erika vs. eczema

My crazy eczema outbreak isn’t why I haven’t been blogging.  It’s because I’ve been working like a dog.  It’s a bit brutal, too brutal for this blog, in fact.  Wait for a pass word blocked post later this week and I’ll give you all of the gruesome details. 

Back to my eczema.  If any one has eczema you’ll know what I’m talking about and you can skip down to the next paragraph.  For those of you who are blessed with problem-free skin, let me tell you what eczema feels like.  Imagine that you’ve got chicken pox or mosquito bites, all over your body.  Especially, though, behind your knees, in the creases of your elbows and for me, on your nipples.  Not just on pox or one bite, lots of them.  Remember when you had chicken pox and your mother scolded you to never itch them because you’d scar?  Yeah, that’s what it’s like.  Lots of chicken pox or mosquito bites on my face, my breasts, my arms, my legs, my back literally burning and itching in such a way that I sometimes break skin and start to bleed because I’m naughty and when I have an itch, I scratch it.

When I was younger I had an oozing pusing eczema out break on my right hand.  It was not only quite disgusting to look at it hurt to do anything that involved opening my hand wider than a slight fist.  Thankfully, I haven’t had that type of eczema since and for the most part the dry patches behind my knees and in the creases of my elbow are kept at bay with a highly toxic, I’m sure, topical medication called Zanos.  Zanos saved my life.  I have no scarring in those areas any more and it’s perfect for what ever type of eczema that attacks those crease areas of the body.

Zanos does not, however, treat this new disk-like eczema that has taken over my face and breasts.  I’ve been back to my dermatologist countless times and she’s given me so many different creams I could treat a small island nation of people suffering from eczema.  Every time I see Dr. Sapna Westley she says, “you should really think about allergy testing, Erika” and every time she says that I say, “Next time, Dr. Westley, let’s try this cream first” 

Of course I did my own research.  I don’t use products that could inflame or irritate my skin.  No Parabens, no Lanolin, no dyes, no fragrances.  I add Neem Oil to all of my organic, paraben-free  soaps, shampoos, lotions, and moisturizer.  Thing is, I’m sure that there are things in my diet that are causing the inflammation and irritation.  Things I love to eat like Meat.  And Bread.  and Dairy.  Check this out.

Food Allergies  – Eczema is an auto-immune response to a perceived invader. And there is more and more evidence that food intolerance (as well as food allergy) affects the immune system. Some children and people have a sensitivity or intolerance to shellfish, nuts, eggs, soy  and especially gluten (Gluten is a highly complex protein that occurs in four main grains: wheat, rye, barley and oats.).  Allergy or intolerance to casein (from milk and cheese) is also very common and can trigger the auto-immune reactions like skin inflammation and eczema or psoriasis. As an infant I was bottlefed cow milk formula which I believe triggered my eczema, as well as vaccination.  Some people are also allergic to the Nightshades family of plants (White Potatoes, Tomatoes, Eggplants, Peppers and Tobacco).  It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I became aware that I was severely allergic to gluten and dairy products (with the exception of butter).  I craved bread, cheese and milk and was very difficult for me to eliminate these foods from my diet, but I had no choice and I stopped eating these foods.”

I found that information on a website called Shirleys Wellness Cafe.  Thanks, Shirley for saying the thing I didn’t want to say.  Gluten-free life?  Dairy-free life?  And, heaven forbid, a red-meat free life?  This morning in bed Mirs said something terrible to me.  She said the V-Word all nonchalant like it was okay or something.  “Baby maybe you should be Vegan”  What?  Are you effing kidding me?  Vegan.  I think not.  I can do the whole no gluten, no dairy, no red meat thing but Fish-Yes.  Chicken-Yes.  The Other White Meat-Yes!  We’ll see.  I’m giving it a whirl.  Giving away my whole wheat flour and substituting it for Gluten Free.  Trading Cane sugar for Agave Nectar and Honey.  We Shall see.

4 thoughts on “erika vs. eczema

  1. I just wanted to share how sorry I am about your Eczema. I know personally how challenging it can be since our son had it for the first three years of his life. It was awful, he could not sleep and his body would flare up when he ate just about everything. He could only tolerate chicken, peas and rice and we just knew there was no way he could be allergic to all foods. No Way! After trying so many treatment options, docs, meds and creams and seeing nothing work or help we tried a probiotic that my dad told us about.

    IT WORKED! His skin began to look better everyday and within just a week or so he looked great and here it is a year later and he hardly has any left anywhere and eats all kinds of foods. He takes the Vidazorb kids chewables and loves the flavor and they are great because they do not need refrigerated so we can take them with us where ever we go. Their adult chewables are just as great and I take the OPC age defense. I am not kidding you – they are amazing. I really believe there is a direct link between the gut and so many conditions. I just hope this helps you some how!!! Good Luck 🙂

    • Which probiotic did you give him? I take acidophilus every once in while or when I’m going to eat something really heavy and full of dairy. You’re both taking them daily? I’ll definitely start doing the same! Thanks for the information!

  2. Sorry for your Eczema…

    I think your doc is right, go for allergy testing or diet elimination, this will give you the perfect cause for eczema, so that you get the right medicaiton other than doing trial and errors with your body.


    • i’ve been terrible with maintaining my elimination diet … i keep falling off the wagon and then breaking out. i’m pretty sure that it’s lactose and/or red meat. i, unfortunately, refuse to get an allergy test. i’m fairly certain i’m allergic to everything (including my cat)!

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