as well start now. Every single day is an opportunity to feel good and make choices that will heal your skin. By healing your skin, you heal your whole body so things function as they should and you feel your best. Remember your long-term goal and choose healthy habits each day.
There is no cure for dermatographia, but by doing these 5 things you can make the itch start to go away. If your goal is to feel less itchy, then please try these things! I don’t want you to suffer anymore!
1. Drink a lot of filtered water to help flush toxins and extra histamine from your system. It will help maintain moisture levels in the skin and keep your blood flowing. If your body is hydrated, it can focus on regulating things like histamine levels. When I say drink lots of water, I mean around a gallon per day! I love our Berkey filter because once you invest in the pitcher, you only have to replace the filters every 6,000 gallons so it ends up being way cheaper and more environmentally friendly than a Brita or something comparable.
2. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day, and avoid processed foods. Personally a Paleo approach really works for me–I’m not 100% Paleo but I do avoid gluten, dairy, most grains and beans. I eat eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts, meat and dark chocolate, plus some gluten free/dairy free treats like muffins, bread and cookies. Paleo baking is super easy and uses mostly almond flour, which is more nutritious and filling than white flour. Find a way of eating that works for you. For example, some people are fine with eating lots of rice but it makes me tired. Keep a food diary and pay attention to what you were eating on days you became super itchy. Taking a probiotic might really help too.
3. Find ways to reduce stress. I know I know, easier said than done, but it really helps your body to heal itself if you’re relaxed. You can do things like take deep breaths, meditate, pray, walk, dance, play sports, do yoga, read, journal, make crafts–anything that feels good to do. Pay attention to your breath. We often hold our breath without even realizing it. If you notice that you’re taking shallow breaths, take the deepest breath you can (inhale through your nose) for a count of 3 or 4, then release it (exhale through your nose) to a count of 3 or 4. You can train yourself to take deeper breaths by practicing counting the length of your inhales and exhales. Doing yoga really helps me with this, but you don’t have to do yoga! You just have to be mindful of your breathing. I notice that when I feel anxious I take shallow breaths and that just makes me feel worse!
Other things you can do to relax: Before going to bed do some light stretches and/or ‘legs up the wall’ (yoga pose). Start a gratitude journal or something like it and write in it before going to bed, or just think of 3 things you’re grateful for from the day. As you’re laying in bed about to fall asleep, say a prayer or meditation about how thankful you are that your skin is healing. If you wake up itchy you could spray some cool water mixed with a little witch hazel on your skin (3 parts water to 1 part witch hazel or less if it’s too strong). Many people get super itchy at night. I think it’s related to the cortisol we release when we’re winding down from the day. Doing relaxation techniques like this before bed really helps with that.
4. Be really mindful of what you put on your skin and what you ingest. Use products that are not toxic to your system and buy organic whenever you can. Chemicals and pesticides build up in your system over time so the less you ingest, the better. Look up the Environmental Working Group and their EWG rating system at EWG.org, and check to see if your makeup, lotion, shampoo, and other products contain unnecessary chemicals. I listed some of my favorite products for sensitive skin on the Dermatographia page if you’re looking for recommendations.
5. Even though it’s easily irritated, sometimes annoying and can be debilitating, just feel love for your skin. This magical protective coating surrounding our insides keeps us alive! It’s our largest organ and is crucial to keeping dangerous sicknesses away. The more we get frustrated with our skin and focus on the itchiness, the itchier we become. Feeling angry and anxious about our skin and the itch brings on more itch. Try really hard not to scratch because that will make it worse. Put some lotion or oil on when you’re itchy, and keep yourself distracted with your stress reducing techniques. I find coconut oil and sweet almond oil really help! I also really love Babo Botanicals lotion for sensitive skin if the oil is well, too oily for you ;+)
There is a mind/body/soul connection at work here–it’s not like you just take a pill and all your problems are solved. There’s more to it than that! I believe when there’s something wrong with our skin it can’t be fixed by diet or medications alone, there needs to be emotional healing too. That’s why I always suggest feeling gratitude for your skin and what it’s teaching you. Your skin is sending a message that something isn’t right, and that’s okay because with a little love and patience you can fix it. Our bodies are so smart and sensitive! They absorb and manifest what we’re thinking and feeling, so show yourself some love 🙂
I really hope this works for you like it’s worked for me! Let me know if you have any questions.
And last but not least, HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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