Summer is almost upon us – is your skin ready? Sounds like a funny question, I know. And no, I’m not talking about protecting your skin from the sun (that’s a whole other topic). I’m talking about a skin condition that usually prevents people from fully enjoying the sunny, warm weather. That condition is eczema, also called atopic dermatitis. For those who do not have eczema, you may not understand the mental/emotional impact of this condition. I have treated many patients who have been too embarrassed to wear shorts, skirts or bathing suits because of a flare-up on their skin. A flare-up occurs when some type of irritant affects the skin resulting in intense itching, red and inflamed skin, recurring rash, scaly areas, rough patches and sometimes oozing and crusting sores. Many people can get flare-ups on their legs, arms, and face.
If this sounds like something you’re suffering from, I have some good news. There are lots of ways you can manage your symptoms naturally. I’ve already written about some tips here, so I what I want to talk about in this post is the first place to start with for symptom management. That is, from the inside out. Let me explain.
How our body looks on the outside is a reflection of how we look on the inside. If we have red, inflamed skin, then chances are our digestive tract is in the same condition. What we eat and drink has a huge impact on our body. Foods that we have an allergy or intolerance to cause inflammation in the digestive tract. This not only causes damage, but also affects our ability to digest and absorb key nutrients needed by the body for maintenance and repair. I have seen many people’s skin conditions clear up immediately just by simply removing offending foods such as dairy and gluten. If you’re not sure what foods your body has an intolerance to, the easiest and fastest way to find out is to do a food intolerance test. Once you have identified offending foods and have removed them, then we move onto the next step which is to heal the gut.
Healing the gut is where we really start to see symptoms from eczema disappear. For this I recommend that patients follow a strict diet for a couple of months, in combination with nutritional supplements to speed the healing. While this type of treatment plan takes some time and commitment, it always yields the best results for long-term relief.
While creams and topical ointments may reduce some discomfort from eczema symptoms, they do not eliminate them completely. It is only by healing the gut that I see long term relief for people who have battled with itchy, patchy skin for years. And I’m talking about people who have tried every topical relief possible. This is why healing from within is so important – it not only helps the skin clear up, but it provides long term relief from eczema symptoms. Now that your skin has cleared up, you can confidently go out and enjoy the sunny summer weather and soak up some vitamin D from the sun (which by the way, is also another way to manage eczema symptoms!).