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A Natural Approach to Eczema

By Claire Bacon, ACN, CNC

How’s your skin doing? If you’re dealing with itchy, dry skin and rashes, you might feel your skin is rebelling against you. It’s not – you just need a new strategy to heal your eczema. It’s all about your gut health and calming down the reactivity to what you’re eating. So, get ready to show your skin some love and bid farewell to itchy flare-ups!

Understanding Eczema 

Also known as autoimmune dermatitis, Eczema shows up as persistent itching, dryness, rashes, scaly patches, and blisters. It can often lead to skin infections. Over 31 million people in the US experience some form of eczema. It frequently starts in infancy because every baby has a leaky gut. Eczema can also develop during childhood or later in life. There are many triggers and exposures that can disrupt the gut lining and lead to the itchy patches you see on your skin.

Eczema often affects newborn babies because they are essentially born with a sterile microbiome. The first two years are crucial to developing a functional diversity of gut bacteria. These bacteria help babies digest breast milk and absorb nutrients. They are also involved in brain development, growth, and establishing a strong immune system. But many babies don’t get this good start. That’s why we recommend Lact-Enz and Evivo probiotics. This mix of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium infantis bacteria are essential for digesting breast milk and avoiding common issues like colic and reflux. (Use code EVIVO-1057 at checkout for a discount!)

From your medical doctor, treatment options might include: lanolin, moisturizers, antihistamines, steroid creams, or corticosteroids. These are often used to manage the symptoms, but they don’t address the underlying issue. The main issue is what’s going on with your gut health

What Causes Eczema?

Research studies show Eczema comes from a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental triggers. We certainly live in a toxic soup and there is no shortage of triggers! Concurrently, some people may have hay fever, asthma, or food allergies. These are all signs of a leaky gut lining, too.

Other possible causes include exposure to environmental toxins, infections, toxic ingredients in skin care, or chronic digestive issues. The key here is bioindividuality. The triggers that caused your Eczema may not be the same for someone else. That’s why we need to put our detective hats on and figure it out!

Eczema and Food Sensitivity

Certain foods that can easily cause flare-ups. Sensitive people will have a variety of food sensitivities that can aggravate already itchy skin – or show up in different ways. Common culprits are:

  • gluten-containing grains,
  • refined flour-based foods,
  • fried foods,
  • alcohol,
  • eggs, and
  • dairy products.

If you haven’t done it, start tracking your food and be your own “food detective”. Pay attention to how your body responds to the food you eat. We recommend starting out with the Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet because it restricts the common culprits but also leaves a lot of good, hypoallergenic things to eat. We especially like:

  • celery,
  • watermelon,
  • strawberries,
  • soft lettuces like Arugula, Butter lettuce, and Red Leaf,
  • zucchini,
  • and healthy fats like olive oil, cod liver oil, coconut oil, and avocado.

Environmental Exposures

Did you know? Fluids can move through your skin both ways: lotions and oils absorb in, and sweat goes out. Think about the impurities like synthetic fragrances, antibiotic chemicals, foaming agents, and parabens that are in our personal care products. All of that impacts our microbiome!

Remember that you have the power to control what goes on your skin and the toxic exposures in your home and workplace. You may also like to invest in an air purifier or dehumidifier to keep your air clean and hypoallergenic.

Your Gut Microbiome 

Deep within your digestive system are trillions of microbes that work together to keep you healthy. Just like a beautiful garden, different kinds of gut bacteria perform many functions. They break down your food, latch onto heavy metals, and produce neurotransmitters. But most importantly, they maintain a functional and “sealed up” gut lining.

Did you know? Every surface on your body contains these microbes. Some bacteria love the digestive tract, whereas some love drier areas like elbows and knees. You even have other bacteria that thrive in sweaty areas like the underarms!

When your microbiome is out of balance, all of these good functions get disturbed. That’s when inflammation can start. Depending on the weak link in your genetics, or depending what kind of exposure is your trigger, the skin may be the first place you see a problem.

A few steps to get started healing your gut:

  • Eliminate grains hard-core. Wheat gluten is the worst, but other gluten-free grains still might not work for you.
  • Avoid all forms of sugar,
  • Find alternatives for dairy, and
  • Skip other refined foods typical in our Standard American Diet (SAD). 

Next step: add some real fermented foods into your diet. Just 1 tablespoon a few times a week is a great start! Fermented foods give you a much greater diversity of good bacteria and enzymes. And when you eat fresh produce high in fiber, this will provide natural prebiotics. Think of prebiotics as “food for your friends”! Fiber helps bacteria reproduce in your digestive tract.

If needed, look for a blend of high-quality probiotics. Some of our favorites include Prosynbiotic, GI Stability, Ortho-Biotic, and BioDoph-7-Plus. The main idea is to get many different species into your gut. Don’t stay on the same limited number of strains for a long time.

In addition, you’ll want to include essential fatty acids to promote healing. Black Currant Seed Oil provides anti-inflammatory GLA, whereas our main standby Cod Liver Oil provides EPA and DHA with vitamins A and D.

Mushroom Magic for Your Skin

Medicinal mushrooms are well-known for immune health and longevity. But new research shows more than that! We are just beginning to discover all the benefits about how they work in the body. And they can help the skin, too!

For skin health, we’re captivated by the mushroom called Tremella, also known as the Snow Mushroom.  Because of its white and translucent appearance, this mushroom looks similar to a loofa sponge. With regular use, it can have awesome benefits for the skin – including reducing Eczema symptoms! 

“Fun-gi” Ha ha ha!

Tremella – The Fountain of Youth

In Asia, Tremella is considered the “Fountain of Youth,” because it does so much. It can reduce inflammation, boost immunity with its natural vitamin D content, and support breathing. Best of all, it helps maintain clear, glowing skin. In addition, Tremella can:

  • improve gut health,
  • replenish fluids in the body,
  • calm asthma,
  • relieve constipation,
  • balance cholesterol, and
  • reduce redness and swelling.  

Although Tremella does not contain collagen itself, the polysaccharides found in Tremella mushrooms help to promote collagen synthesis in the skin, which helps boost skin elasticity and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. For Eczema, it quickly enhances the quality and underlying texture of the skin, reducing redness, itching, and skin lesions. 

Finding Quality Tremella 

Unfortunately, there are a huge number of counterfeit mushroom products on the market. Despite their advertising and earthy-looking labels, many products don’t have the fruiting body (above-ground portion) in their products. Instead, they harvest spores from the immature mushroom shoots, mix them with rice, and ferment it to develop the mycelium root structure. They will still call it a “mushroom” on the label, but it’s not! The benefits come from the fruiting body!

Here’s how you can tell: look for the word ‘mycelium’ on the label. If you see it, you’ll know the fruiting body of the mushroom hasn’t been used. This is NOT what you want. Maybe it’s still a yummy coffee or a tasty protein shake product. But it won’t have the Tremella benefits you’re looking for.

The company we recommend is Real Mushrooms. They have honesty and transparency in their practice. The Tremella does exactly what it is supposed to do – make your skin look amazing! Whether you have Eczema or not, the Tremella from Real Mushrooms is worth a shot!

Hope for Healing Eczema

For many, the battle with Eczema can feel overwhelming. Conventional treatment options using steroid creams or other over-the-counter medications have mixed results and may cause more harm than good. If you or someone you know has struggled with Eczema, let them know there is hope for recovery.

Need some personalized help? Give us a call! We can help you with a clear path that will actually fix the underlying problem!



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