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yoga and skin problems

MimiG2010-07-03 16:13:37 +0000 #1
Hi all, am new to the forum, am seeking HELP on yoga practice and how it affects skin issues. I have been an eczema baby my whole life. It comes and goes in droves, usually a patch here and there during my adolescent years. Now in my adulthood I have developed a permanent eczema problem in my hands. My naturopath has helped by putting on fish oil supplements, thyroid supplements, probiotics and allergy detox diet (avoid soys, wheats, etc...). while that helped for a short few months, the eczema still lingered! She had suggested Hot Yoga as a way to detoxify my system of the high levels of histamine.

Well, 6mos later of attending Power Vinyasa and Hatha yoga religiously(4x's/week) not only for my skin issues but for spiritual and health benefits I have now developed eczema ALL over the body. I am concerned I cannot do what I love (which is yoga) due to the heat and sweat possibly irritating the eczema. I have never in my life had it this bad before. Is it quite possible it is fungal related instead of just internally related? Has anyone ever experienced this before? I am now stocked with tea tree oil body wash, Aveeno body wash, Amlactin lotion, and a cortisone lotion my MD gave me last year for my hands. I am tired of itching, tired of cortisone, tired of benedryl, but IN NEED of yoga. How to make this work? anybody out there with these problems?

Willem2010-07-03 16:18:01 +0000 #2

Originally Posted by MimiG

I am concerned I cannot do what I love (which is yoga) due to the heat and sweat possibly irritating the eczema.

Have you considered switching to a yoga style that provokes less sweat? E.g. staying away from hot yoga and practicing at normal temperatures? And favoring hatha yoga over the more vigorous power yoga practices?
yogatatryit2010-07-03 16:43:37 +0000 #3
hmmm...i gots psoriasis...i tried hot yoga..and TONS...of other stuff...not sure what helps...its getting better lately..not much though...i added in praying is probably
benralston2010-07-03 16:23:07 +0000 #4
Hi MimiG

First off, I just want to acknowledge that eczema can really be tough to live with.

Second, some advice: stay away from the HOT yoga, in fact, the HOT anything! You know that it irritates your skin, so don't do it.

Most yogic practices are naturally heating (internally), so you should focus on doing a more cooling kind of practice.

6 years ago I had a student (i'm a yoga teacher) who had quie bad eczema and asthma too. Within a few months of practicing she came off the inhaler for the first time in her life! And the eczema also gradually disappeared.

I feel that it's nothing to do with detoxifying - i'm also a healer. It's much more to do with your self-image, and how you relate to the world. Perhaps you pay too much attention to how other people think and feel, and not enough attention to how YOU think and feel. Learn to love yourself more - from the inside out.

With love,


ps - i felt that the key to my student's success 6 years ago was pranayama. I recommend you do gentle kaphalabati (3 rounds - in the morning) plus at least 10 minutes of alternate nostril breathing daily (preferably twice, morning and evening). It would also be very good to develop a simple meditation routine.

If you like, I work on skype or over the phone with people, and you can find out more information from the links in my signature.

Good luck!
Pandara2010-07-03 17:34:21 +0000 #5
Hallo MimiG,

As a fellow sufferer of eczema I can only echo what has been said here, stay away from anything hot. The tea trea oil will worsen the eczema as it dries the skin too much and cause the little water bubbles to burst which increases the itching.

About 5 years ago I stopped using the allopathic (western) cortisone based prescribed ointments and lotions and went to a homeopath. She prescribed a Rhus Tox creame and Rhus Tox (200ch) pills as well as Lycopodium (200ch) pills which really controls my eczema very successfully. I now get a bout about once every six months and it is not as severe as it used to be, now only a small patch where it used to be for example all over my legs from top to bottom.

Please note that fungal infections may look and feel like eczema, but they are different and the main difference lies in the little water bubbles that is formed with eczema. The homeopathic treatment is different for both. Best will be to try a homeopath and see where that takes you. For me it was the answer to a huge and sometimes embarassing problem in my life.
InnerAthlete2010-07-03 17:51:52 +0000 #6
Hello Mimi,

I must be brief in my reply as I am in the midst of a 10-Day therapeutic teacher training here at Yoga Centers in Bellevue.

Generally speaking the skin is the termination of the nervous system and therefore it is the bridge between the nervous system and the outside world. I would not, for a student of mine, suggest a frisky anything as that tends to agitate the nervous system rather than soothe it.

For cleansing and flushing toxins I would suggest Calli or Fortune Delight from the SR line (the first is more powerful than the second in terms of removing stuff), and those things that will calm the nervous system, including gentle pranayama in the supine position, Savasana, Viparita Karani, Supta Baddha Konasana, and shifts in the diet and lifestyle.

Those would include but not me limited to organic foods, deep gree leafy vegetables, hydration, oxygenation, and an alkaline diet - perhaps even the avoidance of sugars, wheat and dairy (see the anti candida diet for additional info). In terms of lifestyle I would suggest an attention to that which is over stimulating - news media, some motion pictures, computer usage, and the presence of EMF in the living quarters, just as a beginning.



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