Friday, 9 January 2015

Eczema & Food Intolerance part 1

Eczema and asthma run in my family, kindly handed down through genetics.  My brother has asthma and I had eczema as a little girl.  I've since outgrown eczema however it is something I've passed on to my children, unfortunately.  All my children have had eczema at some point during their lives.  With the first it was nothing severe, just a little bit of eczema here or there, after using mainstream bath products or hives and heat related flare ups.

With my youngest child, however, it's been plaguing him on and off since he was born and his eczema has been far more severe than the others, plus he gets asthma as well; when he's sick.  While I've been able to reduce his flair ups by using natural skin care and Soothing Salve, these products don't cure it.  I feel frustrated and silly because as a skin care specialist I should be able to fix him, although eczema and dermatitis (plus acne) are best dealt with by a specialist who deals with specifically with these conditions.

Over the years I've tried to implemented a number of different things such as washing new clothes before he wears them, using non-fragrance washing powder, purchasing natural fiber clothing, cutting down his diary intake to practically nothing.  Mostly he uses steroid based creams (much to my disapproval) to reduce major flair ups and Salve to relive his itchiness and stop him from scratching.  Nothing is really working as well as I want it to and it doesn't help that hubby hasn't really been backing my choices.  He's been using chemical filled washing powders because he insists they work better and he gives our son lots of additive filled foods.  We've talked about it at length, yet it's one of those situations where one person saying it (me) doesn't make it fact.

Enter stage left: my friend who is a food-intolerance-expert.  She had a conversation with me in front of hubby about how food could be playing a major part in our son's flair ups and how the two of us need to work together to try and eliminate as much chemicals as possible.  Hubby heard her and listened and now we're trying to work together to see if we can get better results.
  • We've visited the Fedup website and learned as much information as possible about the types of additives we should be avoiding and which foods contain those additives.
  • We've been changing and washing his sheets more often because he could be allergic to dust-mites.
  • We've stopped using certain laundry liquids and powders.  Soap nuts are a good alternative.
  • Bathing him regularly, at least every 2 days, with only natural products in the water. Nothing too rich as his skin is too sensitive.
  • Applying soothing salve more regularly to stop the itch and aloe vera gel to heal the wounds.
  • Stopped using steroid based creams as this thins and damages his skin.
  • Booked him in for allergy testing to see what things he's allergic to. 
JOLI - eczema and hive flare ups (about 2 weeks in)
We've been at it for over a month so far and the results are up and down.  Early on into the new plan my son came out with what looked like hives, some kind of skin reaction. This could be his body reacting to having the preservatives and additives taken away.  It could be a reaction to no longer using steroid based creams. It could also be what happens as his body flushes out the toxins already built up in his system.

JOLI - eczema and hive flare ups (about 2 weeks in)
There are moments when his skin begins to clear up then something will make it flare up again, like getting hot and sweaty.  I have moments when I think it's working then moments when I think avoiding the food additives isn't making much of a difference.  Of course it's hard to avoid them all together in the beginning because we're still learning what affects him and what doesn't.

I shall keep you posted as we progress. See Part 2 and Part 3 here.


  1. It's hard when you're trying to do one thing for your children and your husband is doing the complete opposite :( I can totally relate! But I definitely think eczema can be food related, especially with the amount of additives in foods today, and also the pesticides etc used in non-organic produce. I hope you can figure out what the cause is for your boy!

  2. I appreciate your understanding Kyra, I really do. Sometimes I feel so frustrated to the point of tears and people don't understand how hard it can be to convince someone to try something different. I'm enjoying the fact that we are at least seeing what happens when certain foods are eliminated. My pore boy. I feel for him having to deal with this for so long.

  3. While my thighs have been plagued with 'gooseflesh' since adolescence, the rest of me has thankfully been eczema free - that is until six weeks ago, after I had a bout of Bell's Palsy, followed by a BCC biposy that resulted in plastic surgery, followed by the sudden death of a close friend, followed by my father being informed that his skin cancers are no longer responding to treatment, followed by my mother going into hospital for major surgery and needing my assistance for rehab and reassurance...
    Now I have little lesions on the side of my mouth and under my nose. Strangely enough, my GP reckons I'm stressed, and I don't think I need a second opinion on that. However, she has also advised me not to put anything on them, as she believes they will go away of their own accord.
    I am not vain in any way - I didn't even put make-up on when I had a blind date - but it's making me self conscious ever time I go out and can see people's eyes glancing then quickly looking away. :(

  4. Hi love, thank you for your comment. I can certainly understand why you're feeling stressed, that is a lot of hard things to deal with all happening in one hit. It is a lot on your plate!
    What you describe reminds me of perioral dermatitis which is interesting because my research found that stress plays a major part is this rash occuring. I've written a blog (not sure if the link will work here) about this condition which you might find helpful.
    In any case I wish you all the best and hope that things begin to pick up for you xx