Eczema and Red Skin Syndrome
Our Naturopathic Doctors have had countless success stories with eczema. Our success rate showing dramatic improvement is approximately 85-90%. While there is a genetic component to eczema, there are lifestyle factors that can determine whether eczema gets expressed.
I (Dr. Nari) grew up having mild eczema, and chronic abdominal pain. I found that my symptoms were primarily due to a dairy allergy. I removed dairy and was symptom free for many years until after my first pregnancy. The eczema then returned and I discovered that despite the food avoidance, I was still having symptoms. I have since come to find that the immune system is a delicate beast that can be offset by traumas, pregnancy, stress, and so on. With gentle herbal medicines that supported the functioning of my liver, adrenals and kidney and staying on a very clean diet, I was finally able to clear the last of my eczema.
Eczema can be mild to very severe. We have seen many patients with all types of eczema and have clinically found several key correlations that seem to be at the root cause of eczema:
Food sensitivies can cause eczema
Food sensitivity testing is a must. Removing the appropriate food allergy or sensitivity will clear about 30% of the cases of eczema alone. We believe that food sensitivities contribute to, but are not the sole cause of, another 50% of the cases. Rigorous testing and retesting are required to properly identify hidden food sensitivities as testing can be tricky.
Dysbiosis can cause eczema
Another main underlying contributing factor to eczema, besides food sensitivities, is dysbiosis. Dysbiosis refers to the imbalance of microorganisms that reside in the digestive tract. There is some research that links eczema with a hypersensitivity to the Candida albicans antigen, which is a type of yeast. There is other research showing the beneficial effect of probiotics on eczema. This further supports the idea of dysbiosis as an underlying factor of eczema.
Re-establishing the proper balance of microorganisms is a key component to our eczema program.
Adrenal Fatigue can contribute to eczema
Another factor that has been important in some of our eczema patients has been the restoration of the adrenal glands. The adrenals secrete cortisol under stress. Cortisol is immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory and the related corticosteroids are given to suppress eczema topically. It stands to reason that eczema, an immune mediated condition, would benefit from optimally functioning adrenal glands.
Naturopathic medicine has many tools in the toolbox to support detoxification. Getting the liver and kidney to function optimally can ease the total antigenic load in the body, and decrease inflammation and irritation.
There is quite a lot of evidence to support the use of omega 3 fatty acids to calm inflammation and promote skin health. However, many other nutrients are important for skin as well including Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and zinc. Sugar and an acidic environment supports inflammation and irritation and dietary changes are often recommended as part of our program
Topical Steroid Withdrawal / Red Skin Syndrome
Topical steroid addiction, steroid-induced eczema, topical steroid withdrawal , and Red Skin Syndrome are some of the names used to describe a type of eczema connected to side effects from topical steroid use. Most people who have severe eczema have used topical steroids to treat the eczema at some point but the side effects of steroid addiction can lead to uncontrollable eczema.
We have help numerous people with this and would love to help guide you through it as well if you think you may have this. Read the following article if you have eczema and have used topical steroids to treat it:
A whole body holistic approach to eczema
We look at the whole body, not just the skin, when treating eczema. We look at addressing the above factors and try to tailor the program for you, so you can experience clear skin.