Mon, 11 Feb, 2019
The tiny town helping Turia Pitt heal
Turia Pitt was only 24 years old when her world was turned upside down in an accident.
Pitt was participating in an ultra marathon in Western Australia in September 2011 when she was caught in a bush fire, suffering burns to 65 per cent of her body. After surviving the tragedy, she has spent the past seven years recovering from her injuries as well as sharing her story in books, social media and interviews.
Last year, Pitt entered a new stage of her recovery for her scars. After giving birth to her first child Hakavai in December 2017 with partner Michael Hoskin, Pitt launched into a new treatment that she said has brought her the biggest physical change to date.
In an interview with News.com.au, Pitt credited the treatments in Avène village in France for bringing "a dramatic difference" to her skin.
The village houses the Avène Hydrotherapy Center, where people across the world go to treat serious skin conditions such as burns, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and more.
The treatments, which involved underwater massage and high-pressure showers, help in softening the skin, increasing moisture and reducing scarring.
"The treatments went for three weeks, each and every day," Pitt revealed.
"Most treatments aren’t painful at all, although the high-pressure shower was a bit uncomfortable."
The Avène Sun Care ambassador said the secret is in the water. "Scientists have done research on the area, and there’s a bacteria that lives in the water that gives it an optimal calcium to magnesium ratio," she explained.
According to the Center, the village’s thermal spring water is rich in skin-soothing minerals such as silicates. The water’s therapeutic properties have been validated by the French National Academy of Medicine. The government also subsidises the treatments at the spa for French residents.
The Center is also well-known for treating children and infants with debilitating skin disorders. In 2016, a Gold Coast boy flew to the village with his mother after a lifetime of suffering from severe eczema.
At that point, the then-eight years old Cohen had been admitted to hospital 38 times and was constantly scratching despite being on oral medications.
However, after a three-week treatment at the spa, all his wounds healed. Today, he could go to the beach and play sports without experiencing pain or splitting skin.
"Before we made it to Avène our life was a constant search of ways to try to heal his chronic eczema," Cohen’s mother Carlee told Kidspot.
"Fast forward to 12 months after our first trip and it's hard to believe we ever needed to think that way."
American mother April Moffett had a similar story with her son, Aidan, who is suffering from atopic dermatitis. "After receiving his first three-week treatment in 2013, his skin improved significantly!" Moffett wrote on her page.
"This hasn’t cured him, as you know there really isn’t a 'cure' for eczema, but it has improved his quality of life and we are looking forward to the future."