It’s Michelle here and I have a long over due update on my skin. The reason for such a long delay in updating is that I do not have much to report as I have not improved, despite all the testing I have been doing the past two months that I discuss below.
I am a bit ashamed as I know some people may see me as a health wellness blogger, but really I am just a girl trying to find peace and balance with my body. Being a blogger sometimes I feel pressure to have the perfect health, to be a showcase for others, but the reality is that is not possible.
Somehow we all need to find a way to take that pressure off and realize there is a lot of things causing illnesses. Some things are in our control and other things are not. There is no perfect health.
My last update back in August was about the first round of allergy testing I did for my eczema, the results and products I was using to relieve the pain. Warning: the pictures in this post are not pleasant to look at — NO editing has been done to any of them. This is just me…what I look like.
Where I am at now with my eczema after getting MRT Leap food sensitivity done and biopsy on my legs
Click here to watch on youtube.
As you can see in the video I am doing my best to keep hope.
Holding Madison gives me hope on my darkest days.
I feel so guilty as this past month has been a blessing to Lori, but for me it has been the worst days. I have tears running my face as I write this. Actually this whole year has been a blessing for Lori with her pregnancy and for me my skin has been at its worse.
To recap things I discussed in the video:
MRT Leap Food Sensitivity results:
1 red chemical reaction and 5 food reactions
1 yellow chemical reaction and 16 yellow reactions
The results did surprise me as some foods I reacted too I don’t eat like cantaloupe and string beans. I started avoiding all the yellow and red foods plus other foods on Sept 5th. So it has been over a month and no improvements. I know these food tests have a lot of controversy around them, but I was hopeful as I did read about some people get results. I am still avoiding the red and yellow foods at the current moment.
It can be hard to tell, as the lighting is different, but really there is no difference. I have the same red patches all over my body and still itch.
You can see more pics of my legs here.
I have been avoiding the top allergens to heal eczema and still no change in my skin.
Food I have been avoiding:
Eggs, cow’s dairy, goat’s dairy, citrus and tomatoes since Aug 1st. So well over 2 months!!!
Seafood, shellfish and pork since Sept 2. So over a month. *Note: I have added a little fish back into my diet.
Other foods I have been avoiding (MRT test results) – Rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes and bananas since Sept 5th. So again over a month.
Somedays the redness gets better. I get hope. Then it comes right back.
Biopsy results for my red patches on legs, arms, stomach and neck:
My biopsy results came back saying I had contact dermatitis. So my dermatologist had me come in to get patch testing done on Sept 22. On Sept 26 (the day before Lori’s labor!!!!) I got the results that my skin showed some reaction to 3 things. I was hopeful this was the answer…sadly I am not sure as no changes yet. Maybe I need to give it more time.
I want to note that back in August I got a patch test done by the allergist and it came back negative. And seeing no improvements in my skin with avoiding the things my skin reacted to this time makes me wonder if I really am allergic.
One of the things my skin reacted to was small that the dermatologist was not concerned. The second thing my skin reacted to was gold sodium thiosulfate, which is weird as I do not wear much jewelry. So we don’t thing that is the issue unless I am unaware of what else gold can be found in.
Do you know? Any ideas?
The third thing my skin showed reaction to was Balsam of Peru!
Balsam of peru is found in pretty much everything!! Food, makeup, personal care products and much more!!! So starting that weekend of Sept 27 I started throwing away a lot of things and got fragrance free items. Even fragrance free toilet paper!! Shampoo has been hard, I am currently using soap nuts. I will admit my hair is still adjusting. It never feels like I wash it. I did find some fragrance free makeups and other household items; still an adjustment over here.
I also have been avoiding essential oils, which has been really hard as I love them.
Being allergic to balsam of peru has made me avoid more foods. I already have been avoiding tomatoes and citrus and started avoiding cinnamon and vanilla, plus other spices. Currently I am doing a 30 day challenge with my purely fit sisters and Lori of avoiding chocolate and coffee.
It has been 3 weeks going on 4 that I have been fragrance free — so why do I still have patches and itchy skin!?!?!?!?!?
I am so frustrated. Confused. Sad. Losing hope.
I am still working with a NEAT doctor. She still thinks it is something I am eating, which lately has been like the same 20 foods for the past few months. And I do believe even if a food is healthy it doesn’t mean it is healthy for you.
This is me right now in my life dealing with adult eczema. This is real life. No filters.
I have tried many of the suggestions everyone has given me and not much success. But I appreciate everyone helping me out!!!!! Love you!!!
I know there is no such thing as a perfect diet and I am not trying to achieve that, all I want is to find the food that is putting my body through hell. I cannot even begin to say how much PAIN I have been in. And just want it to stop.
So what now? I am taking all approaches and adjusting it to my lifestyle. I am trying my best not to stress and just let things happen. I am doing my best to see past the red patches that cover my body. It’s just hard as when I go out in public, people stare or question what is wrong with my neck.
I will continue to report if anything changes.
Thanks again for letting my share my journey here and for being so supportive!
Let me know below if you want me to expand more on the MRT food test, contact dermatitis and balsam of peru.
If you know of anyone suffering from skin issues like me, please share this. I want to give hope to others and help one another out!!
Hi Michelle, I can’t imagine how frustrating this whole process must be for you!
The first paragraph of your post reminded me of Gina’s blog post yesterday (ChoosingRaw.com). She talks about the reluctance of healthy living bloggers to disclose any ailments for fear of readers looking critically on their diets. As well, she says that diet is not the only thing that makes a person healthy (or not). She linked back to another relevant blog post from FatFreeVegan, who had a breast cancer scare. Worth reading both posts, in my opinion.
thanks Heather! I just read Gina’s love her and I will have to check out FatFreeVegan’s post, thanks!
I’m so sorry you’re still struggling with this; as an acne sufferer I feel like I know some of the frustration you’ve been through – that said, literally in the last few months things have been going well for me.. the thing I targeted was dairy and I’ve been much stricter with myself since seeing the correlation. I guess it must be like playing detective! Just wanted to say I really admire your determination, how you share your journey and how much I hope you figure it out – or even if you don’t, that the cursed eczema gets lost for good! Best of luck xxx
thanks Cat! I am so happy to hear that you have found acne relief, just like Lori I too suffered from severe acne during college and a few years after, but luckily I have been able to be acne free for years, not I have this skin issue to deal with. But I am trying to stay strong and know I will get relief soon. hugs
Thanks for sharing! I can see how frustrating this must be for you, especially because it is obviously not the conventional things that I am sure gets suggested to you all the time adding to the frustration!
Stay strong and as positive as possible, the whole community on here supports you!
I know that gold can be found in dental fillings and is in some pharmaceuticals. I am not sure if this is of interest, just thought I would offer some knowledge on that!
thanks Amanda for the love and support!
It sucks you have to deal with this! Hang in there! I just skimmed this all. Hope something I say gives you a new idea to try. Did your allergist do any inter-dermal testing? That tends to be more reliable than the patch test and it gave us much more info about our kids’ allergies. We had to “shop around” to find an allergist who enjoyed the detective work and it paid off. Are you allergic to ragweed? There is something common called oral allergy syndrome where melon allergies are related to ragweed pollen allergies. I assume your allergy testing looked at all the environmental allergies (mold, trees, dust mites, etc)? Do you take any allergy medicine like Zyrtec? That might help if any of your allergies are environmental, but check with your Dr. Are you allergic to dog dander? Do you have air purifiers all around and do you change the filter on the furnace in Lori’s house on a regular basis? We found air purifiers really helpful. Is there carpet in your apartment? Also, sometimes eating a food too often can set off an allergy. Hope you get answers soon!
yes I have air purifiers (they help some) and I did take zyrtec but stopped as they weren’t really helping. my allergist did not do an inter-dermal testing, I will have to look into that.
Forgot to add-you might want to ask your dermatologist about whether a sun allergy is possible. It’s a real thing and it can sometimes be caused by creams, lotions, oils, etc. Is most of your rash on areas exposed to the sun?
I will have to ask her about that. thanks
I’ve dealt with eczema too, although never to the level you are dealing with. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this!
Have you tried a steroid shot? My whole body was itchy like crazy last year to the point it was driving me crazy. I went to the doctor for a steroid shot, and it cleared me all up. The steroid is now gone from my system but the eczema hasn’t come back. It was the biggest relief!
I should say I went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with my skin and he recommended a steroid shot. I didn’t go in and request it! haha
haha, my doctor didn’t even mention it. I will consider it. thanks. glad it helped you!!
This post would probably be helpful for you to read. Gena just wrote it yesterday too. Not saying that I doubt your diet hypothesis, just thought you’d appreciate her story. I hope it helps!
thanks Vecca, I have read that post and loved it. thanks for sharing.
Hi! I totally get you. I too suffer for skin issues and I tried everything. I notice that mindfulness really helps me, it takes time, but definitely I can see the results!
Oh Michelle, I am so so sorry you are dealing with this. Though I do not have eczema I do have adult acne and chronic styes. It is incredibly frustrating to deal with skin issues especially since I assume EVERYONE can see them. But I think they are caught up in their own issues? I had hives for 5 months when I started grad school and nothing helped. As the months passed the hives got less angry and then one day just up and disappeared. I don’t know what caused them (stress most likely) nor do I know what relieved them.
Thank you for being honest with your emotions! Too often lives seem totally hunky dory online and that’s just not true. Everyone is fighting their own battles.
Hugs to you Lauren, I know how frustrating adult acne can be as I had it bad for years. Thank you for your support! And yes everyone is fighting something!
Hi Michelle ~ Have you tried any products with coal tar?
I have eczema like you and tried everything under the sun.
Currently I’m using a coal tar product of 5%.
It’s helping me a lot.
There’s also a new study on coal tar saying that it helps build fillagrin
in our skin. And also creates a barrier to keep allergens out.
Also, coal tar is an ancient remedy that has been used for over 2000yrs for
all types of skin problems.
Let me know if it helps!!
p.s: Congrats on becoming an aunt again!!!
Sophie glad you are finding relief. I did try a product with coal tar and did help some. Thank you!
I’m so sorry you’re still dealing with this. Since I went through very similar things I figured I would let you know what worked for me. When I was at the worst of my outbreak I was sensitive to EVERYTHING. Even if it was fragrance free. Also essential oils were a BIG no for me even if they seemed like they were working. I didn’t really desensitize myself until I stopped eating all red and yellow foods AND stopped using everything in my face besides water. (My face was my primary issue.) my face got dry but my skin improved quickly. I did this over the summer so it wasn’t so bad and it adjusted eventually. I also want to mention that I used nothing for two months on my face. Not even makeup. I also took grapefruit seed extract as per my naturopath. I also washed my hair in the sink for 2 months so nothing would get on my face. I found that whole foods fragrance free was the only thing I could tolerate. My hair wasn’t great from it, but it was better than getting a face rash. For my body I have to alternate my soap once a month. I started with a plain olive oil soap and then developed a sensitivity to that so I had to switch. I hope this helps. I know it can be hard to not use anything on your skin but it really worked for me. Also i noticed that when I had a contact reaction it would look like yours very red and almost burned but when I had a reaction to food my face gets bumpy. If you have any questions please emAil me! Xo
Thank you girl!! Thank you so much for sharing what worked for you. I am doing all that right as best I can. I only wear makeup if I have too and washing my hair just a few days. And using water on face. So glad you found relief, it gives me hope 😉
Hey girl! I feel your pain! My acne had never been better in the spring then I started having this weird rash on my cheek and BOOM! My face was the worst it had EVER been. I couldn’t figure it out. I cut things out- food, face washes, hair products, even as far as not using coffee filters! I love my oils too and I stopped using them COMPLETELY! It stinks. I love them but my skin just wasn’t worth it. I’m going on just a few weeks and here’s my new routine- I can tolerate goats milk soap to wash with. It’s gently. I need a moisturizer and I use 1/2 tsp aloe vera gel, 1 drop almond oil and vitamin e oil. Coconut oil was SO HARSH for my skin. It made me so red and blotchy. I’d steer clear. ALSO try manuka honey! Honey is so healing. But you have to make sure it’s raw (and if you can buy local!). Manuka honey is produced from bees who harvest their pollen from the tea tree (melaleuca). It’s a different form of melaleuca and my skin can tolerate it. If you combine just a little bit of lemon juice with the honey you can make a mask that will heal the irritated skin and reduce the redness. I do this at night because any form of citrus makes us photosensitive and we don’t need burns on top of skin already trying to heal. I’m not as red. My skin is not as blemished and my confidence is coming back. Sending you prayers and well wishes. ❤️, Boots
Thank you for sharing your story and so glad you have found what works for you. I tried manuka honey and my skin did not like it.
This is the link about a new study done on coal tar.
“They found that coal tar activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), which in turn induces expression of the filaggrin protein and promotes epidermal development. The process restores skin barrier. AD is associated with loss-of-function mutations in the skin barrier gene filaggrin.”
Thanks for sharing and keeping it real!
I have eczema and food allergies. After many years of struggling I finally found help with Dr. Rae at the Environmental Health Center in Dallas. http://www.ehcd.com. He has patients from all over the world. Everyone there has an illness or allergy that is unusual and difficult to diagnosis.
I am praying you find answers as I know how exhausting it is to work so hard only to see little results.
Thank you Cherry for sharing, and glad you found help!!
I’m so sorry about your struggle. I hope you get well soon.
Just like you I’ve been suffering from a lot of allergies since I was a kid. Acne and roscea were severe for over 11 years that I can’t even look at the face of my friends because I’m so ashame of my acne and allergies. I’ve been eating healthy but all the wrong food for me. The breakthrough came in early last year when I followed the blood type diet. As early as two weeks my acne cleared up and I’m not so red anymore. The book that I’m following is Eating For Your Blood Type. Perhaps you can give it a try?
I have tried the blood type diet before and no changes. But thanks! Glad you found relief.
Are you still taking magnesium and other supplements? It’s possible that one of them could be contaminated or have unlabeled ingredients that you are allergic too. Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA so I would probably ditch those to see if you see any relief.
I am not taking much magnesium. I am only taking fermented cod liver oil and probiotic.
You know I love you. And I am praying each day. We’ll figure this out together. All of us are here for you. Never be ashamed. You are one amazing beautiful woman
Thank you girl!! xoxo
Michelle, Thank you for sharing so openly. You are brave and an inspiration to me and so many others. I love you and I’m sending you many prayers for a solution to all this. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you – you are beautiful my friend <3
Love you Heather! thank you 😉
Big hugs to you! Thank you for bring brave enough to put your journey out there. I’m sorry you are going through this. I appreciate your positivity, strength and hope messages and reminders. I don’t struggle with skin issues but have other health stuff that causes a lot of pain. It can completely rock your world. I’ve done some blood allergy testing. It can be helpful but also frustrating for me. I didn’t react to many foods that I have very immediate reactions to (GI) but guessing that’s because I’ve cut them out for years. It leaves a limited diet and difficult to cut ” healthy” foods. But I know it’s for the best and everyone is different. Hope you can find your answers and heal. Please keep us posted.
Sending you healing hugs!! Thank you for your support 🙂
Wow…I am so sorry!! I totally understand. Growing up, I always had red, itchy, flaky, oozing patches all over my body. I was always embarrassed and ashamed. Other kids always stared and asked questions (usually not nicely). I have been pretty much eczema free for many years now. I am happy to share why I believe that is if you are interested. I spent YEARS AND YEARS on steroid creams, sometimes prednisone just for my skin (although most of the time for asthma and chron’s disease). I haven’t followed this part of your blog that closely, so please forgive me if you have discussed this already…have you had IGE & IG4 testing done? Do you know whether you are allergic to latex or mold? If yes on either one of those, I have some other thoughts (if you are interested). HUGS!
Glad you have found relief!! I got a MRT food test done, and thinking about getting the IGE one too. I am not allergic to latex or mold, well at least what I am aware of. I did see an allergist a few weeks ago and would of thought she would test for those.
Hi Michelle – I posted one of these links on your FB page as well, but please take a look when you have a minute. I am wondering whether you are reacting to foods you are eating that have “cross reactivity” with plants or other things that you are allergic to. For example, I am wildly allergic to ragweed. I am not allergic to lettuce “technically”, but have an awful reaction if I eat it. I asked about mold and latex specifically because of the cross reactions with bananas (plantains), avocados, etc…I think it is at least worth looking into for you! I have been to a lot of allergists over the course of my life and never once had one suggest cross reactivity as a possibility. It was actually a gastroenterologist that I was seeing for my chron’s disease who suggested this and the IGE IG4 testing. That was very eye opening. It revealed that I had “antibodies” to a large number of foods that I was eating regularly. It took a long time to heal and had to start with a lot of medications (steroids, ulcer medications, immunosuppresive drugs) to get everything to calm down initially, but I am pretty much Chron’s and eczema free at this point. I still take inhalers every day for my asthma and singulair…but that’s about it! I completely understand what you are going through…when it hurts to sweat, put clothes on, etc…and you itch till you are raw. It is awful. I hope that something I have gone through might help you even a little!! hugs 🙂
THanks. I have done a lot of research on cross-reactivity before, thank you! Glad you found help!!! Gives me hope.
Sorry you have been dealing with this, sister! I would really encourage you to shift to a vegan diet. That’s great you don’t have dairy but meat is inflammatory. I just read a beautiful article about someone who is now vegan and their terrible eczema cleared up completely and for good in just 2 months eating that way! Lots of fruit as the staple, and veggies and rice/pasta for dinner. Worth a shot, no? Xo
Sara I did a vegan cleanse back in May and these past months have been eating way less meat. Added green smoothies and nothing changed for me. I do believe in fruit and veggies, so I am still trying to find my balance. 🙂
Hi there, this is first time writing a post but I’ve been enjoying your page! So first of all, thank you! I’m 27 and I’ve been suffering from eczema, (or rather it’s called atopic dermatitis) since I was born. In Japan there are more and more people suffering from this, and hence there are so many different kinds of info on ‘how to improve it’. The most common issue that one expect is as you mention, leaky gut syndrome, and suggestion is to cut sugar, and change to oligosaccharide and also to take lactic acid bacteria. Cutting sugar, because many people have candida overflow, and sugar would just feed the candida to glow big time. So at one point I was using xylitol instead of sugar for cooking and baking, and avoided high sugar content foods (like fruits). For me, east also acts up in my stomach, so I avoid normal bread, and beer. If I choose to drink alcohol, I choose to drink gin (haha). Furthermore, people suffering fro atopic dermatitis tend to have malfunctioning liver, too. So when I feel I may have eaten something bad for me (like sugar, east, or even meat) I take milk thistle to help cleansing. Finally, I’ve been eating coconut oil for past year but never put it on my skin. As of last week of August this year, I just wondered, ‘well if I am eating why not I put it on my skin’. Then it changed everything for me! Actually coconut oil by itself is not enough for me, as it gets absorbed into skin so quickly, so I put oatmeal cream (like a-derma) on top. Of course there are days it gets red and my skin gets flaky, but I am taking it positively. It means the skin is renewing and in a week I saw a result, which meant I did not have to put foundation (organic one) on my skin to hide the redness! I had a massive atopic attack last September which cause me not able to sleep, always on inflammation, getting soar on skin, etc etc etc. For sometime I locked myself in the house and did not want to see anyone. The most affected area was like you, around my neck.But I am slowly getting back there! I am not saying what worked for me would work for you. Because atopic dermatitis has million of different causes (for example, jojoba oil was too strong for me, it actually made it worse, but it works for many people). So I say, really, hang in there! Sadly we have to use our own body as guinea pig, but sooner or later we all find a way! (oh god it got unexpectedly long post… I can’t stop talking about this allergy because it sucks so much!)
Yes it does suck. Glad you have found some relief!!! I agree that everyone has to find what helps them as we all have different reasons we get it. I am watching my sugar intake and love eating coconut oil. My skin never really seemed to like it on it, never absorb and skin still stayed dry. I use jojoba and do okay with that 😉
I’m so sorry you are dealing with this! I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and frustration.
If your biopsy came back as contact dermatitis, I would be very leery of the food allergist results. Contact dermatitis, as the name implies, is caused by something that you come into contact with, directly on your skin. I’m not saying food can’t exacerbate it, but the big problem is more than likely some kind of product you use. I think you’re on the right track with eliminating those things, especially the essential oils. It takes 2-4 weeks for most to clear up, but the oils are incredibly concentrated and strong, and if they are causing this, it will take a longer time to see your patches clear up.
So sorry you are going through this! Just curious, Have you had your vitamin d levels tested? Also, have you tried any blood purifiers like dandelion root or a product called Safi? Either might be worth trying! Good luck!
Yes I was tested for Vit D at the beginning of the year, I probably should get them retested.
You could also try bitter gourd juice. This is an excellent blood purifier and good for all skin conditions. Are you getting enough omega 3 fatty acids?
Could it be something in the tap water you use to wash clothes in and shower in?
Fellow Michelle and eczema/contact dermatitis sufferer here. 🙂
Seeing your photos made me realize how much better my skin has been lately. I’ve had eczema all over my body, but now it’s confined to a few patches on my hands. I hope that you too are able to find a reasonable solution for your skin!
I’ve seen a lot of doctors and tried many things to help my skin. I too tried an allergy test, but I tested negative for everything, including the control that “everyone” reacts to. Now I’m doing my own thing, and this is what’s been helping the most (I think):
– Eating low carb, high fat. My diet mostly consists of gluten-free waffles (with two eggs, lots of butter, and salt), apples, cheese, full-fat Greek yogurt, berries, lettuce, rice, potatoes, meat (the fattier cuts when possible), and ice cream. Anytime I have rice or potatoes I’ll douse them in olive oil, salt, and spices.
– Sunshine and humidity. My skin is always worse in the winter because there’s less sun and less moisture in the air. My skin looks and feels outrageously better after being in the sun. I don’t wear sunscreen, but thanks to the high fat diet, I can now spend hours in the sun without burning (I do try to moderate a little though).
– Limit what I put on my skin. I don’t wear makeup or use any fancy creams. If I put anything on my skin, it’s food-grade oil (coconut, sesame mixed with oregano, or olive oil). Since I’m living in a humid area now, I only put it on my spots about once a day. After swimming is the best because it soaks right in.
– Wear socks on my hands when I sleep. These help prevent me from itching in my sleep, plus they keep the oils on my hands off my face so it doesn’t break out.
Good luck in your journey! May you find something that works for you!
Thanks Michelle 😉 I am doing a lot of what you have done. Glad you are better!! xoxo Gives me hope.
Loved the video and I feel you for you. Big hugs <3
…but PLEASE – next time you do a video…SLOW DOWN!!!!!! It was a bithard to follow!
So I just get so excited to share stuff, I tend to talk fast.
*feel for you.
So sorry to hear about this struggle and can hear the pain in your voice. I admire your strength! Are you going to go back to the dermatologist? Might be time to try steroids. Just something to bring down the inflammation. 🙁 There’s also phototherapy. Might be worth asking the doctor about.
I also have another idea: just for kicks, try two weeks where eat whatever you want (including gluten and stuff), and just avoiding the balsam of peru (and gold I guess). See if anything changes. I have the feeling that all the food restrictions could very well be doing nothing but making life more difficult and for no reason. Maybe the freedom of eating whatever you like and feeling relaxed about not worry about food all the time might really help psychologically.
Lastly, have you tried cutting out coconut?
Yes I am slowly working on adding more foods back in. I did try not to have coconut for a period of time, but missed it. haha
Hey- I know you are getting a million bits of advice and its probs overwhelming! BUT as a nutritionist reading this, one things keeps screaming at me…LIVER! Often times, when our liver is not detoxifying properly and not functioning optimally, the results show in our skin. So yes, diet is a HUGE factor as well as the products we use on our body, but I have noticed that often times, the liver is the missing link and may need some love and cleansing and tonifying herbs and supplements.
I don’t know if that is something you have looked into before, but you can always feel free to email me if you have any Q’s!
Stay strong! xo
thanks Jesse, liver is something I have thought about, I have done things in the past to help liver but maybe I need to do it again.
I would echo the comment on the liver as this is where all the toxins are going to accumulate until they’re purged, regardless of whether you change your food/skin care routine. I have food allergy symptoms that have gotten progressively worse, along with dark circles and puffiness under my eyes. I’ve eliminated every allergen I can think of from my diet and skin care routine but had been hesitant to do any sort of liver cleanse until now. I recently started a liver cleanse supplement and am slowly seeing some improvement so it might be worth giving a try.
Yes I am looking into that 😉
Maybe strengthen liver with vitamins plus LEAP
Hang in there! I have atopic dermatitis (and some food allergies, asthma, and allergic rhinitis – AKA the allergy triad). I know how challenging it can be to try to figure things out. I won’t offer advice because it seems like you have tried pretty much everything – just be persistent and hopefully you and your doctor can figure things out soon! I found my eczema breaks out when I am stressed personally.
forgive the stream of consciousness format, but wanted to chime in here!! have you had a full GI function panel done to assess good vs bad bacteria, parasites, candida/ fungus overgrowth?? Anything that compromises your intestinal barrier will affect your immune system. so sure, food seems like the most obvious thing to try to change, but what about looking deeper into your gut micro biome? genova diagnostics has a great panel. cyrex labs also has a great food panel for cross reactivities— that might be something that is going on with you. cross reactivities re: food sensitivities are something that we are barely scratching the surface of understanding for. FWIW: LEAP isn’t super accurate and often times will show false positives. Also, the way it is run is akin to multilevel marketing. Many integrative and functionally trained docs (DOs and MDs) don’t use LEAP for that reason. I don’t blame them. Some people use ALCAT labs, but those tests, too haven’t really been verified. I would also be remiss if I didn’t ask if you are currently seeing a therapist/ counselor/ life coach to help address any underlying subconscious stress that could be contributing to gut and immune dysfunction. The Handel Group is awesome for life coaching, if you are looking for a recommendation 🙂
fwiw: nope, i am not affiliated with any company i mentioned above…just am familiar with them and wanted to share! feel free to reach out via the form on my website if you want to chat about this further!
I appreciate this so much, you mentioned a lot of things I have been looking into!! Thank you. Agree about the food test, I knew that going it, guess I was just hopefully 😉
also, have you had your DAO levels checked? its an enzyme that breaks down histamine in the body… histamine intolerance could be something else to look into.
I second histamine intolerance! Check it out. hives and dermatitis are histamine reactions that be controlled through a low histmamine diet
Oh man I just want to hug you!! It’s so hard as a healthy living blogger when you feel like you aren’t at your healthiest or looking your best! I’ve always felt guilty when I have bad breakouts because as we hear all the time…you are what you eat! So I just blame it on myself and not eating well enough or not getting enough exercise or sleep. But the thing is..sometimes our bodies are just sensitive. Sometimes we have a skin condition. Sometimes there are stressors in our lives that we can’t help. I think it’s important (I know you are doing this) to look at other things besides food or just accept that we have a condition and get medicine for it.
I know we want to be all natural and whatnot but I have not found anything that’s helped with my allergies as much as my Allegra does so I’m going to keep taking it no matter how much people recommend honey or whatever natural remedy is the current trend (which helps too but not as much).
I can also relate this to me being sick for the past 3 weeks and feeling SO guilty like if I’m sick I obviously am doing something wrong and shouldn’t call myself a healthy living blogger. But…sometimes we get sick. That’s just the way it is. Everyone at my job is sick and so is my boyfriend so why wouldn’t I be sick too?
I just want you to know that so many of us can relate to your struggle in our own ways and I really appreciate you being open and talking about it. This helped me think about my own healthy living guilt. Sending lots of love and hope your way!! 🙂
Thank you sweetie!! xoxo
Ugh it hurts my heart to read this because I can FEEL how frustrated and upset you are! I hear you. My heart is with you.
I’m nowhere near this bad, so I don’t pretend to be in your shoes, but I’ve had itchy patches of skin for a couple years now, and I went through so many allergy tests and elimination of products and foods and tried every medicated and natural cream…no relief. It’s one of the big things in my life I ignore now. I’m feeling lucky that I can even pretend to ignore it though after seeing the suffering you’re enduring. I hope HOPE hope you find relief soon!
I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. All I can say, is for you to stay strong, positive and remember that you are loved.
You are an inspiration and a beatiful person inside and out! Dont let anything put you down.
I wii be sending lots of healing light your way. I am positive that soon your body will feel great!
Lots of love your way!
Thank you so much xoxo
Thanks for being so honest! Its is a bit of a taboo with health bloggers to share ongoing health issues but you are doing so well – its so hard when you feel like you are trying everything you can. I have a similar skin issues over the whole top of my body which is not itchy just unsightly and am utterly mystified at why I have it? I hope you get to do some stuff this week that puts a big smile on your face and makes you laugh pretty hard!
Thanks girl, hope you get relief too!
oh friend! I’m so sorry you are going through this. I pray you find the answer soon. I know avoiding all those foods is difficult… I’m right there with you! Praying for you girl! xoxo
Thanks for the support.
Oh beautiful lady,
I’m so sorry you’re still struggling with this. I have no advice as far as things to try, but I am so impressed with your stamina and determination. You’re an inspiration to those who have more resistant struggles (with anything). Keep sharing and we’ll keep supporting you in all of your endeavors.
Michelle.. so sorry you are still dealing with this. Something has got to give! I know you have tried a ton of different things, but have you tried applying Emu oil?? That was the key for both my brother and I. Might be worth a shot if you haven’t?
Good luck! Thinking of you!
Thanks I will look into Emu oil. 🙂
Boy do I feel for you lovely. I know how incredibly painful, tough and frustrating it is. I was in tears over it every day for about 20 years.
I found a lot of relief from my eczema after about 15 years of trying variations on clean eating and supplements, but it always came back a bit or a lot. This past year has seen the most dramatic improvement for me. More than I have ever seen and I have been working on it for 20 + years.
I would be very happy to share what worked for me if you reach out personally in an email. You’ve got my email.
Also, I highly recommend reading this article about this poor little girl who had the same severity of eczema.
Part 1: http://www.dehappy5.com/2014/09/eczema-allergy-really-curable/
Part 2: http://www.dehappy5.com/2014/09/eczema-allergies-recovery-story-part-2/
Thanks I have read that story, pretty amazing!
Please look into water fasting! It cured my anaphylactic reactions to many many food allergies. It cleared my skin, digestion and mind. There are many reputable water fasting clinics. A week or two should heal you for good. You have to clear the body and start fresh and new in order to reset whatever is building up inside of you and exposing itself through your skin. Feel free to email me at any time 🙂 Thoughts are with you x
Thank you I will look into it.
Such a bummer to read all of this! But you have such a great support system behind you that are all rooting for a resolution for you and that is so awesome!
It is so good that you are working on the meditation and what is going on inside in addition to changing your diet and daily routine. Our bodies are so amazing and I think that it is so easy to take it for granted. There was a period of time where my I would get hives all over my body every day for almost a year! I switched up everything and nothing worked for me. Someone mentioned stress level but I never thought twice about it. I knew my roommate was causing me stress but I didn’t think that it was anything abnormal. Eventually she moved away and I stopped breaking out. I recognized the correlation and ever since then have tried to be more mindful of the people in my life, the stresses that I have, and my negative thoughts. It has only happened one other time in my life where I was having a hard time with school and work and I was losing hair and actually had bald patches on my head.
I really hope you can figure out what is going on with your body! Every day is new and another opportunity for resolve!
Thank you yes I am working on what is stressing me! Glad you found relief
Check out the eczema article on Health911.com. It has some great suggestions!! I think really working to cleanse your liver and blood are the way to go. Also address any vitamin deficiencies, make sure you are getting enough EFAs, vitamin D etc. Do you take MSM? It is good for food allergies. I would suggest a good multivitamin with zinc, b-vitamins etc. You could try organic safflower oil to your skin. It has linoleic acid which is amazing for the skin.
Thanks for the tips.
Hi there, I want to posit something that I have not seen others mention. I have truly been through similar things and have come through it ok; I want you to truly KNOW that you will too. It might sometimes feel to you like it’s all in your head, but then you see symptoms, and you know that it’s not. What if your body were to create inflammation in order to distract your brain from other things bothering you? What if it’s real and it’s happening, but it has an internal cause? I read the amazing work of Dr. Sarno when I was at my wits end with all my inflammatory and autoimmune problems, including arthritis, eczema, cystic acne, and chronic infection. You might see this and it doesn’t apply to you, or you might not be ready to end the mind-body connection. But there is a possibility that no matter what you do right for your body, your brain will sabotage it. If you’re open to, Dr. Sarno’s work might change your life in ways you never thought possible…and all the eating tweaks, products, diets, and torture can just be done with : ) The book is The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain. Best to you and thank you for your terrific recipes and blog!
Thank you so much I am very open to healing my mind body connection. I will check the book out. Thanks again! Glad you found healing!
Hi Michelle! I am so sorry about what you are going through. Have you ever tried homeopathy?
Thanks. I have tried just about everything.
I have had eczema problems on and of my whole life. about four years ago, I started getting it on my forehead like the entire thing. it was so ugly and painful. I tried changing my diet among other things but it did not help. I found a product though that has completely cleared it up. It its from Lush, and it’s a seaweed based paste and you just add a little water, spread it on and wash it off. I know what works for one person doesn’t work for another, but it is worth a try. Not too pricey either. $30 for a tub that will last st least three months. Also, I know for me reducing stress helps when I’m having a flare. Easier said than done though!
Thanks for sharing I will look into that product. I am willing to try it. Glad you found relief.
Hey love, I’m so sorry for your struggles, as I said I feel your pain. I was just wondering if you’d looked at following a low histamine diet? I know you said you sometimes take anti-histamines to help, well your diet can be modified heaps to be low histamine. I’m just looking into this myself for my eczema and finding lots of parallels for foods that I know can make my skin flare up sometime! Very interesting stuff 🙂 And all science! xxx
yes I have looked into a low histamine diet, I do my best to follow one.
Ah, well, I’m wishing you all the very best…it;s very brave of you to share. Stay strong, and I really hope you find relief 🙂 xxx
Hi Michelle, I used to have the same issue and it’s so frustrating. I’m not sure what causes it, but it seems like once it starts it’s hard to remedy. For me, I had to stop using dryer sheets all together, even the fragrance free ones. AndI would use aquaphor ointment all the time as a barrier and/or desonide ointment helped a lot. I’m really interested if you find out if it’s actually something you’re eating rather than coming into contact with. A friend of mine took this allergy test and found out she’s allergic to coconut , asparagus , and blueberries which really surprised me. On the bright side, for me the dermatitis slowly went away and while I very rarely get a patch here or there, they clear up quickly if I put an anti itch ointment on them right away. On the not so bright side for me, is that now I have this weird issue with my right eye lid where it lost muscle control on the inner portion and now my eyes don’t close symmetrically. It’s so weird and if you want to talk about people staring… It is so embarrassing! I had never heard or seen anything like this, and doctors don’t help at all. If you have any ideas of something that would help please let me know! All I can say is it seems like it is always something. And as we get older … More and more somethings. Just have to keep hope and stay strong and remember what true beauty really is! And how beautiful we are!! 🙂
Sorry to hear about your eye, I am not sure what that could be from. I am praying for you. I did get a food allergy test done and avoided the foods 30+ days that were in my red and yellow lists. And no change.
Hi there Michelle
Just thought Id add something here (this is the first time Ive contributed – I don’t do this often!). This is my story (and advice I guess!):
Homoeopathy was the only thing that ameliorated, and in fact cured my eczema.
I had it in all the same places as you do, Michelle, with the added bonus of “panda eyes” – I had eczema surrounding my eyes and on my cheeks too. Itching, burning, blistering, flaking, weeping. So awful. I live in a hot, humid climate too – Queensland, Australia, so that didn’t help at all!
I found exclusion diets did little to nothing – and in fact over time made me more sensitive to trace amounts of foods – wheat, dairy, sugar, yeast, nuts, alcohols etc, certain fruits and vegetables. Nothing topical worked either, “natural” or otherwise. And I had been on the ‘cortesone merry-go-round’ on and off and found it DEFINITELY made everything worse.
The homoeopathy took some time – years. We had hits and misses. My life went up and down with stressors – which as you probably well know, come out on one’s skin.
But my homoeopath’s words to me were, “if you don’t give up, I won’t”. He often didn’t charge me as I was a struggling student at the time (and he found my case very interesting – I am an HSP, and he said I was probably the most sensitive person he’d treated in his 20 year career).
Anyway my point is, homoepathy will work. But it may take some time. Its a journey – the skin is the hardest thing to cure, said my hom. To me it was like peeling back the layers of an onion, of all the “stuff” of my life up to that point. I feel my own eczema, and this is probably true for many people, is VERY emotionally driven at its core. Though you get so far from the “crux” of the matter over time that anything will set it off.
But when you get a win, hit the right remedy for you at that moment, its immediate – like overnight reduction by a huge percentage. Days later almost completely gone. UTTER RELIEF! Nothing else I tried came anywhere even remotely near what hom did for me.
Nowadays I can eat anything I want without having a flare up (though I keep the sugar, wheat and alcohol low for general health and political/philosophical reasons!).
Acute stress causes the occasional (rare) flare up (always around the eyes, of all places!) which goes away on its own after a week or so – once the stress in dealt with. Funnily enough (and as is recognised in homoeopathy) as it goes away it actually moves down my body, fading around my eyes then appearing at my inner elbows, then the backs of my knees, sometimes just as an itch for a day or two, then its gone. I have witnessed this process on myself in treatment and now just through my body righting itself many times. Kind of amazing, actually!
I feel SO VERY grateful. Eczema really dictated my life for my entire 20s and into my 30s.
If you wanted to try it again (or anyone else reading this post) I would urge you to find a good homoeopath (as you probably realise, like anything else, they are not all “created equal”) who is savvy with Dr. Rajan Sankaran’s method of prescribing (which we found worked very well for me, in any case).
Anyway I just thought Id tell you my story (dramatically summarised!)
I really feel for you on this journey – I know very well what it is to be on it – and I hope you find what you need.
Ps your recipes are awesome – thanks!!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It gives me hope. I have a few more doctors lined up so fingers crossed!
I will say this – I feel your pain, literally. I’m 39 and this summer was the worst flare up of eczema I have had since I was in my 20s. My legs were the worst, then my arms flared up, them my upper arms and shoulders which I never used to get, and now my neck , chin and around my eyebrows. I don’t know why I didn’t have it for years and now I do again but I know how frustrating, and incredibly itchy, irritating and embarrassing it can be. I am working with a holistic nutritionist for the next 3 months to see if we can calm my system down and right now she’s focusing on healing my gut and I take liver support supplements and turmeric phytocaps for inflammation. My mom has been sick for 3 years, I was in a car accident a year ago along with other life stressors so I’m sure they have all contributed to this at this time in my life. I am thinking of you, my pictures would be similar to yours – some days worse than others, like yours – so I wish us both healing thoughts. I know Jason Vale (the Juicemaster) has healed his terrible psoriasis through juicing if you want to check his website out for info. All the best.
Christine, thank you so much for commenting. I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with eczema – wishing you healing thoughts right back 🙂 I hope you get yours healed soon. Oh yes good old stress – a big culprit for me for sure! I am trying really hard to reduce my stress and not stress over things. Thanks for the info about Jason Vale I will have to look him up. xo
I have had this exact same thing happen to me!! I am so glad I am not the only one!! I really thought I was the only one!
I have had eczema since I was an infant but it was really mild and only when the weather changed rapidly. I would get the usual dry shiny and itchy patches only on the insides of my elbows and on the backs of my knees.
then this summer it got so bad, it has been on my neck and face and arms and back and breasts. Covering about 2/3 of my body.
I have been struggling with diet and food elimination for about a year now and nothing changes. My doctor had to put me on low dose steroids just to help enough so I can sleep at night.
I have been looking into seeing a dermatologist next month but I do not want to be prescribed steroids again. I want to heal from the inside out not treat just the symptoms of my skin issues!
Anyways, I feel your struggle because I am going through pretty much the same thing!
Hang in there little lemur!
I recently had a bout of the same type of nummular eczema you are experiencing. I took a dose of antibiotics in September after a miscarriage/d&c and immediately after ceasing had a rush of burning itch down both of my lower legs. Over the course of the next few months, small red welts started to form and crust over. I am a believer in natural causes and cures, and so started to clean up my diet to no avail. I was wary of seeing a Dr. because I knew they’d probably subscribe a steroid cream which I would absolutely refuse. I finally caved and made an appointment for the dermatologist, just to confirm the diagnosis. In the meantime I picked up some Aveeno Eczema Care lotion (recommended by my mom) to deal with the itch. Voila! Within a week my legs were completely back to normal. I also started a self hypnosis script from the following book that helped me clear up my acne a few years ago (not sure which is helping more).
I definitely feel like my worry about what is causing my skin issues also exacerbates them. A little meditation can’t hurt!
Not sure what your rules are about promoting brands, books names, etc. Feel free to delete if this is problematic. Came across your post in my search for a cure, so I just wanted to pass along what worked for me!
Thanks for sharing!! yes I started using aveeno and love it. And totally agree with you about worrying making it worse. I have been better with that and it helps. Thanks for the link I will check it out.
I deal with it too…funny how seeing your pics made me feel I wasn’t alone :).
I’ve tried tons as well…I have found that hyaluronic acid serum is a huge help…you can make your own for cheaper than buying it. Also hot hot water will cook the itch away so it can heal some. Then use the aveeno and then the serum on top. It keeps it under control. I always do this process each evening ….shower, hot water on itchy areas…moisturizer. .hyaluronic acid. You will love how it improves.
thanks! glad you found something that helped you. I am doing much better and sharing an update on the blog today.
Hi Michelle, is there anymore updates on your eczema. My eczema just started flaring up again and would like some input. I had it just on my pinky and ring finger for years, now it’s on my butt and back of my legs. I’m currently prescribed Hdrophor lotion and Triamcinolone Acetonide .1%. The eczema subsided for a month now it is going crazy again. Any advice would be great. thank you!
Mr. L sorry to hear that you are suffering with more flare ups. Here are all my updates http://bit.ly/1baBc2j
Try to avoid steroids. And find ways to reduce stress in your life from lifestyle changes and diet changes. I have more post coming with more things that helped me. xo
I too have an auto immune disorder along with eczema. I am just starting on Turmeric Golden Paste because of its history as an anti inflammatory. Just thought I’d share!
I made my first batch with Almond milk,….. delish.. Tomorrow I try it with sprouted Buckwheat milk.
Thanks for sharing!
Check out Karen Hurd’s website. She recommends eating legumes to eliminate allergens. Good luck to you!
I m so glad I found your blog! I’m 36 and suffer from eczema. It is a struggle. I have mostly large red welps on my legs. It will improve and then come back with a vengeance. You are not alone. Chin up buttercup.
Hi Carrie sorry to hear you have it too. I am much much better, make sure you check out my other posts on eczema 🙂 Sending you healing vibes.
My heart goes out to you as my 1 year old daughter also suffers from severe eczema. We are currently awaiting her ALCAT results. I didn’t find NAET to be helpful for her. I was curious if the MRT also offered a 4 day rotation diet. I read this book called ‘Is This Your Child?’ That greatly supports the 4 day rotation to pin point and reduce chances in new allergies. Have you ever read cureecxemaslowly.com? He has a lot of information. Blessings and I am with you on this journey as I also seek answers for my child.
Sorry to hear your little one suffers too. I am all healed, have you seen my recent posts? You can see them all here http://purelytwins.com/category/lifestyle/eczema/ I didn’t get any results from NAET or MRT. I have not heard of that site. Sending your daughter healing vibes!
I have discovered that I have Histamine Intolerance. Since I started an Antihistamine diet and stayed out of direct sunlight because heat can make my skin worse , now I have gotten better. I first noticed it when my energy returned and then slowly my skin got less red and itchy. Good luck.
It may be environmental, such as mold or lead. Has your house ever experienced any water damage? Have you had your water tested? Try using showerhead and faucet filters. It is not always food. I recently got dx with seborrheic dermatitis so I feel your pain. I am planning on having the mrt done but I have a strong suspicion it deveoled because of my environment (poor water quality, unclean air and soil, old house).
I never post on sites, but I am doing this now because I am wondering if you ever found any relief? Has anyone ever suggested Karen Fischer’s “Skin Friend” supplements to you? Perhaps you’ve heard of her in all your research. I got rid of tons of irritants and started to avoid every type of sugar–only eating vegetables and fresh organic meat. That helped a little. I continue to avoid all sugar and anything that will be broken down into simple sugar, but what really has helped me was actually taking these supplements. I urge you to give the website a look–I really can’t believe how effective this product is. It seriously might be just what you need.
I was a little skeptical of these supplements, but after a while I feel like anyone who is suffering starts to get more and more adventurous. So I got adventurous with this, and I am so relieved.
Just an example of how quickly this worked toward balancing my skin out–I had had a terrible reaction to a lotion containing urea, and on top of the eczema on my hands I had hives and swelling. It was painful and looked unsightly and I applied Clobetasol Propionate that I had been prescribed by my dermatologist. The prescription has never really helped much, and it didn’t help much in this situation. The swelling went on for two days. But when the supplements arrived and I first took the Skin Friend PM…the skin swelling went away within a few minutes. And when I woke up the next day my skin was so calm I actually started crying. Her science is simple and logical and I have been following a lot of her recommendations in her book The Eczema Diet. I can’t believe this book isn’t MORE famous than it already is.
Let me know if you try it and feel any relief. I am telling everyone about this simple form of help.
Thanks for sharing, I did find relief. Glad you did to.
Did you ever make progress with MRT / LEAP
No change for me. It didn’t work, but it could for you. Stay positive.
I feel for you. My children who are now 21 and 16 have had eczema since they were infants. They have been dependent on steroid creams, daily showers and a greasing of Vaseline just to make they feel comfortable. In the past when they were really bad they even had to wear wet pajamas to bed. Yuck. It was pure hell in my house when they were younger. My daughter looked like a mummy at times because she was tearing her skin up from itching that I had to wrap her legs in gauze. Their eczema was so out of control. If they run out of the steroids they flare up right away. I know they are not a cure but when nothing else helps what are you supposed to do? These disease is really frustrating. It has damaged their self esteem immensely. I found your blog on a search about zinc for eczema. I have never tried the Borage Oil but have given them other oils. Have you found any supplements that have helped you the most>
I read a mom’s story see link below.
I’ll try the zinc and lemon grass she tried on her baby with eczema. I have dry skin, too. May God they Jesus heal skin with eczema.
Hi! I’ve had severe eczema since I was a child! I finally got diagnosed with food sensitivities. Did you know that some individuals are highly sensitive to oils?? I even breakout when I eat Canola oil.
Anyway, I highly recommend the Elimination Diet from the Institute of Functional Medicine. I’ve worked at a Functional Medicine office and believe that there are various components to an individual’s Auto Immune condition. Perhaps there’s a missing piece of the puzzle? Anyway, Functional Medicine Docs help identify your food allergies through blood and fecal samples. They also run tests for any parasites or bugs that may be in your digestive track. In addition, they’re able to help identify your nutrient deficiencies by identifying the vitamins your body is lacking.
So in my case – my eczema has definitely improved. I found out exactly what I was allergic to, via testing and undergoing the Elimination Diet. Luckily I had NO parasites! But, the doc discovered that I had leaky gut! He provided me with various protocols to help improve my immune system….
I have never felt any better!
Hey. Just came across your blog. I can imagine what your going through since I am going through it and have been for 36 years. My eczema looks very similar to yours and oh the same places and same degrees. Tried everything. Essential oils, all the diets you can think of, all the lotions, medications like steroid cream and prednisone, etc. chiropractic work, Chinese medicine, etc. I am currently working a doctor where we made a connection that my last breakout that started and never went away in 2002 was just after taking s vaccine. Looking at blood work his impression is that my weak liver is connected to my eczema. So he put me on vitamins to strengthen my liver. Some progress but not the break through. I will be getting the MRT test tomorrow and starting LEAP. Praying for your break through.
Sending you healing vibes.
Do you get scaly skin and also do you shed a lot of dry skin. My son has got atopic eczema and everyday he shed so much of dry skin. Everyday I have to vacuum his room. When he wakes up he’s got dry skin on the pillows, bed etc. He moistures before he goes to bed, but still shed so much of skin. His skin is red, dry and itchy too.