Scaly, inflamed rashes that crack and itch are more than just a nuisance—they can inhibit activity, lead to missed days of work, and make you feel self-conscious. If you’ve dealt with these types of skin issues on any part of your body, you might have eczema .
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is an autoimmune condition. Instead of attacking a foreign invader, your immune system accidentally attacks certain proteins in your skin, causing a rash. This can be incredibly frustrating because the rash can come and go, seemingly without cause.
Most physicians treat this skin condition with topical creams and steroids designed to shut down the immune system in the area of the rash, making it go away. While this can help many people, it doesn’t get to the cause of the rash and eliminate symptoms for good. That’s where a more natural approach comes in.
Food allergies or sensitivities can often bring about rashes and skin conditions. The most common offenders are gluten or wheat and dairy. Other potential allergens include corn, eggs, soy, and sometimes nightshade vegetables.
Try an elimination diet where you remove these foods for at least 30 days and see if your eczema gets better. Then, you can reintroduce the foods one at a time and see if the eczema returns. At Parsley Health, if your doctor recommends an elimination diet, your health coach will guide you through every step, so you get the most knowledge out of it.
It’s possible to affect the immune system through the gut, so we often use a combination of nutrition and supplements to heal the gut, which also heals the immune system. This helps to turn off or quiet eczema outbreaks. We use our Gut Healing Protocol and things like digestive enzymes, probiotics, and vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation is particularly beneficial for improving eczema, research has found (1).
Everyone’s body handles stress differently, and for some people, stress could trigger skin issues. Stress can cause inflammation, which is a major contributor to diseases and conditions including eczema (2). Take proactive approaches to limit stress by meditating , doing yoga, or practicing breathwork
Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.