Today I have an inspiring story by someone who has been through a lot. Meet Alice – she has gone through so much and has overcome really severe eczema. Her story is inspiring and hopefully it encourages you today!
As a child I suffered with small patches of eczema on the backs of my legs and creases of my arms, I don’t remember suffering too much, and it was always managed by applying a bit of cream.
In October 2013 at age 19, I had just started back at university and I was going into my second year of studying. A rash appeared on my face and neck (not your standard eczema rash it was more like a heat rash). I carried on with life, took a few antihistamines and didn’t think much more about it.
A few weeks later the rash appeared again, this time a bit worse. Spreading to my chest and arms, I took myself to the doctors and left with a couple of tubes of steroid cream. I was told I would be feeling better in a few days, and I did. This relief only lasted a few days as the days past the condition worsened, my eyes would be constantly itchy, red and puffy with dry flaky skin around my eye lids.
Every morning i would wake up and feel worse than i did the day before, it made me panic i wondered what was happening to me. I decided one night that it was all too much and went to hospital, I left with a high dose of oral steroids which I was to take for 2 weeks, I left feeling relieved and quite positive. Within a day my skin changed, the red patches disappeared, the itchiness calmed and my skin was feeling a lot smoother I was SO SO HAPPY. After taking the steroids for a few days, I started to feel light headed, tired, and I was unable to concentrate – not ideal when you have tons of coursework deadlines.
I decided to start researching eczema; I wondered what caused it and whether I would have to continue taking steroids for the rest of my life. I came across blogs such as Abby’s and ITSAN.com. I stopped taking steroids that day, I didn’t care what anyone said, I knew this wasn’t the way to heal.
Within a week the eczema came back this time 10 times worse than it ever had been, I would wake up to blood over my sheets from itching aggressively in the night, I felt hopeless and often had breakdowns. My skin looked horrendous, I hated looking at myself in the mirror, my skin felt so dry and tight that often moving would break my skin and cause it to start weeping again. I moisturized throughout the day, it gave some relief I suppose, but with it came a sunburn sensation, often the pain would reduce me to tears.
This was completely sole destroying. Being at university, it affected me in so many ways, I dreaded nights out, so often opted to stay in it made me so upset watching my friends get dressed up and go out partying and hear about all their hilarious stories the morning after. I started to become very self conscious of my condition, I felt as though passersby were staring at my dry, red and blotchy face, some people even thought it was contagious! I felt so awkward about myself, and definitely wasn’t ‘happy in my own skin’
Being away from home, my parents started worrying and so the next step was to go for a skin prick test. Being the sensitive creature I am, a lot of allergens showed up, dust mites, mould, pollen, horses, cats, dogs… the list goes on! This left me curious as I had been around dogs and horses all my life and everything else seemed like something I would encounter on a daily basis!
More research lead to look closely at my diet, although I didn’t eat badly I felt there was room for improvement! I ordered myself a York Testing kit from the internet, I sent my blood sample back to the labs, the results came back promptly. 13 food allergens showed up at the time, dairy, eggs, yeast, lentils, soya, wheat were some of the few to name. Although this may look like bad news on paper, I felt a huge sense of relief; I had finally found some answers!
Over the Easter break, 2014, I went to see a naturopathic nutritionist, I was educated about eczema and how diet can help improve the condition, I felt so excited to start my new healthy eating journey. I started my new diet, which was high in Omega 3 and essential fatty acids, which worked wonders on my skin. I also started taking a very pure form of Omega 3 in a tablet, probiotics to help replace the loss of good bacteria and a vitamin and mineral supplement to help boost my immune system.
My skin cleared up and I felt amazing, the best I had felt in a long time, I started getting my confidence back, and attending social events it was such a weight off my shoulders I couldn’t believe how good my skin was! Unfortunately this only lasted a few months, in November 2015 the eczema re appeared, it spread to my torso, arms, chest, neck and face in a few weeks. I started more research and went to see a homeopath; I was on homeopathic medicine for about 4 weeks, my skin condition worsened over this period. I felt like more testing was the way forward; unfortunately these came back and showed me nothing I didn’t already know. I wondered what else i could possibly do, this was a real low point for me, i felt like i had tried everything and nothing worked!
I started an Instagram account in January 2016 (@healthy_healer) and came across many other people that were in the same situation as me, it was so comforting to be able to chat to people also suffering from eczema, and to see people that had healed naturally, it gave me hope. I came across The Medical Medium on Instagram and started researching his way of healing – I ordered the book and started a raw vegan, grain free diet straight away. My skin changed on day ONE of this new diet, I was utterly amazed and still can’t believe how good my skin is! The Medical Medium believes the route cause of eczema stems from the liver, this makes a lot of sense to me as I am severely allergic to alcohol. Therefore it is important to eat lots of foods that will help to heal your liver – keep away from anything toxic and try to buy organic where you can.
I start every day by juicing a fresh bunch of celery and drinking it on an empty stomach. This is followed by a smoothie bowl, I try to change it every day but my favourite is: banana, ½ an avocado, wild blueberries, spirulina, l-glutamine, raw cacao, raw honey, flaxseed and chia seeds. This is a great ‘heavy metal’ detoxing blend.
For lunch I usually make a salad, I pile on as much raw veg as possible; I usually make homemade salad dressing from avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, lemon, mustard, and raw honey.
In the evenings I tend to have something cooked… I’m still making that transition to becoming a completely raw vegan! I love finely slicing sweet potato and baking them in avocado oil and paprika, I usually dip them in some homemade guacamole, it’s so satisfying and comforting!
For dessert I will have a big bowl of fruit. If I’m treating myself I will make some raw fudge or raw millionaire shortbread, they are so delicious.
I don’t drink any alcohol or caffeine, its super important to stay hydrated during the healing process, drink lots of herbal teas and water. If your water gets boring try adding lemon, lime or any other fruit.
I went through a stage where I was taking so many supplements that I was confusing myself. I now try to keep it simple. I take vitamin B-12, ionic zinc and a flaxseed capsule.
I find ‘less is more’ with creams and make up. It’s important to remember that the skin is the body’s largest organ, and anything that goes onto the skin is soaked into the bloodstream! I moisturize my face day and night with argan oil, this is the only product that doesn’t make my face flare. If I need to moisturize my arms/body I use coconut oil.
I try to take a Dead Sea Salt bath every other day, I find this keeps my skin really supple and reduces the itch!
I love adding colour to my lips and not much else; I love Burts Bees, RMS beauty and Neal’s Yard Remedies.
I use a shampoo, conditioner and body wash from Faith in Nature.
If you are in the sun, it’s really really important to use a high factor sun cream, even more so for people that suffer with eczema as so many layers of our skin flake off! It’s like having the skin of a baby, be careful!
I love exercising but I have had to change the way I exercise, because activities that involve excess sweating really flare my eczema. I really enjoy practicing yoga; it really relaxes and calms me. I also enjoy walking and cycling.
I often wonder why all of this has happened to me, whilst my friends are living an easy care free life. This is absolutely the wrong attitude to have. I try to keep positive as it really helps to speed up the healing process. Remember to be grateful for the life you are living – the chances are there are people in much worse situations than you are. Be grateful that you have a roof over your head, access to the internet to read this post, nourishing foods available to you that will heal your body, we are so lucky to be living in this beautiful world! ☺
I think it’s also important to remember that one diet will not suit everybody, each body has different needs. It will take a huge amount of time and patience to find something that suits you, keep trying and keep positive – you will find the diet that suits you!
If anybody reading this post would like any more information on anything eczema related please please please don’t hesitate to get in touch, speaking to somebody that has ‘been there done that’ really gave me hope and determination that I will heal myself naturally.
Good luck everyone, you will get through this!
Let us help you clear & conquer your eczema! Check out my program, the Conqueror Eczema Academy, or check out my eBooks below to learn more about healing your skin:
- The Elimination Diet: A Guide to Conquer Eczema & Food Sensitivities
- Healing Eczema: Why Dieting Is Not Enough
- The Power of Thoughts: How Mindset Shifts Can Help Eliminate Eczema
- My Detailed Eczema Healing Treatment Plan
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.