Healing eczema is a long and frustrating journey. If you’ve come across these 9 Steps to Healthier Skin, then you can most likely relate to the extreme discomfort, and frustrations that arise from battling eczema. Some of these steps are simple swaps you can make with your current household products to reduce toxic overloads. Other steps require more effort, but are worth the long term benefits to your skin and health.
I suffered for 2+ years of recurring rashes all over my shoulders, arms, and legs. For a while, I was just masking the symptoms with topical creams. However, these were only mitigating symptoms and not getting rid of the eczema fully. Eventually, I decided enough was enough, and I started to dig a bit deeper to make greater changes to address what could be triggering the rashes.
I am a firm believer that any external problems going on in your body are a direct correlation to a significant number of internal problems. This is your body’s way of signaling to you that something is not right. It is up to ourselves to fight for our health and reduce toxic overloads in our bodies.
Please note I am not a medical professional. I am solely sharing my journey and changes I implemented that worked for me to heal my skin from eczema.
Here are some before and after photos so you can see the difference a year has made on my skin.
Photos taken Jan-Feb 2021
Photos taken March 1, 2022
So without further ado, here goes 9 changes you can implement to heal from eczema.
(Note as well that I implemented many of these changes around similar times. Therefore it is difficult to say which area had the greatest impact on my skin. However, I am convinced some of the best changes I ever made for my health were reducing my daily toxic loads intake. These are found in a variety of cleaning products, laundry detergents, fragrances, lotions, etc).
1. Change Laundry Detergent
This was the easiest change I made of all, and I honestly believe this had potentially some of the greatest impact on improving my eczema. Switching from Tide Pods to Branch Basics was the beginning of me starting to see a significant improvement in my skin. There are an incredible amount of toxins and chemicals going into laundry detergent that I honestly never even gave a second thought to before. To put this in perspective, Tide Pods are Grade F on the EWG product guide. To contrast, Branch Basics Oxygen Boost is EWG verified, and The Concentrate is Grade B.
I wrote an entire blog post on everything you need to know about Branch Basics here if interested in learning more! (*Note I do have a discount code ‘thefitdelish‘ which will save you $$ at checkout if interested in making the switch* ❤️)
2. Salty Marg Biohack
If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve likely seen my stories about the love for the salty (virgin) margs. My sister, @paulamariesalas got me hooked on these and I haven’t looked back! (Definitely recommend her as well if looking for a more intensive healing protocol or MBSR energy work). These salty margs are very simple to make, and can have a huge, beneficial impact on your health.
Some health benefits of salty margs include:
- Replenishes essential minerals
- Restores electrolyte balance
- Stimulates bile production (our bodies natural binder) & aids in detoxification and opening drainage pathways
- Aids in cellular hydration
- Helps move bowels to aid in efficient detox
Here’s what I use to make a salty marg:
- 1 Hydroflask (white with straw lid is my personal fave)
- 2 Limes
- Lime or Lemon Squeezer
- Celtic Sea Salt
- Measuring Spoons
- Cutting Board
Optional Add Ins:
Save Recipe HerePrint
3. Increase Supplements
*Please note, I am not a medical professional at all, just sharing my experience fighting my eczema and what worked for me.*
I decided to consult with my sister Paula, who has battled her share of chronic illness and is now an MBSR practitioner. She recommended the following protocol to help heal from the inside out. (Exact supplements I used are all linked below).
2 Quercetin in Morning/Night
Quercetin helps support healthy histamine levels, reduces inflammation, and relieve allergy symptoms. As your immune system is overreacting to stress when you have eczema, this supplement helps reduce your histamine overload (which causes inflammatory reactions in the body).
2 Stinging Nettle in Morning/Night
Stinging Nettle is rich in vitamin A,B, C, and K, minerals, essential amino acids, and polyphenol content. This supplement supports cleansing your body as you work to detox your system. The nutrients in Stinging Nettle function as antioxidants in the body, helping keep your cells strong against internal and external stressors.
2 Tudca in Morning/Night (WITH FOOD)
Tudca provides detoxification support to both the gut and liver. It helps support bile acid production to digest fats/oils and detox your gut and liver. Bile is extremely important in the small intestine to digest and absorb fats and nutrients from the foods you eat. That is why it is extremely important you take this supplement after meals.
2 Biotox in Morning/Night
Biotox supports cellular repair in the body and the body’s natural ability to detoxify. “It promotes optimal digestion, energy production, and the removal of unwanted elements as you begin opening your body’s drainage pathways.” (Source: Microbe Formulas)
I take 5 energy bits (spirulina) in the morning and 5 recovery bits (chlorella) at night. These tablets are nutrient dense and loaded with Superfoods, Protein, Chlorophyll, Vitamin K2, Essential Amino Acids, GLA, Iron, and more. They are high in protein and low in sugar as well which is why these are a great supplement to incorporate into your routine for improved health.
4. Stop Wearing or Switch Out Your Perfume/Cologne
This was a hardddd pill for me to swallow, but I hate to break it to you: your perfume/cologne is most likely seriously toxic. Before making significant shifts for my health, I was spraying Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum all over myself and clothes. Think about it, your skin is your largest organ absorbing all of those chemicals daily into your bloodstream.
The EWG put together a Skin Deep guide for sun, skin, hair, nails, makeup, fragrance, baby, oral care, and men. It deep dives into all of your favorite brands and toxic levels. You might be surprised by the image below highlighting some high profile brands containing secret toxic chemicals in their fragrances. These brands include American Eagle, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch, Clinique, and more. You can search a bank of fragrance ratings for women here and men here.
(Note I haven’t tried any of these – I just stopped wearing perfume altogether) but nontoxic EWG Verified Perfumes Brands for Women Include:
Additional Resources to Check Out:
- EWG Women’s Fragrance Scores
- EWG Men’s Fragrance Scores
- Top 5 Toxic Chemicals in Perfume
- Scent of Danger: Are There Toxic Ingredients in Perfumes and Colognes?
5. Green Juices
Again, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen as well my love for the green juices. I became very religious about my cucumber juices at night (which in my opinion also tastes delicious)! All I did was wash and slice 2 organic cucumbers & popped them into my favorite juicer (linked here).
Cucumbers are loaded with Vitamin C and Cafeic acid which helps reduce skin irritation/inflammation. It is also very hydrating as it has a high water % and helps flush out toxins in your body. (I recommend giving your body time to digest dinner before juicing). I liked the cucumbers at nigh time to flush out all of the toxins from the day. It was also easier to stay consistent versus trying to do midday.
Another more affordable juicer option can be found here which my family has used and has had great success with as well! I know it seems pricy, but you only need to do 10 juices with the affordable option to get to $10/juice or 40 juices with the more expensive option. So in the long run you are saving by making your own juice versus buying in stores. Amazon also offers renewed juicers to get a discount on the juicer which is what I did!
6. Detox Your Shower Water
Another simple hack that can have significant improvements on your skin health. Similar to my laundry, water quality was another area of my life I typically hadn’t given much thought to. I had considered water quality in terms of drinking water. AKA was a big fan of using a Britta pitcher. However I hadn’t thought about all of the chemicals/contaminants seeping into you body during hot showers.
The EWG has a page here where you can search your zip code to look at the water quality in your area. At the time, I was living in Arlington, VA and in the screenshot below you can see that 28 contaminants have been found in the water supply, 13 of them exceeding EWG health guidelines.
I purchased this water filter to help filter out some of these contaminants which was super easy to install (my apartment maintenance team actually did it for free). It immediately helped reduced chlorine, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dirt, odors, and buildup in my shower.
This is the exact filter I had installed, and I also felt like I saw improvements upon installation!
7. Elimination Diet – Cut Food Triggers like Dairy, Gluten, Soy
When my eczema was at its worst, I eliminated these food triggers in efforts to minimize any potential impact on my skin. Doing a short term elimination diet is a great way to see if any foods are impacting you in a negative way.
Note I have reintroduced these foods back into my diet present day as follows:
- Dairy: I now currently only eat plain greek yogurt (siggi’s is my favorite brand) and high quality cheeses.
- Gluten: I still make efforts to eat heavily gluten free and share many gluten free recipes. However, I will absolutely indulge when with friends or at a nice restaurant.
- Soy: This is one I have almost permanently eradicated from my diet (minus the occasional soy sauce with sushi when out with friends). At home I use coconut aminos which is an amazing substitute.
8. Cut Back on Alcohol
Another one you may not want to hear, but something we all know. Alcohol is toxic. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a good glass of wine at dinner or having drinks on weekends with friends. However if your body is signaling to you that something is going on internally, it may be a good idea to cut back for a while to heal from the inside out. Alcohol affects all internal organs, however the liver is the major site of alcohol metabolism making it one of the major targets for alcohol induced damage.
Something I have actually done over the past 5 years is a dry January, and I have been so shocked at the positive impacts I have on my health. Especially my face which I have significant less breakouts during this time. Not drinking alcohol also has an indirect affect on diet since you are much less likely to indulge in your favorite drunchies like pizza, or fried food.
I am currently drinking again, however I have made significant efforts to only drink during social events with friends/family. I have also been taking a Kidney Liver supplement (need practitioner to purchase these) to mitigate the adverse impact on my internal organs from drinking.
9. Creams to Keep Discomfort at Bay
Lastly, despite me doing all of the above to reduce triggers of my eczema, I still needed a topical short term fix to minimize the immense discomfort and itchiness I was feeling day to day.
A couple of creams that worked for me:
Hydrocortisone: This helped reduce discomfort and itchiness when lathering on. The main ingredient hydrocortisone has a 1 rating on EWG which is almost the best you can find. There are a few inactive more toxic ingredients in the product including methylparaben (3-4) and propylparaben (9) however the majority of inactive ingredients are in the 1-3 range.
First Aid Ultra Repair Cream: I used this as well some others recommended to me and found it to help moisturize my dry, itchy skin. This repair cream has an EWG rating of 3, so I would actually like to try EWG verified or stronger rated products in the future.
Hope you found these 9 Steps to Healing Eczema helpful! Healing eczema is a long and frustrating process, so be patient and wishing you best of luck in clearing your skin!