"Earlier this year, in my mid 30s, I developed pretty bad eczema and on my face of all places. It was in 3 patches - my forehead, the right side of my face and a large stain on my right cheek. Sometimes my eyes were included in the mix. I’ve never really been an eczema sufferer, but know there has been a history of it in my family.
I began to try everything from Aloe Vera gel, borage oil, creams, any thing and everything that seems to be a magical remedy to the condition. Nothing worked, the frustration made the eczema worse and then I found Skin Friend and The Eczema Diet.
My journey took less than 6 months to get my eczema completely under control, including three months of following the regime religiously. Now my face is completely eczema-free. And there were lots of hiccups along the way, things I’ve noticed with other eczema sufferers. These tips may help give you the strength to stay committed and finally rein it in.
Stick to the diet religiously
Being on the diet means cutting out the bad foods that cause eczema. The gut needs time to heal and you need to protect that process completely. Deviating from the diet when you’re still healing is risky and essentially restarts the entire recovery process.
The eczema diet was the opposite of everything that was my staple - zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli. I’m fairly simple, I worked out what ingredients I liked best (anything that was in the Chickpea Casserole), made recipes large enough to sustain me for most of the week and stuck to it.
I'm still basically on the diet. I have the standard foods that I eat which are all low in salicylates. I've switched out almost everything from before.
Keep pushing through, even with flare ups.
At the end of the first month of the diet and using the supplements my skin was the worst it had ever been. Firey, red and raw. Saying I was pretty annoyed at the process in those first 4 weeks is an understatement. I had to stop using all my skin care as it seemed to make it feel worse and the only thing that soothed it was 100% organic Aloe Vera gel and Shea butter.
My frustration which was borderline panic didn’t help either and that’s when I did something really stupid...
Be patient – don’t take other supplements
The internet told me to get some probiotics, rice bran supplements and liquorice – but they made my skin worse. I was so impatient to try anything and everything in those first few weeks, especially with those bigger flare ups that I didn’t realise the additives in those supplements and these self prescribed supplements were putting me back to square one again.
Do the supplements and the eczema diet for 3 months minimum
Everyone is different. Some people take a few weeks for their eczema to clear up, others could be a year. For me it took around 3 months for everything to clear up and also understand which foods are my triggers. After the initial 3 month period I began to see patterns in skin reactions once I re-introduced foods. This could only happen once my gut had restored itself, once I was neutral and had a baseline to work with.
If you think something is bothering your skin, test it by removing it
As I mentioned above, I stopped using my skin care. I wasn’t sure if it was causing the skin to react, but the only way I would find out was to take it out of the equation. The same goes with anything else that you think is causing flare-ups: you may be adversely reacting to foods you eat daily and often it does not show up in allergy testing. The only way to know for sure is to remove it from your diet and then reintroduce it a few weeks later and see if it triggers a skin reaction.
Previously my eczema had made my eyes dry and this produced wrinkles that I’d never seen before. Happily, my skin is probably better than it was before and those extra dry lines have gone away.
Where I’m at now
I allow myself a cheat day every fortnight (or weekly if I’m desperate) to indulge a little. I do have a weakness for sugar and of course that’s my main eczema trigger. But because I know that, I’m not frustrated or panicked when I flare up and I take a little bit extra of the Skin Friend AM to repair the damage that I’m about to do!
Without doubt, I strongly recommend staying committed to the supplements and the diet for that first 3 month period. Deviation and only doing it 50% of the time, or still having dairy, or anything that is a common eczema trigger won't help your eczema.
I see so many comments from other eczema sufferers and I feel their desperation. Sticking to the diet and the supplements is the best thing they can do to make their eczema go away."
~ Deb from the Eczema Life Clinic
Other experiences from eczema sufferers
“I have been exploring holistic treatments for so many years. I have spent so much money paying for all kinds of naturopathic doctors to heal me and eating gluten- and dairy-free and doing gut healing but your additions of salicylates has been a game changer! I am forever indebted to you and your supplements are perfection. I have tried so many supplements but have been itchy afterwards so I give up. This diet and the supplements are healing my eczema and changing my life. I feel pain and itch free for the first time in my life. I want a lifetime supply!” Rhiannon (via Facebook)
“Being 57 years old and struggling with debilitating eczema on my hands for the first time in my life has been a source of deep discouragement. The past year has been spent in anguish and humiliation and franticly searching for relief. Allergist testing revealed nothing helpful. Countless creams and ointments and oils were expensive experiments and seemed futile. One day I ran across an article about The Eczema Diet and ordered the book that very hour…I read about the Skin Friend supplements and ordered them as fast as I could get them! Following the diet and supplementations as carefully as I could, I actually started seeing some relief within a week. It’s now several months later…my hands are virtually free from their painful bondage and I can function and feel like a normal person again!” Ginger (via YouTube)
"My son Pete is 47 and has suffered from eczema since he was two weeks old. Doctors could only say it was "from stress" and prescribe steroid creams. We accidentally came across this book and sent for it, and undertook the extremely stringent diet together, following every step diligently. After five weeks, PETE'S SKIN WAS CLEAR! As the book indicates, he began trying an occasional departure from the "eczema safe" foods--an organic corn muffin with sugar and strawberries, for example--and broke out again. Stopped that! Back on the diet, the rash cleared up. Every time this happened, we would look at each other: "The diet works!" Boy, does it ever. We are astonished, and SO GRATEFUL to Karen Fischer for this life-changing diet. It is really a revelation. I have read some reviews complaining that the diet is too strict, too hard to follow--and it is--it took us three weeks to get into a routine--BUT IT WORKS! And that makes everything worth it. I only feel bad that I've been poisoning this kid all his life--but we didn't know! I think the book should be required reading for all physicians and therapists--it has application far beyond eczema sufferers--and some of the basic nutrition principles should be taught in school. I can't express how deeply grateful we are to have stumbled across this exceptional, dedicated professional. She has virtually saved our lives." Annie (via Jolieeskin.com)
Thanks for your comments, glad to hear I gave you encouragement :)
If you go to the website and type “recipe” in the search box, all the recipes we have written will appear.
The other thing you can do is photocopy the shopping lists for stage 1 and 2 and get creative.
And lastly, Karen is publishing a new recipe book later this year.
I hope my suggestions tide you over in the mean time.
Deb’s story resonates with me as I clearly introduced other ingredients too quickly which resulted in an eczema flare-up. Being a foodie, I was getting discouraged over the repetitive meals. Is there a recipe sharing site for creations using the allowable foods?
Hi Sandra, this can work for Psoriasis.
And thanks Jane, we appreciate the feedback, we’ll look into it. Glad to hear the diet is working for you too.
Does this diet help psoriasis suffers as well?
Please use a darker type on all of your print. As a designer I appreciate that the light grey looks lovely and fits your packaging BUT it is very hard to read on a large computer screen. Debs story (very inspiring and right on target) reads well…please follow through on all your messages.
My very best,
PS. The diet is working for me as well.