In April of 2019, I started a journey to heal my eczema naturally. I had spent 20 years applying topical steroids and going to several different specialists. Nothing was working, my eczema was worse than ever, and I was done.
I was desperate to try anything, and then I found a ton of knowledge on YouTube talking about healing your eczema with diet. I’d never heard of this, so I decided to give it a shot. I stopped my topical steroids cold turkey (don’t do that) and cut out FREDG (like fridge) foods (thank you Michelle Mills), that’s Fried foods, Refined sugar, Eggs, Dairy, and Gluten.
Over the course of the rest of 2019, I managed to seriously reduce and pretty much eliminate my eczema symptoms. I found out that not only am I gluten-intolerant, but I’m also histamine-intolerant.
Then, spring of 2020 rolled around.
My eczema flared because all the pollen in the air overwhelmed my system. I’d reintroduced a few things into my diet over the winter which I don’t know if that was part of the problem or not, but I’d kept gluten, eggs, and most oils completely out. I severely limited my dairy intake, and the only thing I really ate a fair amount of was refined sugar, but I also make 95% of my food from scratch, so it’s not like the sugar was super-refined.
According to everything I’ve read and heard, you’re supposed to be able to reintroduce some foods after a while (even FREDG foods), so I’m not sure eating a little dairy and refined sugar over the winter was the problem.
(At this point, some of you are probably thinking, “just go to a natural doctor, girl, damn”. If I lived in an area with a naturopathic doctor, I would totally go. I don’t want to be guessing in the dark and learning all the things from YouTube. That’s how people hurt themselves. Plus, it takes a lot of time. Spring is when I need to be outside planting things, and I’m on my computer researching. However, I live in a small town in East Texas. There’s only one naturopath two hours away, and she may not deal with skin problems. Also, I can’t drive, and my insurance doesn’t cover her, so I’m researching for myself.)
Anyway, when my eczema flared up again, I cut out everything once more. It helped a little, but after a few days, my eczema spots were getting worse. I still had some topical steroid cream in the bathroom, so I ended up using some (I wouldn’t have, but one of the areas of eczema was on my vagina, so I decided to take care of that.)
The cream is only masking the problem for the time being, though. It’s not fixing anything. I’d be ok with that if I knew I was actually treating the root cause and only using the cream as a support, but I’m still not sure that I’m taking care of the problem. I’m way better off than in 2019. I’ve done tons of work, but I’m not sure I’m done.
One thing that I’ve been thinking about the last few days is my iron intake. I was watching a food documentary, and they mentioned that iron-deficiency can lead to eczema. My body absolutely has enough iron to run my organs, but I don’t know if it has enough iron to keep my skin healthy. I eat beans several times a week, but I greatly reduced my meat consumption a few years ago, and I was fully plant-based for a while. I don’t think I’m deficient in iron, but I don’t believe I’m getting too much iron in my diet.
A few days ago, I began cooking a lot of my food in a cast-iron skillet. This greatly increases the levels of iron in food, and my skin seems to be improving. I feel like the next step would be to get my iron levels tested, but for now I’m happy experimenting on my own.
I just keep wondering if I’ll ever figure this eczema thing out. I thought I had it, but apparently not.