My friend complained that the inner area of her elbow joint was itching her and red. I looked and saw that it was red in an almost perfect circle. Being that she is often in the woods of the midwest, I first thought, Lyme? but when I realized that it was the same in both of her elbows, I knew it was something else. Upon research, I read that it could be eczema or psoriasis or some other irritation. There were loads of suggestions online for managing this topically but I really wanted to get to the root of the problem. Naming the issue wasn’t really my objective. Getting the itchy irritation to go away was more what we were going for.
I thought about how Dr. Trevor Cates refers to our skin as our “magic mirror.” When our skin looks irritated or inflamed, it probably means that we have irritation on the inside and it could be a smart move to look within. So she did an experiment. We took gluten and dairy out of her diet and the itch was gone in about a day and the redness was gone in less than 3 days. Since then, she does eat gluten and dairy occasionally without concern, but at the same time she is careful not to overwhelm her system with these foods.
During the day of irritation, my friend also applied lavender essential oil to the red spot for itching relief. Since then I have discovered that there are several oils that can help with these and other skin irritations. Some other options that might work for skin inflammation include German Chamomile, Bergamot, and Helichrysum although allergic reactions can occur so always make sure you take account for what works best for you.