Among the common skin conditions you may encounter are eczema and psoriasis. To avoid the discomfort they cause or their progressive nature, it is recommended to address them promptly. To do this, you can turn to shea butter.
- Shea butter, a natural ally for treating eczema and psoriasis.
Shea butter, a natural ally for treating eczema and psoriasis.
Eczema and Psoriasis: What should you know?
Affecting people of all ages, eczema often manifests in young children. More than one in three French people have been affected by eczema at some point in their lives, making it the third most common chronic skin disease in France after acne and fungal infections. This skin inflammation is characterized by almost unbearable itching. This is accompanied by the formation of red patches or erythema, whose blurred contours make it difficult to observe their limits. These patches can also evolve depending on the severity of the eczema. Initially, they may swell and present open vesicles that subsequently ooze before forming a crust. It is also possible for these patches to thicken, become rough, dry, and create painful cracks. Eczema can be atopic, occur following a contact allergy, or result from simple irritation. Contrary to some misconceptions, eczema is not a contagious disease.
The psoriasis is also a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects approximately 2% of the French population. It manifests as the appearance of thick red patches covered with white dead skin, or scales. These patches are visible on the scalp, face, lower back, elbows, knee, or feet. Psoriasis is caused by an abnormal renewal of skin cells. Evolving through unpredictable flare-ups, this condition is not contagious. The onset of psoriasis can be triggered by several factors. On a genetic level, it involves immune factors (rapid production of skin cells) or environmental factors (taking medications). Skin irritations such as bites, scratching, sunburn, or pollution, can also trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
Shea butter for relieving eczema and psoriasis?
When eczema or psoriasis is present, it is possible to alleviate the feelings of discomfort and the itching it causes. Through local treatment, the shea butter can help reduce the severity of skin eruption flare-ups.
This ingredient contains moisturizing and emollient properties that alleviate skin flaking. The vitamin A, found in shea butter, stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which helps the skin maintain its elasticity. Additionally, the triterpenes in shea butter contribute to cell renewal by increasing the thickness of the epidermis. By nourishing your skin daily, you rebuild its intercellular cement and thus strengthen your hydrolipidic barrier, which prevents the appearance of new lesions.
Shea butter also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that enable it to combat skin inflammations caused by eczema or psoriasis. This property is attributed to lupeol, a terpenic alcohol. This compound inhibits the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as iNOS, COX-2, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-12, through the NF-kB signaling pathway. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory virtues, shea butter is ideal for soothing inflammations caused by eczema or psoriasis, reducing redness, and calming the skin.
How to use it?
To fully benefit from the properties of shea butter, we recommend choosing pure and unrefined shea butter. Massage a small amount of shea butter between your hands and then apply it to dry, previously cleansed skin.
It can also be combined with plant-based oils such as olive oil, which has anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties, making it ideal for soothing conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
GAUTAM H. K. & al. Anti-inflammatory effects of shea butter through inhibition of iNos, Cox-2, and cytokines via the NF-kB pathway in Lps-activated J774 macrophage cells. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine (2012).
PEKER K. & al. Medicinal and nutritional benefits from the shea tree. Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare (2017).