“There is no cure for eczema. Due to your genetic vulnerability and sensitivity to the environment and food, you should take antihistamine daily for the rest of your life.” This is what the western doctors, dermatologists, allergists and immunologists have been telling me ever since I was 7 and I can be affirmative to tell you that they are wrong.
Topical steroid creams and antihistamines are always prescribed to eczema patients to treat skin inflammation but doctors fail to inform patients about the potential topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) or antihistamines withdrawal symptoms and all the long-term side effects. Antihistamine is an oral medication that used to relieve rash, itching and other symptoms of allergy. Topical corticosteroids creams are prescribed to eczema patients to reduce inflammation and itchiness. I started to develop dependence on them last year because I was too desperate to cure my eczema when it started to affect my daily life. When I stopped taking antihistamine, I experienced intense itching and two anaphylactic shocks. I was also prescribed oral steroids twice in August 2018. I experienced withdrawal effect right after stop taking oral steroids for two days. Click here to read more about it from my first blog post – My Eczema, Urticaria and Anaphylaxis History.
Topical steroid withdrawal symptoms usually develop within days to weeks after stopping a topical steroid medication. In general, people who develop topical steroid withdrawal can develop one of two main types of rashes: erythematoedematous (“red and swollen”) and papulopustular (“bumpy”). The rashes are usually limited to the areas of skin where topical steroids were applied, and more often affect the face area because of the thinner skin.Tom Liu, MD Candidate
I started getting in touch with the eczema and TSW community online and found out that a lot of eczema warriors are healing eczema naturally and some even cured eczema using natural methods. I did a lot of research on this topic and decided to stop all medications on February 20. The withdrawal effects were intense for the first 3 weeks. I couldn’t sleep and experienced extreme dryness and itchiness as I described in my last second blog post – My Current Eczema Condition.
“If you want to heal your skin, you have to heal your gut.”
Development of eczema is highly related to gut microbiome. Intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) causes inflammation which contributes to skin disease like eczema. Therefore, my approach to healing eczema from inside out is to improve my gut health. After committing to this lifestyle for one month, I’m finally seeing improvements and here is my daily routine.
*This blog post is not sponsored by any company (honest opinions only)*
1. Raw unmodified potato starch – Resistant Starch “RS”
Resistant starch stimulates good bacteria growth in large intestine and colon, restore the balance of microbes in the gut and reverse the damage caused by antibiotics.
I take ½ to 1 tbsp with 1 cup of water to start my day every morning. I would recommend starting with ½ tsp as it is the best to start slow. The gut will be undergoing some drastic ecological shifts as RS is added.
2. Probiotics (50 billion CFU)
Brand: Genuine Health
The balance of bacteria in the digestive system is one factor that affects the immune system. Taking probiotics provides live bacteria that add to the “good” bacteria in our gut, benefiting gut health and strengthening immune system.
I take probiotics together with potato starch. The one I have from Genuine Health combines 15 strains and can increase the delivery of live bifido and lacto bacteria. It is vegan-friendly and contains a fermented prebiotic that ensures the strains can reach the gut.
Read more about resistant starch and probiotics on http://www.gestaltreality.com/2014/02/27/resistant-starch-a-concise-guide/
3. Vitamin D
Dosage: 1000 IU/day
Vitamin D helps the immune system reduce levels of inflammation and strengthen skin barriers. Research has shown that Vitamin D helps the immune system reduce levels of inflammation and strengthen skin barriers.
4. Fish oil – omega 3
Omega-3 is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to boost immune system by enhancing immune cells function. I take it twice daily separately after lunch and dinner.
5. Celery juice
Celery juice helps restore your immune system to help fight off the virus. It also flushes toxins out of the liver, which is a critical support to help remove the toxic heavy metals that the virus feeds on that causes eczema.
I hated celery for my whole life but I decided to try it out 2 weeks ago. I feel energized and boosted after drinking it daily.
6. Hemp seed oil (CB2 oil)
Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. I take 1-2 tablespoons right before bed to improve sleep and lower stress. I mix it with virgin coconut oil to apply on my skin. It is moisturizing and soothes inflammation. It does not contain any CBD oil, cannabinoids or THC. I got mine from Noah’s Natural Foods at Spadina.
Last but not the least, I cook gluten, nut, dairy and shellfish free meals at home using minimally processed ingredients everyday. I would love to share some of my recipes in the future!
Cover photo by @skywalk.er