I have suffered from a chronic eczema in my ear since college, that is for almost 10 years.
My ear was running frequently and it caused the skin to dry and exfoliate. I was scratching my ear in my sleep because of the dry itchy skin and, in the mornings, my ears looked red, and you could see the flesh.
Now, my ear eczema got under control. Although I can feel its presence, it has been a year since I have last used any cream or seen any doctor.
During these 10 years, I went to numerous dermatologists and ENT doctors.
The ENT doctors prescribed different solutions to clear the scales and stronger and stronger antibiotics for various types of bacteria, which showed up in tests.
The dermatologists prescribed antihistamines, creams. One dermatologist finally gave up declaring my eczema couldn't heal because of it's location and dual nature: a bacterial infection and the eczema itself which aggravated each other. I almost cried when she said that.
After that, I gave up seeing other doctors. And here I am now, a couple of years after this story.
My ear eczema, while it has not cleared completely, didn't bodered me anymore. It has been a year since I have last used any cream and my ears both look normal.
The most important lesson you will discover, as you will read further in my story, is that you should never, ever treat the eczema only externally, either with doctor prescribed drugs or natural alternatives.
Further below in my story you will find out not only what foods are causing eczema, but also why food is the real medicine that will heal your eczema.
Apart from atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) for which food is the main trigger, for other types of eczema like contact eczema or infective eczema, diet is not a direct cause, but it plays a very big role in healing.
It also didn't matter that my eczema had other causes, than food, which caused it to recur. It just needed some cold weather or a a little wind. It is needless to mention the most obvious eczema causes like air conditioning, scratching or using ear sticks.
I would also add it will improve the eczema almost to the brink of disappearance.
Your doctor probably told you that any medication is useless without a proper diet and he was right
You can understand that easily, if you think that all digestive self-poisoning is usually accompanied by hives.
This explains the direct relation between food and eczema. Even though some foods wouldn't cause an immediate response of the skin in the form of eczema, the pollution of additives, hormones, antibiotics will add up and in time you will get a chronic eczema or other skin diseases.
Although the lists of foods causing eczema or the foods to avoid with eczema are very long, don't be scared or think you can't eat anything.
The reason why these lists are long is that, during experiments, some foods caused allergies or eczema exacerbation in some people. This doesn't necessarily mean all the foods on the list will harm you, but you should keep an eye on them.
I know that when we're on a diet, we immediately think that what's good is prohibited, but, on a closer examination, this is not so serious. Really healthy food is not on the list.
In other words, follow these simple rules: less salt, no spice, no oil fried foods, no canned food, no pork, fats or smoked meat.
You're allowed veal or chicken, fresh fish, boiled or fried foods as long as they are as natural as possible (no antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO, processed food).
As there doctors never found a permanent cure for chronic eczema, the healthy diet must become a permanent lifestyle, not just during the treatment.
It's hard to give up old habits, especially if you have to do this around the holidays or anniversaries when you are looking forward traditional cakes and other tasty recipes.
I believed that I had a pretty healthy diet because I avoided food additives, junk food and meat products. That is until I made one minor change in my diet that had virtually healed my eczema.
It is much easier to make the switch if we see the change in diet as a replacement with something healthy instead of a deprivation.
Both in case of eczema and other skin diseases, there are a couple of nutrition rules to follow. We can summarize the list of prohibited foods:
If you have applied the general rules above, and still have problems, seek next the particular foods that harm you.
The plan is to monitor one food at a time through successive elimination. Try eggs, dairy, grains, meat, fruit with seeds or an entire group of food and see the changes.
In reality, it can be quite boring and even frustrating, so arm yourself with patience.
For each food your are testing (eliminate from your diet), the trial period is about 3 weeks. Of course, you shouldn't do this if you suffer from other illnesses.
I tried this myself, but my health was normal at the time, and of course I wasn't pregnant or had any other special condition.
The first clear evidence showed up in spring, at my parents' house, for Easter. After many lamb meals and a lot of sweets I was feeling bloated all the time and, on top of that, my ear eczema was worse than ever.
But this wasn't the proof I was talking about. The getting worse part could have been for numerous reasons (wind, bacterial infections).
It was the getting better part that finally lit a light into my head. I didn't mean to change my diet on account of the eczema. I rather wanted a cleansing and a degrease.
After Easter, Marius experimented with his first raw vegan recipes. They were simple recipes, nothing fancy, so the change in diet was just what I wanted: cabbage and carrots salads, red beets juice, gazpacho raw tomato soup, tabbouleh salad (there are some pro recipe tips by visitor Fkhalili in the comment section of Passing Kidney Stones with Parsley), sesame milk, marinated mushrooms.
I also cut back on sweets. Actually, we all did. It was a tough change for my daughter.
After 3 weeks, I noticed an improvement. I used to put cream on the eczema twice a day, so my ear wouldn't exfoliate. The itching disappeared almost completely and I only put cream once a day.
Marius was skeptical about the causes and wanted to do an experiment. I was to return to the old diet and see if my eczema would worsen. If the eczema stayed the same, that meant other factors were involved.
What I was going to say? What other factors?
On one hand he was right. I was experimenting with other changes too hoping to improve the itching and the pain.
I changed the brand of shampoo with another one claiming to be organic, four times more expensive. The label had a nice picture of Stinging Nettle and Birch, but the other ingredients (SLS, EDTA etc.) were the same as in the old shampoo.
I cut my hair very short, above the ears, at my dermatologist's suggestion. The reasoning was to reduce the sources of bacteria causing the ear infection.
Going back to my husband's suggestion, why would I want to see if my eczema would got worse? No way!
That was the time when I should have followed my better judgment: When you're on the right path, follow it all the way!
After nearly three months during which my eczema was under control, I started to make homemade ice cream. I was complemented by my daughter and my husband and we have enjoyed chocolate ice cream for a whole week. At the end of the week I also craved meat balls and some oil fried cheese pies.
A couple of days later, the recurrence of my eczema was obvious to everybody :(
I felt this was enough evidence for me: Sweets and fried foods made me sick and they surely were among the foods causing eczema in my case.
I promised myself not to repeat this experiment again.
On the other hand, vegan dishes and raw foods were definitely good for my eczema. While I couldn't eat mostly vegan, I found it was sufficient enough to give up the bad foods and eat at least 30% raw.
I'm happy now and I want everybody to know that it only takes a bit of perseverence and some healthy changes in diet to find a permanent treatment for eczema.
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