Remember: the key to healing eczema is to cure it from the inside out, not from the outside in.
Anything that you put on your body is just as important as what you eat. Diet can play an extremely large role in how your eczema flares up. When it comes to people who try to lose weight, there is a saying that weight is “70% what you eat, and 30% exercise.” This is no different when it comes to eczema: what you put into your body breaks down into nutrients that make up every cell and skin cell inside your body.
If you’re feeding it with good quality food, you will look and feel better. If you feed your body with processed, salty, junk foods on a daily basis, your cells will soon lack the nutrients it needs to nourish the outer parts of the body, and you may start to notice a dry scalp and flaky skin. Just remember, it can take years of bad habits for it to show up on your skin. By the time your skin shows up with eczema, this means that your body has already lost nutrients on the inside.
Your outsides are merely a reflection of what is happening inside. The best way to heal your body is to eat the right foods and eliminate the wrong foods in order to nourish your body and let it heal. This means eating more vegetables (aim for 5-9 servings a day – or better yet, try the 9 cup challenge), fruits, and whole grains (such as quinoa, wild rice, amaranth – which are all gluten free).
Nowadays, I have so many people ask me on my opinion about gluten. Gluten is a component of wheat, and is found in products such as bread and spaghetti. The definition of “gluten” basically means “glue,” and it’s job is to stick substances together. Notice that when you chew bread in your mouth, it acts like glue because it is very sticky. Imagine the gluten traveling down your stomach lining and into your gut and colon. Instead of freely flowing into your gut where food is naturally extracted, gluten is like a glue which doesn’t travel or digest easily in the stomach lining of many people. As a result, it slows down your digestive system, supports constipation, and sticks to your gut walls. Often, it can flare up as eczema if this becomes a sensitivity in certain individuals.
If you’re wondering why more and more people are becoming gluten intolerant – this is because there is an increasing amount of gluten within products sold in supermarkets. The amount of gluten in products used to be very low, but today products can contain up to 50% of gluten (especially bead products!).
Quick tip: you’ll notice that when people travel to Europe, they can often handle grain products much better there (such as the bread and pasta), because there is a significantly smaller amount of gluten and wheat products are also produced differently there 😉
In one study, Finnish researchers looked at candidates for eczema treatment who had suspected wheat allergies, found that four of the six adult eczema patients studied successfully treated their eczema by eliminating grains from their diets.
Does this mean I have to go gluten free?
My best advice is to try it and see how you feel! If you can – try to aim to do it for 2-4 weeks; the longer you do it, the better. I have so many people tell me that they lose weight, their blood pressure drops, and there energy gets so much better after removing gluten from the diet!
Gluten also causes gut inflammation and 80% of people create antibodies against the protein that is extracted out of the gluten, which can weaken and slow down your immune system. Some shampoos (even shampoos for eczema) can contain gluten as well, so make sure to steer clear of those and go for natural and healthier alternatives, as found here. Other hidden wheat products include beer, soy sauces, gravy, and salad dressings – so be sure to check the ingredients before eating. 🙂
Please keep in mind that if you have eczema, it is possibly caused by an allergy to a food – it is said that 1 in 3 eczema sufferers have a food allergy. It can be an allergy to wheat, egg, seafood, additives, or even something that you crave a lot can often be a sign of an allergen. For me, my biggest culprits were wheat, sugar, and additives.
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.
Read my eczema guide for other articles and resources that I’ve written on this topic.