An eczema diet is only one important part of a grander, holistic picture of all the changes that need to be made, and understanding how to utilize various methods that help bring homeostasis to the body is key to a successful outcome!
I know what you’re thinking – is this just another article that advocates for medical thinking and a few dietary changes? Absolutely not. Having suffered from chronic eczema and curing the condition over time, this advice comes from personal experience and what has helped me enormously along the way.
One thing to keep in mind about eczema is its cyclical flare-up, and on my journey, even though I had treated it naturally so that it disappeared for a long time when certain triggering conditions were in place, eczema returned – albeit with less intensity, frequency and in much smaller patches.
Over the years, I learned that this happens when the kidneys are overwhelmed by emotional stress or environmental toxicity, meaning that the adrenal glands that sit on top of them have to constantly pump cortisol (steroids) to deal efficiently with the fight and flight effect of stress, which is highly inflammatory.
This means that over time, stress will lower the function of kidneys and adrenals (both influence one another profoundly), and if the body needs to eliminate its metabolic waste but can’t do it efficiently through the kidneys, it will do so through the skin – also widely known as the third kidney!
When flare-ups happen, my advice is to never suppress them with medical creams or other artificial means. Instead, it’s a sign that our skin is taking over majorly for our kidneys and is asking us for internal support in the form of alkaline, hydrating chemistry.
By eating raw, plant-based foods to help the body fight inflammation, as well as lowering our stress levels, we can ensure that our kidneys and other elimination organs will get all the help they need to conduct their detoxification processes properly.
What is the Cause of Eczema?
Eczema is characterized by inflammation of the skin by a patchy red rash that’s usually dry, and often itchy, even in the absence of scratching. It is essentially an immune-mediated reaction to toxic buildup.
Before eczema manifests itself externally, toxins first accumulate internally as fat cells and protein deposits in organs such as the liver, kidneys, and intestines. These toxins irritate internal organs, causing inflammation and strain on the body’s detoxification capability.
Overall, the metabolic and toxic waste that the kidneys are unable to excite through urine is expressed directly through the skin as eczema (the toxins are acidic, and they burn the skin as they interact with its top layers). Other conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and rashes follow the same root cause with a slightly different expression.
With eczema, the skin gets irritated in patches that are usually red, inflamed, flaky, and itchy. It occurs due to specific eczema triggers which may be environmental, food-related, or stress-based – or all of these combined.
The skin abnormalities are not limited to the visible parts but eczema can occur in areas that cannot be seen like eczematous lesions under the surface of the skin also called nummular eczema. The eczema rash usually occurs in “the flexures” where eczema is likely to be triggered or clustered, such as in the creases of the knees, elbows, and behind the ears, which are areas that contain many sweat glands that may be blocked by toxins.
There are two eczema types: eczema with a major allergy trigger & eczema without an allergy trigger. Allergic eczema is typically caused by contact allergies to foods, dust mites, and chemicals.
Non-allergic eczema flare-ups occur when the body is experiencing chronic internal inflammation and is looking to the skin to help the kidneys detox its metabolic waste. This eczema type accounts for 90% of eczema cases and can be managed and cured through a detoxification protocol, an alkaline diet, and a balanced lifestyle.
This is the recommended approach that is holistic and which addresses the root cause of eczema, rather than treating symptoms with topical steroids or antihistamines, which suppress the symptoms for some time but which are actually toxic (artificial steroids and chemicals).
Not only do these chemicals increase body inflammation, but they also suppress and block the body from detoxifying even further by eliminating its emergency detox pathways. If the body doesn’t find a way to detoxify its lymphatic sewage, a myriad of new chronic illnesses may arise, including cancer.
With the following elimination diet suggestions and alkaline diet supplementation, you will find that they will not only relieve your symptoms in the short term but will heal eczema and its resurgent nature for good!
Although conventional mainstream thinking by medical professionals concurs that there is no cure for chronic eczema, my own journey proved otherwise. The body is highly intelligent, adaptive, and self-healing, and when given the right material and tools to do what it does best, it can heal and regenerate any condition.
My Struggle with Severe Eczema and How I Cured My Condition
My own struggle with chronic eczema occurred over 8 years ago, and like your path, my journey at that time was riddled with questions, learning, discovery, and experimentation. It took some time to learn about the body and what I needed to correct in order to heal my skin.
Eventually, I found the right answers with an integrative, holistic approach that understood chemistry and the body’s response and adaptation to toxicity.
In this line of thinking, any illness symptoms are just the body’s way of compensating for a system that has been overburdened by toxicity. Essentially, the body is asking for a major detox help and once it is cleaned, alkalized, balanced, and healed, its elimination organs will not be backed up and will work properly to remove toxins.
As a result, the skin will heal naturally and all other related or unrelated health symptoms will also disappear with time.
What Are The Usual Eczema Symptoms?
Symptoms of eczema include skin abnormalities like dryness, redness and inflammation, as well as itchy skin that oozes pus. The inflammation, infection or other eczema triggers may lead to an eczema flare-up, which can become very itchy and cause an eczema rash outbreak. Indeed, symptoms usually arise because of a specific personal lifestyle or food triggers that eczema sufferers must identify to avoid flare-ups.
The trigger could be caused by certain food or food sensitivities, a stressful relationship or environment, a reaction to a chemical substance, or a combination of many related factors. Our body’s reaction to the environment and particular food is very unique to our genetics, constitution, and lifestyle, so getting to the bottom of the exact cause of our condition is the first step on the journey toward the cure.
One way to approach treating and curing the symptoms is through an eczema diet, which eliminates all potential triggers and which can paint an overall picture of what may be causing eczema flare-ups in the first place. This eczematous skin cleansing process gives the body a chance to recover without being bombarded with new toxins and allergens that might just aggravate the symptoms further.
An eczema detox diet, which consists of removing potential eczema culprits and introducing eczema safe foods, can be used as part of the overall eczema treatment plan. The diet is based on the idea that eczematous conditions result when one specific food reacts with another in the body, causing an immune response and inflammation in the skin.
By avoiding these combinations, you’ll avoid outbreaks for some time, but it’s important to remember that eventually, you must find out what triggers your eczema and avoid the triggers altogether. Then, you can create a supplementation diet that includes both eczema-safe foods and eczema diet foods.
The 10 Most Common Eczema Triggers
Eczema seems like such an enigma of a skin condition, but it’s not technically a skin condition, after all. It is an internal, inflammatory condition that is expressed as a side-effect through the skin. So, what actually causes eczema?
In my experience, emotional stress and diet are the biggest triggers! When the lymphatic system – the body’s sewage system – gets backed up, it prevents toxins from being effectively and efficiently released through the kidneys and bowels. The skin then becomes overwhelmed from the toxic buildup and is unable to cope.
Essentially, movement, an alkaline diet that hydrates inflammation, and a Zen approach to life will bring about much-needed nutrition and circulation to the body to keep the toxins from accumulating and eroding tissues and organs.
In fact, the body’s sewer system does not have a natural pump, and therefore, the body relies on movement and exercise to help it circulate the sewage fluid to the appropriate elimination organs so that toxins don’t remain in the lymph and bloodstream for longer periods of time than normal.
Likewise, movement promotes the circulation of the blood, which oxygenates and brings nutrients to all areas of the body, including the skin.
The roots of eczema are typically deep-seated and lie within several different causes – the eczema sufferer’s diet, increased sensitivity to external factors (allergens), bacterial infections, poor kidney and liver function, immune dysfunction, or hormonal imbalance.
All these issues can contribute to eczema; however, it is found that most eczema cases can be traced to specific triggers as well as the genetic propensity for skin membrane weakness and allergies.
Here are some of the most common conditions, foods, products, and lifestyle choices that can trigger eczema and which will need to be addressed when it comes to putting together a holistic treatment plan.
1. Coffee, Alcohol, and Sodas
These beverages are acidic and will exacerbate any skin inflammation you may be experiencing. They are also all associated with dehydration, which can exacerbate the symptoms of eczema or any other inflammatory condition.
The best option is to consume plenty of watery fruits and pure water throughout the day. This will keep your skin moist from the inside out while promoting a healthy immune system.
2. Cosmetics, Personal Products, and Artificial Fragrances
Cosmetics, personal products, and fragrances include many toxins and carcinogens that are absorbed directly through the skin and bloodstream and should be completely avoided.
Instead, a great alternative to improving eczema and psoriasis symptoms is through the application of topical natural remedies and moisturizing agents for external relief.
Coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil and essential oils are all beneficial in treating soothing skin inflammation externally while promoting healthy-looking skin from within.
3. Antibiotics and Birth Control Pills
Sulfuric drugs and birth control pills in particular block the liver’s ability to detoxify the body. Antibiotics and birth control pills can also impact gut flora and hormonal balance in the body, which aggravate the glands, the liver, the colon and kidneys.
And since properly functioning detoxification and elimination organs are key to clear skin and overall health, these medications should ideally be avoided and replaced with more natural treatments.
4. Processed Foods
An eczema elimination diet starts with removing all the processed food from our pantries and replacing it with organic, healthy food to test out food intolerances and then commit to a healthy lifestyle.
Processed foods not only compromise our gut health but also the integrity of our skin. In fact, the consumption of processed food has been directly linked to the increase in eczema-related symptoms and flare-ups over time.
One way to keep eczema symptoms under control is by eating an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of foods that have a low glycemic index. This means that they don’t spike blood sugar (which does not occur with natural sugars from fruits) and disrupt the immune system in the same way as processed sugars and carbohydrates do.
Foods like carrots, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower and green beans are all good examples of low glycemic foods.
Another is to substitute favorite processed foods with fruit smoothies and green salads, which will help clean the body of toxins, while bringing hydration and high chemical energy to all its parts, including the skin.
5. Tight Clothing and Synthetic Fabrics
Tight clothing and synthetic fabrics can aggravate eczema symptoms as well. The best option for clothing is to wear clothes that are made of natural materials such as cotton, hemp, or bamboo fabric.
It is essential to wash all fabrics with natural liquids, as commercial detergents are full of perfumes and chemicals that are irritating to the skin and can permeate easily through its membrane.
Likewise, dry skin brushing is a great way to provide your skin with some much-needed exfoliation and rejuvenation before heading out for the day. This routine will help remove dead cells and increase circulation throughout the body, bringing oxygen and nutrition directly to the skin.
6. Stress and Anxiety
One of the key ways to improve eczema is through stress relief. Stress causes our bodies to release cortisol through the adrenal glands (which, over time, can also lower the function of the kidneys), and will worsen any inflammatory condition or skin problems that may already exist.
Yoga, Qi Gong, dance, and outdoor sports (fresh oxygen that the skin can absorb) promote the circulation of the lymph fluid and blood, which aid in helping the body detoxify waste and circulate nutrients to all tissues. Sweating, in particular, causes skin pores to open and release toxins–a must for anyone looking to improve eczema symptoms.
7. Parasites and Candida
Parasites and candida may also trigger eczema in many people, and a parasite cleanse is essential to ensure that parasites are not the root cause of eczema outbreaks and flare-ups. Most of us have parasites that may not cause acute health issues, and which are very easy to contract through the environment, food, and pets.
Although most may not bring about serious symptoms, over time, they preliterate in the gut and feed off of our nutrition and energy so that we are left depleted and at risk of serious health issues down the line.
Not only do they only steal our vitality, but they acidify our bodies by releasing toxic secretions into our system, which can overburden the elimination organs, including the skin.
8. Dairy and Soy Based Products
Dairy products, typically high in casein, are known to inflame skin and trigger eczema symptoms. Dairy is also mucus-forming and can lead to chronic sinus congestion, and suppression of the immune system.
Instead of dairy, try plant-based alternatives such as coconut milk or yogurt for a dose of probiotics that will help keep your gut healthy and improve eczema symptoms.
Soy products can also aggravate eczema, as they are known to contain phytoestrogens that are toxic to the body in high amounts and can create hormonal imbalance, among many other health issues.
9. Gluten Products
Gluten is a glue-like substance found in wheat products that gives bread products that distinct ability to coagulate. Known to accumulate in the gut, it can prevent the absorption of many nutrients and leave the body deficient in alkaline chemistry.
It can also weaken the immune system and can cause inflammation throughout many different tissues and organs–including the skin.
One way to substitute gluten products is to go gluten-free – a diet that eliminates wheat, rye and barley from the menu. If you can also eliminate grain altogether, this would improve many of the eczema symptoms.
Grains contain lectins, proteins that are highly inflammatory to the gut, and phytic acid, which is known to block mineral absorption in the small intestine and prevent the normal function of digestion and food assimilation.
Overall, grains are mucus-forming and their protein is very hard to digest. Eliminate grains from the diet, and see how your eczema symptoms improve significantly!
10. Low Thyroid Function
Low thyroid function, a symptom of glandular and hormone imbalance, may also contribute to eczema symptoms. For example, low thyroid function can inhibit cell growth and promote chronic inflammation.
Therefore, people who have allergies, hives, dermatitis, or eczema may be suffering from an autoimmune condition like thyroiditis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis — all due to the low function of the thyroid. Iodine found in seaweed and kelp as well as a natural diet will help reverse these conditions.
8 Powerful Foods for Eczema Detox and Healing
The following are my top vegan recommendations of anti-inflammatory foods that will eliminate toxins, build up healthy gut flora and treat leaky gut issues, as well as promote not only eczema-free skin but healthy skin for life.
The following is the ideal eczema diet that will help you eliminate food sensitivities, clear up a range of skin problems, and contribute to long-term skin health.
These healthy foods, especially organic fruits and vegetables, will bring alkaline chemistry and healing to all the skin tissues and organs internally, leading to eczema symptom alleviation as well as newfound energy and a greater sense of wellness.
1. Healthy Fats:
Olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, and avocado oil are some of the best healthy oils you can use to improve your skin both internally and externally; however, make sure to eat them raw and to not heat them, since they change their chemistry in high temperatures and can become more harmful than advantageous. As far as skin moisturizers, coconut and sesame oils are my preferred oils that provide alkaline chemistry to soothe the skin and help fight inflammation, redness, and itchiness.
Flax seeds are also an excellent source of essential Omega fats, while coconut and avocados contain some of the most nourishing and protective fats in nature.
2. Organic Fruits and Smoothies:
Red grapes, citrus fruits, berries, melons such as watermelon and cantaloupe, apples and apricots (have beta carotene) are all excellent not only for alkalizing the body and flushing out acids and toxins, they also bring vital nutrients to all the tissues necessary for proper organ function and healing.
One of my biggest tips is to break your fast of last night’s sleep (breakfast) with citrus, berries and melons (since they are the most astringent fruits and promote cleansing and elimination) and then have the other fruits throughout the day!
Keep your breakfast to only all fruits and herbal detox tea, and you will notice your symptoms disappearing faster than any other change you implement.
3. Green Salads:
A bowl of organic spinach, mustard greens, dandelion greens or arugula paired with beets, parsley, curry/turmeric, avocado, herbs, lemon and sesame oil (pure tahini) with a sprinkle of nori seaweed, is the perfect salad lunch to have on an eczema detox and is one of my favorites!
4. Cooling and Detoxification Herbs:
Herbs such as lavender, chamomile, stinging nettle, calendula, red clover and chickweed are excellent for the skin! They not only cool down the body chemically, but also promote detoxification of toxins.
Here are just some essential ways you can incorporate a herbal detox protocol into your eczema healing regiment (from one of my best herbal resources): Herbal Detox: 13 Powerful Herbs for Disease Reversal.
5. Lectin-free Vegetables:
Only consume lectin-free vegetables during your eczema detox diet! Many vegetables, grains, seeds and beans contain lectins that are the plant’s self-defeating mechanism in place to poison intruders. They can be found in the coating or the seeds of the food and are known to inhibit our digestive enzymes, cause inflammation and gut damage.
Soaking grains and seeds overnight is known to remove many lectins, but in terms of healing, they are best avoided.
My advice is to remove tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beans and grains from your diet and see how it helps with your overall symptoms!
6. Essential Fatty Acids:
Coconut, flax seeds, and avocados are excellent for eczema, since they are not protein-heavy. When detoxing, even plant protein taxes the kidneys with more metabolic work, and this is not what you want, as whatever kidneys and the colon can’t flush out of the body will show up as inflammation and congestion of the skin.
Spices that promote detoxification and healing (especially of the skin) include turmeric, cumin, curry, ginger, and cinnamon. They are wonderful in smoothies and salads!
8. Seaweed and Sea Vegetables:
Seaweed and its family of sea vegetables contain iodine, which promotes thyroid function and is known to be a wonderful detoxifier of radiation, heavy metals and other toxins. By including in your eczema detox weekly, you can ensure great results.
Overall, dietary changes are key to an effective detox program, and assembling a daily routine that involves the intake of the foods above will not only cure eczema (when coupled with other holistic lifestyle changes), but that will clear up all skin conditions. This diet works – it did for me, and I am certain it will for you!
Now, here’s the important part: it is vital to keep your diet at least 80% raw vegan when doing the eczema detox protocol. My recommendation is to eat all fruit in the morning, as fruit is highly alkalizing, hydrating, and astringent. Then, I would have a big salad for lunch, a banana/fruit smoothie (with flax seeds and all the other eczema fighting goodies) for dinner, and apples as a snack in between.
Ideally, I wouldn’t eat anything after 6pm, giving the body digestive rest and conserving energy for healing. The vital nutrition of these foods will not only keep you full, but your digestion, energy and other health issues will improve significantly. Likewise, your eczema will start to recede, and you will be in the process of healing it for life!
Another personal recommendation is to throw out all conventional chemical products (personal products, cleaning products, cooking products, etc.) and replace them with all-natural substitutes.
And lastly, decrease your stress levels significantly and find ways to cultivate and honor your personal physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. In addition, do spend more time in nature; I think it’s absolutely understated in our modern culture the ways nature is able to re-balance our energy, oxygenate our body, and heal our frequency.
I hope this advice was very helpful on your eczema healing journey! Hang in there – although flare-ups will occur even when you are doing all the right things, with time and commitment, you’ll enjoy life eczema-free once again.
Given my own experiences and path, one thing is for certain: eczema is not a skin condition but an internal inflammatory condition whose symptoms are expressed through the skin and that can be cured only naturally.
Don’t let the mainstream medical system convince you otherwise. You will simply have to be more careful with diet and lifestyle choices and devote more time to health and self-care.
Truly, your body is active, adaptable, and self-healing – and as long as you are alive, it can reverse any condition as long as it receives all the tools it needs to do so. I and many others are living proof of just that!
If you’d like to learn even more about natural ways to cure eczema, check out my free ultimate guide to healing the skin from the inside out located at the bottom of my homepage. It will help you progress on your healing journey and set you up for success.
You’ll learn everything you need to know about your skin and body and what it takes to be and stay well. And, if you have any questions about my own healing journey, I’d love to answer them below!