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The skin consists of three principal layers: The thin outermost layer is the epidermis. The layer below this is the dermis, which contains sweat glands for cooling and sebaceous glands for producing oil. The deepest layer, or subcutaneous layer, is comprised mainly of fat and connective tissue and includes important immune-system substances. Various things can irritate the skin and produce a rash, including harsh chemicals, allergens and dust; ultraviolet rays; and bacteria, fungi or viruses. Rashes can also arise from a buildup of toxins are secreted by the sebaceous and sweat glands, causing redness, blisters, pustules, itching, scales or other signs of inflammation. If a rash is visible on the skin's surface, there will be accumulations of fluids, white blood cells or other substances in the deeper layer of skin as well.

The benefits of barley water
Barley water can help alleviate skin inflammations. To make it, boil 3½ oz. of barley in 1 qt. of water for 15 min. Strain the liquid and allow it to cool. Soak cotton balls in the barley water and carefully dab the liquid onto the affected areas.

What you can do:
Use toiletries that are free of skin irritants, such as fragrances created from chemicals. In addition, allow your skin to breathe by wearing clothing made of natural fibers. Good nutrition is vital too, because a number of vitamins and minerals contribute to healthy skin, as do various herbs. Finally, short periods of sun exposure (10-15 minutes) are important, because sunlight heals many skin ailments and helps the body from vitamin D.

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin A, B6 and E, as well as zinc, selenium and potassium, can all help to relive skin inflammations. Calcium may also be beneficial, especially if the irritations are caused by allergies. Silicon speed the growth of new skin cells.

Oatmeal bath for itching
For itchy skin due to eczema or other causes, try oatmeal bath. Place a pound of oatmeal in fine-gauze netting and let it soak in the warm bathwater for half an hour. Then use the oatmeal pack as a soothing sponge during your bath. Or, sprinkle colloidal oatmeal-finely ground oatmeal sold at many pharmacies-into your bathwater. Oatmeal can be slippery, so take care when getting in or out of the tub. To prolong the effects, allow your skin to air dry.

Oak bark for inflammations
Oak bark, an anti-inflammatory, contains a high proportion of the astringent tannins, which is particularly well tolerated by the skin. Soak compresses in oak-bark tea, dab them lightly on affected areas and allow your skin to dry.

Chamomile for wounds
Chamomile-tea compresses can be used to soothing inflamed skin. Chamomile also promotes wound healing.

Extra tip : Wheat-grass juice helps heal skin inflammation. The chlorophyll in the juice accelerates the formation of new skin. The juice also offers protection against bacteria. Sprinkle the juice liberally on a gauze pad and apply the pad to skin.

Natural-healing techniques

  • Stimulation therapy 
    Some healers advocate autohemotherapy to alleviate allergic skin eruptions. A small amount of blood is removed, mixed with an herbal or homeopathic remedy, and then reinjected into the body. This technique is believed to reset the immune system, enabling the body to respond normally to allergens once again so that the overstimulated skin can heal.
  • Toxin-elimination therapy
    Various remedies have been used to rid the body of toxins that may cause skin inflammation. One of these remedies, known as the Baunscheidt process, uses a specialized instrument to insert needles just under the skin's surface. Skin-irritating oil is then applied, causing an artificial skin eruption that reportedly draws out toxins.
  • Intestinal cleansing
    Cleansing the intestine with fasting or other natural remedies, is sometimes advocated to reduced the body's toxin load and ease skin eruptions. Use herbal teas of dandelion, burdock or Oregon grape roots.

Method of administration

  • Moist compresses for eczema
    Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. each malva flowers and whole yarrow. Allow the tea to cool, and then pour it over it over a gauze compress; apply the compress to skin to relieve eczema. The mucilage in the malva forms a protective layer, and the yarrow acts as a pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory
  • A soothing oil for irritated feet
    Castor oil helps relieve burning, itchy feet. Simply rub caster oil on the affected areas.
  • Anti-inflammatory compresses
    Dissolve 2 drops of chamomile oil in ½ cup of rose water. Apply this mixture to inflamed areas 3 times daily with a cotton ball. Rose water soothes the skin while chamomile oil heals the inflammation.