Posted 31/05/2016 - By Harley Farmer
I love text messages like this:
“Amazing mushrooms growing in my drive if you are passing by today Harley! They look edible to me, but you’ll know best! You are welcome to have them if they are!”
It was from Ben, a friend who had just moved to another house in our village.
They were enormous and very tasty horse mushrooms!
Why does my undisguised gluttony over wild mushrooms have relevance in a blog sharing happiness through healthy skin? To a mushroom lover the happiness aspect is easy. The health part comes down to balance. Eating a mushroom like that every day would certainly not equate to balance. Nor does having horse mushrooms appear in May in England. What induced this untimely surprise?
The normal state for these mushrooms is the mycelia, tiny thin filaments growing in the moist ground. Only when conditions turn unfavourable do the mycelia produce mushrooms above ground as a means of spreading spores. That’s usually autumn when it becomes wetter and colder. In this case it was building work disturbing the mulch under trees; unfavourable enough for the mycelia to produce these wonderful mushrooms. I left most of them there so the spores could become more mycelia. Of the three I took, two were eaten and one was placed in my garden in the hope of inducing our own crop!
What’s the link between mushrooms and eczema? An unfavourable imbalance is needed before they are seen.
- something induces tiny invisible cracks in the outer skin,
- chemicals gain entry,
- the immune system recognises those chemicals should not be in the skin,
- it uses inflammation to push them out,
- products are applied to settle down the inflammation and
- you have caused eczema; what I call Product Maintained Dermatitis.
To end the eczema you must work back;
- stop using the products that were maintaining it,
- find out what was causing the tiny skin cracks and
- correct that.
Skin may seem tough yet that toughness comes from many very delicate processes which are easily upset by imbalance within the person. Medical evidence shows that for some university students exam stress increases the amount of steroids produced by their adrenal glands inside their bodies and that increased steroid affects their skin leading to the tiny skin cracks. Dry skin follows and if those students use the normal skin moisturisers the mineral oil in the products penetrates via the cracks leading to eczema which is Product Maintained Dermatitis.
The initiating issue was the exam stress. Sharing the mushroom/eczema analogy with an already stressed student would probably stress them even more perpetuating their imbalance so let’s avoid doing that.
Instead, let’s leave most mushrooms to set spores for the next generation, enjoy eating a few and find other ways to generate happiness through healthy skin.
If you experience dry skin and don’t want your moisturiser to spiral you into eczema, try our Gel Emollient which lets skin heal itself.