My journey has been painful and tiring, but I'm glad to say that I've finally overcome severe eczema – despite numerous doctors telling me that eczema can never be cured. As a teenager, I had doctor appointments lined up on a weekly basis to see if I could find relief for my eczema. It was tiring, and above all else, frustrating.
I was tired of waking up finding blood on my fingers, seeing dead skin flakes on the floor, and showering with stinging rashes over my body. Doctors, unfortunately, said that it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen.
I had almost given up on all treatments – because I hadn’t found anything that worked. I had tried medication, steroids, and cortisone creams for at least 10 years, and it wasn’t until I switched to natural remedies, that I finally noticed a difference.
Healing eczema naturally from the inside out
In over a decade, I’ve spent countless hours doing research and thousands of dollars in treatments and products in order to find something that would work – be it through medication, steroids, or cortisone creams. Doctors told me that there is no cure for eczema, and that the only way to help it is to continue to put medication on, which, sadly, will only suppress the inflammation more.
After trying to find a solution for so long, I finally decided to try alternative treatments instead. At first I was hesitant, but I ended up trying some natural remedies, similar to the ones that Emily describes in her book, The Eczema Cure. I saw such an incredible difference.
Here are four of the main things that I did to help my eczema get better, which I hope can help you or someone you know who suffers with eczema.
#1 – Fix your gut
In The Eczema Cure, Emily talks about healing digestion. Most people with eczema have some sort of gut dysbiosis, and the issue stems from what’s known as a “leaky gut.” This happens when the lining of the small intestine becomes permeable and allows undigested nutrients, toxins and bacteria to “leak” through the intestines and go into the blood stream. The foreign substances that enter the blood then cause an autoimmune response in the body, which leads to allergic reactions such as eczema.
To combat this, I did a ton of research and started implementing good digestion tips, taking probiotics (that had at least 10 billion CFU), and filling my diet with fermented foods, such as sauerkraut. This began to increase the amount of good bacteria in my gut to help my skin heal.
Doctors also used to give me antibiotics frequently whenever I was not feeling too well, so I stopped relying on antibiotics (as they can kill a lot of the good bacteria in the gut). By natural remedies for immune support (like garlic, onions, and oregano oil), this has kept my gut healthier and happier, and my bloating has also decreased significantly.
I truly believe that the skin is a reflection of what is going on inside the body – so once you fix your gut, your skin will begin to heal as well.
#2 – Change your diet
Many eczema sufferers are sensitive to certain foods, without even knowing it. Foods such as sugar, wheat, processed foods, and white flour often exacerbate eczema.
During my huge eczema flare up, I noticed that my gut was so out of whack that I was constantly gassy, had trouble digesting foods, and would feel tingling in my fingers whenever I ate the wrong foods.
In 2012, my friend asked if I wanted to try the elimination diet with her. I was incredibly pessimistic at first, but I ended up switching to an all natural, unprocessed, whole foods diet. Within 2 months, I had experienced tremendous healing.
The Eczema Cure also covers the elimination diet and teaches in more detail on what foods to eat to help your eczema get better.
#3 – Reduce stress
We often overlook stress, and we don’t even realize the extent that it affects us.
When my skin began healing, I was having a lot of trouble getting the last 5-10% of my skin to heal. I was so frustrated because I couldn’t figure out why. I was eating what most people would call a perfect diet, and I was exercising.
It wasn’t until I quit my really stressful job, that my skin naturally healed itself! Why? Simply because I removed the biggest stressor in my life, and the flare ups naturally disappeared.
For you, stress may not necessarily come from your job; wheat and stress for one person may be just as reactive as dry weather and cow’s milk to another. In order to cure your eczema, it’s important to identify what triggers create a flare for you.
#4 – Eat Omega 3’s
The DHA in omega-3 fatty acid is particularly helpful as it reduces inflammation in all cells of the body.
For my own treatment, I doubled the dosage from 1-2 grams a day to 3-4 grams a day to reduce the inflammation. If you use a good quality fish oil, you’ll notice that the quality and softness of your skin will change as well (especially if you have eczema). Make sure to look for a good quality fish oil such as this one.
Other supplements (like such as vitamin D) will also help improve immunity, hormone function, and skin conditions like eczema.
How I feel today
I no longer get severe eczema flare ups like I used to. With my gut, digestive system, and overall immune system strengthened, I’m also able to eat regular foods that I couldn’t before, without flaring up or getting a tingling sensation anymore. (Of course, I still try to eat as healthy as possible).
I have encountered many doctors who tell their patients that there is no hope for eczema, and I find that many eczema sufferers lose hope after hearing this. Don’t be alarmed if your healing does not come overnight. Since it’s taken years of bad habits for toxins to accumulate in your body, it will also take some time for your body to reverse the damage.
Since I'm not able to cover all the natural remedies and tips in this one single blog post – be sure to check out The Eczema Cure to learn how to heal the root cause of your eczema from the inside out.
Abby Lai is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who is passionate about helping clients to heal eczema and achieve optimal health. Find her at PrimePhysiqueNutrition.com, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.