In our last health alert, I told you about an exciting new prescription drug that can improve and, in some cases, eliminate eczema. I usually don't get excited about prescription drugs. But this may be one that will help. However, there are other excellent ways to treat this irritating skin condition. In most cases, I would try these before getting the prescription.

The first one was also recommended by the researcher who discovered PEA, the prescription drug. Dr. Rebecca Smith also prescribes one of my favorite treatments - though I doubt she knows what it is. She suggests adding one-eighth cup of bleach to a half-full bath tub. Then soak in it for 15 minutes twice a week.

I was shocked to hear her recommend this treatment. Why? Because this treatment is actually an oxidative bath. Bleach is very similar to hydrogen peroxide. There are even formulations that can be given intravenously and orally (only from your integrative physician). Dr. Smith recommends the baths to prevent or treat infections. Bleach contains the powerful oxidant sodium hypochlorite, a compound made by your infection-fighting white blood cells to kill bacteria.

Another way to heal your skin is with shea butter. The oil comes from shea nuts, another powerful hydrating agent. It's available in health food stores.

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Action to take: If you have eczema, first eliminate common food allergens. These include dairy, corn, wheat, peanuts, eggs, and chocolate. That alone could go a long way to easing the itch. Consider evening primrose oil (two capsules twice daily) supplements to provide your skin with the much needed omega-6 fatty acids.

Then replace your steroid creams with non-steroidal creams like MimyX (available at most pharmacies with a prescription) or shea butter. These won't damage and thin the collagen in your skin.

As for the weekly oxidation baths, they cost almost nothing. Bleach is very cheap. And it's definitely worth trying. In fact, I recommend these baths for periodic use for just about everyone - not just when you get skin infections. They're great for routine immune maintenance.

If these don't work, then ask your doctor for a prescription for PEA. You'll find amazing relief if you follow this treatment regimen. In fact, most eczema sufferers will see their skin clear up completely.

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