Zinc and borage oil to help heal my eczema

by purelytwins

Hey friends,

Today I am sharing more of my personal battle with eczema on my legs. I first shared my story of eczema back in January 5, 2013. Then gave an update on September 9, 2013 on healing eczema with a simple diet of rice and meat, which did work! But that was right before the holidays and I am human and like food, so it was hard for me to keep a simple diet.

And my dry, itchy, red patchy skin came right back. Actually it was worse than it has ever been!!! I got so depressed. Frustrated. Upset at myself that allowed it to get that bad.

After the holidays I was traveling for 2 weeks working and my legs were still really bad. My embarrassment continued. And my frustration was only getting worse.

What else can I do? I have done and tried everything.

Experimenting with food and supplements to help heal my eczema

Please note this is my experience. Consult with your doctor before trying anything new. 

healing eczema through food diet elimination purelytwins

I kept on reading and researching more and more. Even re-read old articles. Read forums. Blogs. Etc.

When I was back home after traveling I started listening to podcasts. I listened to any podcast I could find on eczema or dry, itchy skin. I came across one podcast that I learned a lot from Dishing up Nutrition show – Skin problems: acne, rosacea, and eczema. They discussed all skin issues but mentioned eczema being a zinc deficiency and that GLA can help with dry skin. GLA helps with skin and hormones, it is an omega 6 essential fatty acid. And I have always thought I had a zinc deficiency as one sign is having white spots on your fingernails.

So I decided to try taking a few new supplements to see if that would help, in addition avoiding certain foods. More on this below.

eczema legs

This picture was in early January 2014 when my legs started getting really bad. The pictures don’t really do it justice in what it really looked like.

eczema on legs

The red patches were everywhere. I never had it so bad.

I was getting scared.

zinc and borage oil to help with eczema

I have been taking Zinc and borage oil (GLA) for about 3 weeks now to help with eczema, which seem to be helping.

Zinc and borage oil (GLA) aid in healing eczema.

Taking a GLA supplement aids in helping with fighting inflammation, promoting a healthy immune response, improving the barrier function of the skin and is vital for keeping skin cells moist and strong.  Zinc helps support the immune system, which is related to gut health, and it helps other things like improve inflammation.

I have been taking the zinc once a day and the borage oil twice. In addition I am still taking fermented cod liver oil and a probiotic. I am slowly increasing my ghee intake. I go through periods with ghee as I am not 100% sure if my skin on my face likes it or not. But I take it because of the vitamins in it like Vitamin A, D, E and K, which are all needed for overall health and they help with skin!

And a few other new things I have been experimenting with is using some doTerra essential oils. Lori’s and my older sister has recently gotten into using them and has been getting the rest of our family to try them out. And I have been loving them. I will have to do a follow-up post more on the essential oils as I wanted this post to be about the food and supplements.

eczema healed on legs

This is my legs this morning.

clear legs from eczema

After taking just a few foods out of my diet and taking those few supplements (along with my other daily supplements) my legs are just about healed completely. The red patches are pretty much gone but still deal with moments of really itchy skin.

With the itchy skin still happening I know it’s related to stress and changes in weather. I know when I am under a lot of stress my eczema does get worse. I am working on controlling my stress the best I can.

Overall I am very pleased with how my legs are doing now. I feel like I am slowly getting a better understanding of my eczema and what is causing it. I am still experimenting with my diet. As I mentioned in my healing eczema post I mentioned some foods I was avoiding. Well I now have a different lists of foods I think could be the culprits:


bananas and plantains



How did I come across these foods?

Well in general I have been avoiding a lot of foods over the past year due to my eczema. And I still had it. So I knew it had to be something I was still eating. Even though they are healthy foods it does not always mean they are RIGHT for me. I was already avoiding many of the foods most people claim cause eczema like gluten, dairy, tomatoes, processed foods, etc.  And I added my own personal foods to that list due to cross reactivity which I listed here.

I have already added eggs back in for a week and still have clear skin! I am not sure what the next food will be, but I will report any findings.

I know eczema is an autoimmune disease.

I know eczema is a nutrient deficiency.

I know eczema is related to allergies – environment and food.

I know eczema is affected by stress.

Eczema is more than just dry skin. It’s related to how well your body absorbs nutrients. It relates to how well your skin absorbs moisture and retains it.

It is not a simple thing to cure, but I am determined to figure it out.

Hopefully my story helps you or if you know of someone suffering to give them hope!

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions for me. I am here to help!




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Michelle February 25, 2014 - 10:32 am

Good luck on your healing journey! I was diagnosed with eczema at about 7 years old….and while it’s no where near as bad as it used to be, it still like to crop up every now and again:/ My body salvation really is you ladies though- from body style to skin, I think you guys are my body twins;D Which isn’t the most fun, but I feel like I’m fighting alongside you! Cheers to us, and I love following the blog!

purelytwins February 25, 2014 - 2:02 pm

Michelle together we will all get better 🙂 good luck to you too

Jojo @ RunFastEatLots February 25, 2014 - 10:55 am

Glad to see that your legs are healing! When I was really young, I used to get really dry itchy skin, as well. During the winter, the back of my knees got really bad and would bleed. I don’t know how, but I think I grew out of it and didn’t have the skin problems when I got older. I wish you the best in your healing!

purelytwins February 25, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Jojo glad you no longer have issues!

Jen February 25, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Hey Michelle! So glad your legs are doing better. Not sure if you’ve mentioned this before but have you ever taken an allergy test where they test for all the different foods you can be allergic to? I wanted to know my allergies once and for all so I gave it a shot 🙂

purelytwins February 25, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Jen yes back in September I went to an allergists.

Marylene February 25, 2014 - 12:23 pm

I have eczema too…and it was all gone until the holidays 🙁 Thru my research and experiments I found out that eczema is VERY often linked to candida overgroth and almost always come with a case of leaky gut. It’s a viscious cycle because once your gut become leaky (your gut lining can be dammaged from gluten, alcohol, drugs, heavy metal, processed foods etc…) cadida will multiply even more and thrive and it will destroy even more your gut lining….you’ll then become reactive and intolerant to a lot of things. For me the solution has been to start by healing my gut and rebalancing my flora with tons of good bacteria. When you fight candida food to avoid are sugar (even the healthy ones and fruits), dairy, gluten, any flour including gluten free, any food made out of flour (even gluten free), vinegar except ACV, night shades vegetables, starchy vegs like potatoes, all mushrooms except shitake and medicinal ones like chaga and reishi which are actually incredible for your health and fight against candida. You must add in your diet lots of fermented foods (rich in probitotics and prebiotics) like cultured vegetables and kefir. Enemas and colonics combine with sauna are a must to eliminate all the toxins produced by Mr Canida (once you start attacking it, it will produce even more toxins in your body called die-off and those will need to be flushed out of your system as quick as possible otherwise it will get out by your skin and cause even more eczema. The healing crisis can be very intense, but they are necessary 🙁 Eczema is a very emotional thing for me, and I can feel you so much…. I’ve been depresed and frustrated alot by it… Mine use to be all over my face, armpits and fingers. My face and armpits has been totally clear for many months now, but since the holidays I got it on my fingers/ hands….I know I’ve drank way too much alcohol in the holidays and I’ve totally destroy my gut lining….I’m now working toward healing it again 🙂 I wish you the best of luck, I’m totally with you.

purelytwins February 25, 2014 - 2:07 pm

Marylene thanks for sharing! I do believe there is a connection there too. I have avoided a lot of the foods you mentioned and did a candida diet a few years ago. For me, its a bit more complicated. Wishing you all the best too!!

GiGi Eats Celebrities February 25, 2014 - 12:52 pm

I love that you’re experimenting on yourself with natural products and you didn’t succumb to the stupid antibiotics that don’t work!!!! I really hope EVERYONE who suffers from Eczema reads this post!!!

purelytwins February 25, 2014 - 2:07 pm

Thank you Gigi!!!

Christa @ Edible Balance February 25, 2014 - 1:54 pm

I am so happy to see how far you have come Michelle, you are doing the best things that you can do for you and it’s working!! I know how much of a struggle it is, but it’s all worth it in the end, yes?! Hugs xoxo

purelytwins February 25, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Thank you Christa!! HUGS

Brooke February 25, 2014 - 3:56 pm

You are so awesome for sharing your story! I hope you get as much out of sharing it as I do reading it. I don’t have eczema, but I do have weight issues. Like all health problems, I feel they are just symptoms of how your body is reacting to food and the environment and everyone’s symptoms manifest in different ways…some more uncomfortable and embarrassing than others. I tell myself that I’m lucky my body holds onto weight because it is a physical sign to me that I’m holding onto unnecessary emotions and stress. I would rather my body tell/show me what’s wrong than just going about my life doing the same destructive patterns until it’s too late. It’s just sooooo interesting how the body all works together and knowing that the medical establishment doesn’t have any answers, you can think of all that you are doing as cutting-edge research 🙂

Thanks for everything you both do to make this world a better place through your honesty, uplifting blog, and killer workouts!

purelytwins February 25, 2014 - 9:29 pm

thanks you Brooke 🙂 thank you for the kind words!

Keira February 26, 2014 - 12:05 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you find what works for you best! I know it can be so frustrating! Please keep us all updated.
Also, will you be doing a skin update post anytime soon?

Lauren @ Sweat The Sweet Stuff February 26, 2014 - 8:16 pm

Good to know all this! I’ll keep this in mind if mine comes back! But I’m hoping it won’t! Positivity! 🙂

Sarah February 28, 2014 - 6:04 pm

Skin struggles are so tough because everyone is so different. I have really sensitive skin, and tinea versicolor both leave me with sometimes dry, itchy and spotty skin. I am going to try zinc because I have a feeling I might be deficient. I know you girls are so on it with your diet but for me I have noticed sugar effects my skin, stress and sweat from workouts if I don’t shower right away. I have recently cut out oranges (which is so hard because I love them and they grow year round here) and I have noticed my skin is a lot less itchy. Which I thought was due to the sugar but then I saw citrus on your list…humm. Another thing that has been helping my skin is Tamanu oil, which is for dry skin and is suppose to help create new cells and vibrant new skin. Maybe give that a try as well:)

Good Luck and thanks for sharing!

purelytwins February 28, 2014 - 7:44 pm

you are so right in how everyone is different, especially skin. sorry about the oranges (citrus) might being a problem for you. I have not added in any citrus back into my diet yet, nervous. And yes we love tamanu oil, Lori actually uses it on her face to wash it.

Kay March 2, 2014 - 11:54 am

I’m 16 and I had eczema since I was a baby. Since i amd black, after it would heal it left all this dark spots all over my arms and black and made my face get darker. I just want to know how to make my skin color go back to normal. Recently I was told i was allergic to tree nuts and eggs but I never ate those, so it really confused me as to why i still had it so bad. when i was younger i couldn’t stop scratching because it was all over my face, hands and arms. Oregano oil really helped to reduce it a gret deal but the dark spots were there and after i stopped applying it to my skin, it came back like a year later

shal May 6, 2014 - 7:24 pm

I have had terrible eczema in the past starting at about age 5. I have been hospitalized because of it even and life at times was miserable. Now I still have the occasional bout when I don’t eat right or if the weather is really cold and dry. I am 22 now and am noticing it is getting better and better as I get older. I still have the horrible scars over my arms and legs especially my feet and the back of my knees related to the constant scratching of healing skin all through the years.
What helped me? Well, I did notice as you mentions ‘citrusy’ or acidic foods triggered a bout of eczema, foods like tomatoes, pizza, spaghetti and such are real winners. I stay away from dairy products too, I have not drank milk since I was little. I do use it in cooking and baking and that does not seem to bother me.
I use toooons of lotion and salves. I have used Georges cream, nivea, aveeno and the like. They cannot have too much alcohol in them or you are just defeating the purpose as they dry skin out.
Also, my mom has been a big believer in oils, such as vitamin e on break outs, olive oil to keep skin soft and omega fish oil daily- this also helps with your hair too. Keeping it shiny.
Its a long learning process and every one is different and is triggered by different sources!
Stay strong!!

sarah August 22, 2014 - 6:19 pm

I have eczema on my feet (and a little on my hands) and have been trying to cure it naturally to no avail so far. My naturopathic doctor has given me some remedies but it still is there and is still quite itchy. I’ve tested for environmental and food allergies (garlic and eggs I’m slightly allergic to) but even without having those it is still here. My last idea before putting hydrocortisone cream on is doing a hormonal test to see if my hormones are out of whack. Have you come across this before as hormones being the culprit? Have you been tested for this? I’d love your input!

purelytwins August 22, 2014 - 7:01 pm

Sarah it wouldn’t surprise me that hormones play a role in it, I haven’t been tested for hormones. I will add it to my list to think about if things don’t get better. I think it is a great thing to look into as hormones play a huge role in our bodies.

randy February 15, 2015 - 1:55 pm

I just want to say thank you very much for sharing this wonderful information, I have been searching for a cure for my dermatitis eczema for a while but everything I found did not work.

kyliej July 14, 2015 - 10:22 pm

I dye my hair often and unfortunately have breakouts of eczema along my hair line on the side of my face due to chemicals – argan oil has helped make it heal BUT you need to use an argan oil that has no chemicals and is alcohol free. I tried ALL the argan oils, and the Somaluxe Argan Oil is the one that is the best for my hair eczema. I also use it on my skin daily and have seen amazing results in smoothness and clarity. Just remember to use a very small amount on your face, I usually run my fingers along the side of the Somaluxe dropper.

Also the smell on this is much better then some others I have tried.

bl loh August 19, 2015 - 11:17 am

Please try seafood free diet as recommended by Traditional Chinese Medicine. Thanks.

Mike January 24, 2016 - 1:25 am

You need to investigate Pyroluria,
it is an inherited issue that cause you to have low zinc and P5P( The active form of vitamin B6)
It causes skin issues and Anxiety issues. You need P5P to form GLA ( Borage oil) in your body.
Low Zinc will cause acne, Psorisis , eczema and other skin issues.
Your body uses zinc to protect your skin, your blood vessels and Intestines ( through your mucousal lining)
This is why you will be susceptible to candida if you have low zinc.

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john January 3, 2017 - 9:55 am

In my case, I believe eczema is due to the climate. I have lived under dry continental and tropical hot and humid climates and never had any skin problem. I have eaten all kinds of junk as a teenager (maccas and stuff) and never had any skin problem. I have done a lot of sport most of my 20s an never had any skin issues.

I recently moved to Australia. I landed in May, which is early winter. Literally the day I landed, this damn eczema appeared on my skin all of a sudden. A pattern I noticed is it gets worse every year in winter. After winter it slowly improves over time, and mostly disappear during summer. My diet is the same throughout the year, I don’t expose my skin more/less to the sun in summer. My personal experience led me to conclude that a specific combination of humidity and temperature is responsible for my eczema condition. Dry and hot is fine, hot and humid is fine, dry and cold is fine, however humid and cold is bad. Sweat can exacerbate a “dormant” eczema. I mean, eczema can be temporarily gone, and because of the heat or some sport activity, the sweat on the inside of the elbow will cause a sudden itching crisis. Drying the skin and keeping the arm stretched would ease that crisis.

Besides, from what I could gather, it seems many Aussies who have eczema have it worse during the months of winter too. This could confirm my “theory” on the cause of eczema.

Anyway, I have mostly given up, and accepted to live with this s***. I am a swimmer and cannot swim because of it, and kind of accepted to deal with it. I will still try borage oil though, possibly the only thing I haven’t tried yet.

What sucks with eczema is it seems everyone’s case is different. One solution that works for one person may not work at all on someone else. Which means, it’s unlikely you find out what will help to heal (or improve) your eczema until you have tried everything.

Black beauty February 17, 2018 - 6:38 pm

So, i shuld take zinc for my eczema to go away?

purelytwins February 18, 2018 - 5:49 pm

Yes you can, but borage oils is awesome to help nourish the skin.

Cynthia August 8, 2018 - 4:44 pm

Super helpful blog post. I’m suffering with the worst case of eczema I’ve ever had right now – since January. I eat a lot of kale and eggs, too! Right now I’m using borage oil directly on the skin, and hadn’t even realized it can be taken as a supplement internally. I’ll be following along and am really glad you found some things to help your legs. It’s a miserable thing to struggle with!

JACKIE September 1, 2018 - 10:35 am

Thank you, a Lot of this I have been figuring out myself but you have confirmed so many things. Thank you again.

Ipek December 19, 2019 - 8:08 pm

Wooow i had the same thing and i was soo worried i did not no what it was mine started from
My arms and legs its gone now but i do have itchyness at times great reading your story hope its all better now 🤗


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