7 Things You Think Are Helping Your Eczema But Are Not

uncertainSo we are given instructions and advice on how to treat our eczema body.

But why should we listen?

…and do they really work?

I’ve always learned not to comply with the majority for the sake of it being majority belief.

In other words, question the sources!

Question the convention!

In this post I’ll talk about habits people have developed or told to have thinking that will help their eczema but actually won’t or even do worse.

1. “Eating fresh fruits and veggies are the best!”



Maybe this will shock some of you but it’s true.

Apart from the possible sensitivity that everyone could develop towards anything possible, there are other reasons why you shouldn’t eat every single plant.

There are four points:

  1. Nightshades. Do not eat nightshades because they contain a strong level of natural innate chemical that hinders digestive processes. Nightshades are food like tomatoes, pepper, potatoes, eggplants (but yam and sweet potatoes are fine – which are great to have for an eczema patient).
  2. Sugar-dense varieties. Dried fruits are compressed with sugar in small chunks so you will eat more sugar than you think. Even certain fresh fruits should be limited or avoided at best such as berries, bananas, oranges and any high-sugar fruits. Veggies are fine because most of them have minimal sugar content.
  3. Pesticides. Even the so-called “fresh” fruits and veggies will be contaminated with chemical serums. And the end-product of the food will contain such residuals that are unseeable to the naked eye. I suggest you to soak your fruits and veggies in a bowl of water overnight to release these residues. In fact, there is a nationwide known list of fruits and veggies contaminated with the most and least residues called “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15.” (link)
  4. Chemical-rich foods. Turns out even fruits and vegetables all have some form of naturally occurring chemical called salicylates. We cannot avoid all but can minimize intake! Follow the salicylates food guide.

In fact, I talked about these four points extensively in a previous post. In addition to checking “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean 15,” I urge you to check out the post: Not All Fruits and Veggies Are Eczema-Friendly (The 4 Types)

2. “There is no limit to the amount you can eat as long as the food is all natural!”

Unless of course if you are gaining too much weight it’s a problem, or else eating most of the things in the maximum safety food list needs no monitoring.

As a general rule of thumb, consume 80% plant-based and 20% meat-based food.

At the same time, use the salicylates food guide to replace your grocery list.

sugarThe other problem here is: sugar.

Sugar is a big problem for eczema patients.

The more we consume, the worse for our eczema body because the bacteria in our stomach feeds and grows on sugar; which then proliferates up to a point where our body’s good bacteria are unable to defend against.

Actually, sugar is found in almost all foods. It’s the type (e.g. veggie glucose vs cola high-fructose corn syrup) and amount (e.g. 1 orange vs 1 orange-sized piece of chocolate) that matters.

To simplify, I suggest you cut out from fruits entirely (because the nutrients from them also come with consequences such as high sugar content and pesticides – the disadvantages override the advantages).

3. “Taking supplements will boost my healing process and I should always use them!”

Two points:

  1. They are supplements. Never substitute them for your original food choices. We don’t absorb the nutrients the same way we do from natural food.
  2. Over time, our body adapt to the conditions we are given. We build tolerance and reliance on what we consume. For example, long-term regular use of pill-form probiotics will result in decreased production of such gut bacteria by our stomach.

Overall, supplements are better than none. But as I always advise, don’t use anything unnatural. I suggest eating natural foods the natural way to get the nutrients we want.

4. “The drugs doctors give us will do us good and help kill the bacteria from our illnesses!”


Masking is temporary.

Not really.

Perhaps it will kill the bacteria, but along with your own healthy cells.

I hate to say this, and I’m making a controversial stereotype here but most Western doctors are useless for eczema because they offer nothing other than a temporary solution of steroids.

Check out: Why Western Doctors Are Useless For Eczema (Solution Included)

If you go to a typical Western doctor, they will identify  your eczema and give you steroids and other medicinal creams such as aqua cream to help revert your skin back to the norm (for those using aqua cream – it’s chemical-based and the long term side effect is skin thinning, which means a light punch can give you a long lasting bruise).

The drugs and creams work. However, what they don’t tell you (most of them don’t know anyway) is that steroids only work temporarily and will backfire as soon as you stop using them. Steroids simply suppress your symptoms and those symptoms are put into a bubble (analogy), the more you use the drugs, the bigger the bubble, the more easier to burst. And as soon as you stop the drugs, your body is not used to it so the bubble bursts and you get an eczema outbreak a lot more worse than you are supposed to have. And so most people use even more steroids to seal up this bubble and eventually they reach to a point where steroids become a necessity and their body needs it every day. The end result is that they will suffer tremendously more than they should have if they had just fixed the problem and not suppress it in the beginning.

This is the cycle of most first-time eczema patients. Including me.

The point here is, never use what doctors give you *promising* you eczema relief. This temporary “relief” comes with a price.

5. “Okay I get it, steroids are bad. Non-steroidal drugs should be fine and I can use them without long term side effects.”

Not true. Any drug you use has side effects.

You should never use any drugs unless in emergency. For example, people with allergic reactions use antihistamines for temporary relief. However, the body being allergic to a natural food substance already means there’s an internal problem. The correct solution is to solve the internal problem internally from its root. The need to use antihistamines will give temporary relief and lead to reliance and dependency.

The point is, non-steroidal drugs are also as bad. Don’t use them.

6. “Staying underwater the longer the better because it will hydrate my skin and lock in more water.”

Eczema sufferers have limited oil glands.

Eczema sufferers have limited oil glands.

Get out of water as soon as possible because the longer your skin stays in contact with water the more it removes the oils from your skin.

The moist feeling you get from water is only temporary, what is really needed to ensure long-term skin moisture are the natural oils your skin produces. And this gets washed away by water. This is why we take showers, this is why skincare products remove those oils.

But for us eczema sufferers, we may have to limit the “washing-away” to let the good oils stay, because our problem is the opposite, we have too little oils.

In other words, shower less! Why is daily showering mandatory? Who said so? The rhythm should be adjusted for your health!

7. “Frequently apply lotion to your skin to lock in moisture.”

Unless the ointment, cream or lotion is made with purely natural ingredients, do not use any skin product. Like previously mentioned, chemical-based products should be avoided.

Let’s wrap them up and see if you remember the problems with each…

  1. “Eating fresh fruits and veggies are the best!”
  2. “There is no limit to the amount you can eat as long as the food is all natural!”
  3. “Taking supplements will boost my healing process and I should always use them!”
  4. “The drugs doctors give us will do us good and help kill the bacteria from our illnesses!”
  5. “Okay, non-steroidal drugs should be fine and I can use them without side effects.”
  6. “Staying underwater the longer the better because it will hydrate my skin and lock in more water.”
  7. “Frequently apply lotion to your skin to lock in moisture.”

Here are the links that were mentioned before:

As usual, if you have any confusions or questions, ask me below and I’ll respond.


  • comment-avatar
    padmashree 17/03/2015 (11:17)

    Is Vaseline petroleum jelly OK to apply onto skin?

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 07/07/2015 (15:17)

      Padmashree. Absolutely yes. But remember not too thick, otherwise it will clog up the skin pores. And remember each night, you must deliberately remove the residue otherwise it will build up over time and cause more itches to come. Harrison

  • comment-avatar
    padmashree 17/03/2015 (13:06)

    And I would also wish to know how do I actually prevent dryness of my skin n moisturize.. I have extremely dry skin, which explains the eczema… I have flare ups , red rashes n dry, scaly skin on my face, neck n arms…as far as I know, its very essential to moisturize, but iv tried coconut oil n olive oil, when I apply them my skin gets all the more dry ! I’m confused and worried.

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 07/07/2015 (15:24)


      I used to have this conception of applying external moisturizers to rid the dry skin of eczema. However, after the long series of failures, I’ve come to known that eczema is a manifestation of internal imbalance. This means any external approach alone only provides short-term relief. What you need to do is combine your external approach with internal dietary changes. Then, this will truly eliminate the dry skin you have.


  • comment-avatar
    Maryam 08/08/2015 (22:59)

    This article is scary. we can’t have fruits? AT ALL?

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 10/08/2015 (19:20)

      You definitely can. I actually had a banana and an apple each breakfast during my 2013 recovery months. Even though the diet worked, I think it might be faster if I had eaten something less taxing on the body. The problem with sugar is it burdens the liver (in the case of fruits because of fructose) for metabolism. The more we expend energy on the liver, the more time it will take for eczema recovery. So my new look of the approach, and what you can apply, is that you consume fruits that have awesome nutritional benefits which outweigh the side-effects of consumption. For example, blueberries are full of antioxidants. Papayas, pineapples and kiwis are filled with digestive enzymes. But a pear or watermelon isn’t that beneficial except for the taste. I think you get my point. Overall, a few pieces of fruit per day won’t hurt much. Taste and variety certainly does matter in life!