How I Got Eczema Again and Cured It Again (And What This Means For You)

More pictures later.
More eczema pictures later.

I got eczema again.

This summer, I finally have time to fix it.

And I did.

Actually, I cured my eczema last summer that I’ve had for 10 years by following that highly restricted diet.

And so to say, I want to help as much people as I can. Because I know it works.

Of course, you’d want to follow the advice of an ex-sufferer who’s eczema never came back. Sorry to disappoint you but I cannot be that perfect role model. In fact, I’ve made quite a lot of mistakes in treating my eczema.

Today, I want to talk about several things:

  • Why eczema has the ability to “come back”.
  • Being eczema-prone.
  • How I got eczema again and cured it this summer (happening as I write).
  • How I greatly sped up my recovery time.
  • Why I’m using a modified diet this time instead of being highly restricted.
  • Why this is important to you as a warning sign.

And some pictures of what I eat these days.

“Eczema Comes Back?”

Before I get into what happened, I want to answer the first question most of you probably want to ask.

“I didn’t know eczema can come back after being cured?” 

imbalanceYou need to understand that eczema is a result of an internal imbalance leading to inflammation. It is not something like a fever, once your immune system kills it and keeps a tiny portion of the cold-specific fighter cells as memory cells for long-term immunity.

Eczema is not a virus/bacterial infection. Your body doesn’t create memory immunity cells for it. This means how many times you’ve had eczema does not affect how you will respond to it. If you have a severe imbalance, your inflammation levels will be strong enough to lead you to eczema.

Eczema is an independent imbalance-driven condition.

Answering one more frequently asked question:

“If I’ve had eczema before, does that mean I will be eczema-prone in the future?”

castle under constructionYes and no.

In the short run, you will be extremely prone to eczema (like how I got it again).

You’re extremely prone in the short run because you’ve just healed and most likely, you haven’t finished healing internally.

Just because eczema is gone from your skin doesn’t mean your internal system is done healing – this is a common misconception.

The second reason is that you’ve lost the potential growth of your immune system you could have developed earlier but instead your body was on a constant fight with internal imbalances which led to the extremely limited strength of your immune system.

Here’s an analogy. You’re a king. When you were supposed to be building your castle, you had civil wars while other castle did not. So now everyone has a well-equipped fully functional castle, your castle is still half-way under construction. It sort of works but its defence is limited.

In the long run, your ability to get eczema back will gradually decrease.

This “ability” is not random though. It’s entirely determined by what you do to your body and how well you adjust for optimal health. In other words, whether you will get eczema again is totally under your control.

The more time you give your body to redevelop after you’ve recovered back to “equilibrium”, the stronger your immune system will become. This means you shouldn’t immediately forget about maintaining a diet right after the recovery stage. The next stage should be a strengthening stage. Rather than thinking, “oh I can eat what I want now, I’m just like other people now!”. No. You need to strengthen first.

Got a castle? Now fortify it.

How I Got Eczema Again

cheating-on-dietsI’ve had eczema since six years old but I cured it last summer with a highly restricted diet. My eczema was completely gone for the first time in my life after 10 years. I finally had clear skin, itchlessness when playing sports and no stress with making sure not to reveal my skin in public.

Also, I had time for the diet because I had three months off from my summer vacation (I’m a student).

When school began, I was determined to continue with the diet but with fewer restrictions. This turned out to be fine for the first quarter of school. I cooked food in my dorm room (it wasn’t allowed but they never caught me).

Quarter one passed (around 3 months). My skin started to get itchy. Eczema slowly came back.

It was just a little bit but I knew exactly why:

  • Eating alone. It was sort of lonely to eat dinner by myself in my room.
  • Awkward with friendsIt was sort of awkward to eat with my homemade (dorm-made*) lunch box: sweet potatoes, carrot sticks and celery sticks. My friends were fine with it and we ate together but they had all the good food.

It was actually okay at first. I was good at discipline and prevented myself from peer pressure and even ate with them while eating my own healthy food. But as time passed:

  • time rush
    Word of advice: time is expensive.

    Incredibly time-consuming. I actually stopped cooking food in my dorm after the first quarter. It took a lot of time to prepare every night’s dinner. Buying the groceries each weekend. Preparing for the lunch the next day every day.

  • No more hangouts. It was a tacit custom for us to hang out and eat outside on Friday nights. Because of my diet, this idea was gone.
  • School work. Largely it was because of school though. School work demanded more and more time. Working on all my food by myself was just insane.
  • Plain taste. I’ll be honest… the taste isn’t that great compared to what everyone else was eating. Considering I water-boiled everything and had no fancy recipes to follow. Even if I had the recipes, I doubt I would make good food because I wouldn’t have the extra time to do so. This isn’t to say the diet tastes crap, it just means I didn’t have the time to make it nice.
  • Cheating sessions build up. I started to eat a little bit of junk food (Oreos and chocolate bars especially) once in a while and somehow convinced myself it was fine and I’d just endure the eczema until summer comes so I could heal up again.

So these were the three main pitfalls:

  1. Time management
  2. Social conventions
  3. Taste

So I developed eczema again after quarter 1 and it gradually got stronger but never as severe as it was in my old days.

My Situation Right Now

So what’s happening right now? I finally made it to the summer vacation and I got on the highly restricted diet right away.

This time is healing a lot faster than last time because I’ve already eliminated most of my toxins last year. It’s at the late recovery stage now with a periodic fluctuations in detoxification symptoms.

However, this time I modified my diet a little bit because I found one significant problem with the highly restricted diet. More on this later.

Here are some pictures:

Left arm transformation. Taken over a little over a week.
Left arm transformation. Taken over a little over a week.
Right Arm Transformation
Right arm transformation.
Right Leg Transformation
Right leg transformation.
Spinach, cucumber, carrots.
Typical restricted diet meal – Spinach, cucumber, carrots.
Stir-fry cabbage with egg, purslane, zucchini with pork.
Stir-fry cabbage with egg, purslane, zucchini with pork.
Local specialty - spicy fish. This is considered a cheating sessions but I try to limit to something not entirely bad. The fish were fresh + its omega-3.
Local specialty – spicy fish. This is considered a cheating sessions but I try to limit to eating something not 100% bad. The fish were fresh (just killed) + its omega-3.
Local specialty - spicy rice noodles. Yes... it's a cheating session. In fact, recently, I eat this for breakfast. It doesn't impede my eczema recovery.
Local specialty – spicy rice noodles. Yes… it’s a cheating session. In fact, recently, I eat this for breakfast. It doesn’t impede my eczema recovery.

Of course, not all cheating sessions are okay. If you test something and you react strongly to it, then obviously you need to seek alternatives.

How I Substantially Decreased My Recovery Time

My recovery right now is happening at an extremely faster rate than last year. Why?

1) Less toxins. The obvious factor is because most of the toxins in my body were already eliminated last year. Plus, rather than mindless eating without checking ingredient labels, I actually tried to eat as healthy as possible throughout the year which made a big difference.

2) Fasting. I dove into a 3-day water only fast before starting the diet. This led my body into deep maintenance mode and it was a great head start for helping me eliminate my salt and sugar cravings.

Fasting for eczema has a lot of other benefits. The main advantage is getting into deep healing “maintenance mode.” But it’s dangerous if you don’t warm up the week before the fast with a whole foods diet. You might just faint because you’re not used to the lack of sugar level spikes.

3) Exercising. I drastically increased my exercising volume. Although sweating really irritated my eczema at first, which I countered this by showering in cold water (which eczema sufferers should always do). The increase in physical activity greatly boosted my detoxification process.

The more you sweat, the faster you heal.

Why I’m Modifying My Diet and Why You Should Too

social chatterLet’s face the truth. The diet is actually quite boring unless you are great at and have the time to make good food using only food choices available from the restricted diet.

Plus, the constraints the diet puts you in social conventions is immense. Who wants to miss out on parties? Or hanging out with friends and family? No Christmas dinner? Who wants to be so extreme and sacrifice all these elements of a happy life just to be eczema-free?

This doesn’t mean you can’t adjust your body to be able to tolerate less restricted food options.

But I need to not repeat the same mistake from last year.

In fact, I know that if I go into my highly restricted diet like I did last year right now, my eczema would probably be gone in 20 days. But I don’t want this because I need to adjust for the long-term.

If I dove in the highly restricted diet for the entire summer, sure-fire I’ll be super healthy but I’ll get eczema again like last year when school starts. I need to modify my current diet so my body adjusts and it’ll be more tolerable to the less restricted food I will eat when school begins.

Of course, this doesn’t mean if you eat Oreos every day you can adjust your body to function on Oreos. There’s a limit.

How To Modify The Diet

(does not describe me)
(does not describe me)

You still need to eat healthy (whether you have eczema or not) and don’t go too extreme into the highly restricted diet.

Because if you go highly restricted, in order to remain eczema-free, you’ll have to maintain that highly restricted standard for the rest of the time being.

The solution is to let yourself heal from eczema slower with a lighter restricted diet, with “cheating sessions” every once in a while.

This doesn’t mean you cram yourself 100% junk food in those sessions. It means letting yourself blend in with social conventions. This way, your body will adjust to your habits (of course, up to a point – not like the Oreos example).

Slowing down your eczema recovery on purpose is for the long-term benefit of not being constrained to a highly restricted diet.

But if you tell me, “hey Harrison! I’m highly dedicated and I will exactly follow the highly restricted diet forever!”, then sure thing, you can optimize your recovery to its greatest speed and that’s fine!

What This Means To You As Eczema Sufferers

The reason why I got eczema gain is not because the diet does not work. It works, but I personally failed because of circumstance – school, lack of time and the demand for taste.

That’s why the title says how “I” got eczema back and not how eczema “got me back”.

To ex-sufferers: it’s a suggestion for you to adjust your diet so your dietary habits can accommodate your social life.

To on-recovery sufferers: it’s a warning sign of you from my personal experience to not go too extreme. This way, you won’t have to go through the same frustrating process like I did.

As to modifying the diet, one may ask why?

To get realistic that personal health cannot be achieved without also having a healthy social life. Even if you are 100% eczema-free, but you never step outside of the house with family and friends, what’s the meaning of life?

32 thoughts on “How I Got Eczema Again and Cured It Again (And What This Means For You)”

  1. Hi Harrison
    What are the 10 foods you should never eat and what are the supplements to take?
    I couldn’t find these in your article

    1. Hi Kate,

      Those are articles in the private list (I’ll email you link by next week or so). I’m almost done writing up the content.

      Cheers,
      Harrison

  2. Hi Harrison! Extremely interesting concept you’re putting forth here. I’m also on a very restricted diet for my eczema so I know your pain. Just curious though, could you perhaps post your meals of what you eat in a week so we can see the frequency and type of your “cheat meals”? I’m sure there’s a threshold that can’t be crossed before the eczema stops healing? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachel,

      I knew someone would ask that! Sure. In fact, I’m planning to write a part 2 on this (more extensively about problems with the diet). Yes, we can definitely slow the recovery down as a trade for our personal wants, but this threshold is quite hard to measure. It’s mostly done by personal testing. If it gets too strong, we’ll obviously stop; if the reactions get less, we’ll challenge it further (of course not too much or else the healing would just be stuck at a plateau).

      Glad you asked!

      Cheers,
      Harrison

  3. Hii thanks for sharing your experience !!! I’ve started the diet and have lost some weight ha ! Have you guys ever thought the reactions might be caused by shampoo’s and conditioners? I had a severe rash yesterday and I was 100% sure it was the crazy ingredients in the shampoo. lots of love guys I feel your pain we can fight this 🙂

    1. Hey Paris, no worries. Tell you the truth, I’ve stopped using shampoo and body wash (except for a little on some areas) since last summer. It’s been completely normal. Just as clean, without the fragrances.

  4. Hi Harrsion,

    I just wanted to say that I’m living your story with eczema. I have been struggling with it since I was young (it was very bad at the age of 9), then I got treated for it by an alternative doctor who send me on a diet of mostly water and bread (I am not sure if it was bread but I remember I couldn’t eat almost nothing). I was very lucky because my eczema disappeared for many years.
    Though, it came back when I started working in a restaurant where they were using a lot of MSG (ve-tsin). Luckily, not as bad as it was before. When I went to Asia for 3 months it totally disappeared. My doctor said that was probably due to the fact that I am actually better functioning in an Asian climate (I am half Asian, half Dutch) and that also the Asian diet would fit me better.
    When I went living in Paris that year my eczema got worse then ever due to a very poor diet (cheese, alcohol, sausage, potatoes) , stress and a house which was very humid and dusty. Even my eyes were totally red and swollen. I felt awful. I understood that my body was reacting extremely strong on things I drank or ate and also on the house. For example, I could drink a beer and have a strong reaction just in 30 minutes or so. My body was so toxic that it couldn’t handle the smallest thing.
    Since september 2013 I am living in Switzerland, where the air is much cleaner than in Paris. I really hold on to my diet since the beginning. And I find it so funny to read that your diet isn’t that different from mine, even though you are living on the other side of the world and I never hear/read people talking about it. Eventually I got my eczema as good as cured. As you said, it is really hard to hold on to it for social reasons. It is not funny to always cancel dinners just because you don’t want to eat potatoes and tomatoes…(which is very common food here)
    In that year I could also eat so much more things- it felt like my body found back confidence and didn’t let me down when I was eating something I wasn’t suppose to. Unfortunately, I got I little too confident the last two months.. I didn’t stick to the diet at all… and eventually got back my eczema… My hand is looking very bad and that’s why I decided to water fast for some days. That’s actually how I found your website 🙂 I wanted to detox my body to start fresh again and today I am in the third day of my fast.
    I just wanted to thank you because it feels good that somebody is sharing the same story and to make me more confident that I am on the right path.

    I wish you all the best,
    Jennifer

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Good that we have mutual understanding 🙂 If you ever remember what the other food item was (not bread?), please let me know I’m somewhat interested in how you got treated in this alternative diet.

      I really enjoyed reading your story, it’s different from what most of others have told me. Some would be like “oh I eat this diet” and this and that but they never really understand the importance of the problem and don’t have the willpower to stick to it. I’m actually really glad that you reached out to me, I knew there must be more people like us doing the same thing. This is the first time I’ve run this blog with someone telling me of almost the same experience where I’m talking *with* and not talking *to* (to help them).

      Well yeah, social reasons are often the hardest hurdle I agree with you. Unfortunately, I find western food very attractive, just as you do, not to say Asian food is bad but there are great western desserts, pasta, pizza, and the like.

      Great to hear that you’re on the fast. You are definitely on the right track, in fact, the fastest track to recovery.

      Wish you all the best too and keep in touch 🙂
      Harrison

  5. Hi Harrison,

    Thank you so much for this blog, I feel like I have finally found people who are really understanding what suffering from eczema is. Lately, mine have been worse than ever, that’s how I found your blog… I was completely astonished (and furious) by how doctors here (I’m Canadian) are just so ignorant about this disease. Every single doctor/dermatologist I’ve seen told me that food had nothing to do with my skin condition and that it would disappear as I grow up. And I believed them all those painful years…

    So I’m so glad I’ve found you, thanks for all this time you spent sharing your experience and tricks on your blog. I’m starting the diet today, hope I will be strong enough… I just love food so it really won’t be easy.

    I also have a question, have you ever heard about emu oil? I know there have been no research on humans about it, only testimonies. Of course, in the opinion of those who are producing it, it sounds like a magic oil that can keep you young and healthy forever, but my uncle tried it for his own eczema and he said that after one week it had completely disappeared forever. I’m guessing his type of eczema wasn’t “strong” like mine… I’ve been testing it for 3 days now, and there was absolutely no improvement. So if you know something about that, just let me know, as I will tell keep you updated of my week of emu oil.

    Thank you and wish you all the best!
    Kim Lan

    1. Hi Kim,

      Sorry for the delayed reply, school has been real busy!

      Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story. Yeah, giving up good food is a real pain in the butt I agree! But we just have to do what we have to do.

      No worries, this is my mission to help inform others of the problems with the modern medical science 🙂

      Yes, emu oil. Although I don’t use it for lotion or moisturizer (because I don’t use any moisturizers anyway), I was from Australia and they are quite famous for emu oil. The lip balm I use from time to time is made of emu oil and it works like a charm. Yes, it does work, it’s natural and I use it too. As for eczema, I’m sure it will benefit the skin but it definitely cannot be one sole cure for eczema. Because eczema is not an external problem and for him it definitely was a “he was recovering naturally anyway and he used it too so it felt like the emu oil was the primary cure-er when it was his natural body detoxification mechanisms”.

      Stay strong and follow the diet hard! And please update me of your progress 🙂

      Cheers,
      Harrison

  6. Hi Harrison,

    I just wanted to ask about alcohol, I’ve been trying to avoid it as much as possible while healing but I’m finding quite hard with parties and friends going out, is there any alcohol which isn’t as bad? which I can have a bit of?.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Luca,

      Sorry for the late reply. I understand what you mean because we face the same problem too, hehe. Unfortunately, there is no way around this because of how alcohol affects our intestinal flora. However, what I do recommend (and personally do), is to minimize the damage done. After a drinking session, depending on how much you drank, try to have at least 3 days or up to a week long of a restricted diet going on. Think of it as having level 0 gut flora. Consuming anything bad will immediately result in eczematous sensitivity reactions. Anything good will slowly help rebuild the necessary gut flora. Therefore, you’d want to recuperate up to that previous level.

      Cheers,
      Harrison

      1. Hi Harrison,

        Thank you for your sharing. I am very inspired by you and have tried several suggestions from you. However, in this opportunity I want to ask some questions, here is my questions:
        1. Healthy diet is very good, everyone knows that and I personally think that it will strenghten our immune, so if you just eat a little “cheating” it is okay. And my questions is : I know you had very ideal diet before, why by just a little cheating you got the eczema back? didn’t the healthy diet strenghten your immune?
        2. Does the supplement and healthy diet that we eat dialy will make our body become dependent to them? I mean if we don’t eat them anymore, will there be something bad happen to us? such as lower our immune
        3. I am waiting for your next article about the cheating session, how much is it and how we can control that.

        Thank you very much Harrison, you are very kind, I am as old as you and ex-eczema sufferer, I am very inspired to help the other people like us like you did, hope the best for you bro!

        Cheers,
        James

        1. Hi James.

          1. Yes about the ideal diet. But no about the little cheating sessions, especially when the sessions built up over time. On top, there was poor sleep. Someone once mentioned to me the term “eczema-prone” and I think it makes great sense. We are almost never physiologically as fit as other people because we’ve been damaged over time in terms of gut flora and its secondary implicated effects. But that’s just a convenient explanation. And your question is great and I don’t lie, it is still a question that intrigues me.

          2. No in most cases. Our bodies are very adaptive. Any rapid shift will eventually go back to homeostasis. However, the matter is not about whether you’re intaking supplements or not but about the specific nutrients that the body may have become dependent, and lowered the body’s natural production of those specific nutrients. Any rapid shift will cause short-term problems (assuming it fulfills the previous 2 criteria), but again, in the long run, it’s going to be all right. One exception on top of my head is probiotics. The body is very slow at restoring this balance, especially to us autoimmune disease sufferers. Say, you’ve been eating some bread and with digestive enzymes, the body seems to be OK, with only slight symptoms. But once you stop the probiotics, the bread has to also stop. Key is there must be a *respective shift* of the pro- and anti- food proteins. In the case of gut flora, this is an area where a sudden halt to supplementation/food source of probiotics can be detrimental.

          3. I’ve recently just got back on track. This idea is in queue but I’ll have something more important to update first.

          No problem. Hope our empathies can be turned into service 🙂

          Cheers,
          Harrison

  7. Will power aside, I’m about to start work next yr w a firm that likes to drink socially which basically means I can’t afford a healing crisis where I look unappealing and unprofessional. What do I do?

    1. Clar.

      Since you are without choice (I’m assuming), you would have to intake high volumes of probiotics, and drink lots of water after to flush it out. An alkalizing vegetable juice mix would be greatly beneficial to you.

      But willpower aside, even a drink every day contributes to gut flora imbalances (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111031114949.htm#.TrAIGAlOEBY.twitter).

      Best strategy is always to cut it down. Otherwise, intake more anti-inflammatorys, and minimize all pro-inflammatory foods when you don’t have to participate in social meals.

      Harrison

  8. My 5 year old daughter has eczema real bad! I finally figured out that tomatoes make her break out. Should I try to take potatoes away to? I never heard of the nightshade group. Any advice would be appreciated!!

    1. Dannielle.

      Potatoes and tomatoes are definitely classes under nightshades. It’s best to avoid them. Even if potatoes don’t seem to cause much of a problem, implying it’s a tomato-specific trigger, you should still eliminate this class to reduce the autoimmune stress imposed on the body.

      Harrison

  9. Hi Harrison,
    It’s great to find your site and read that other people
    Are going through the same process of healing.
    I am 58 and got excema at 6 weeks old. When I was 31 I had a homeopath work with me for 2.5 years and it went away except for my hands. For 20 years my skin was normal I could eat drink and wear anything I wanted. When I was about 52 it came back with a vengeance worse than ever. I have now been on a restricted diet for 4 months no wheat, gluten, dairy or sugar. I have had a few cheat days as it has fallen over the Xmas and New year holidays. I have had times where I have gone off cortisone ointment and have had the excema come out all over me where I can’t move or stand to have clothes touch me, being in so much pain and looking so bad.
    I have to work so it made it very difficult. I find it very hard to sleep as I’m so itchy. I have now decided to use the cortisone and just eat on the restricted diet to get really healthy. I’m not sure if this is the right way to go. I am still detoxing as my skin is still quite bad but I feel I am doing it at a slower rate that I can handle. I was very interested in reading about the night shade veggies oh no more things I can’t eat, but good to know. I am in Australia I use hemp body butter from the body shop as a moisturiser and can’t believe the difference it has made so soothing and seems to heal the rash. I also have had fake nails applied which is a great help with the scratching as I can’t break the skin. I’m A bit confused over which nuts to eat or not and which supplements to take being aware that many supplements are synthetic can you help with this please. Thank you for the work you have put into helping people. It is such a distressing thing excema.

    1. Rani.

      Knowing that you had eczema at a young age, it’s inescapable that you (or we) become eczema-prone. Your approach of a restricted diet must be very restricted to help facilitate your recovery. As for cortisone, it will have to go away completely. But you can definitely slowly and gradually decrease the doses, will definitely be less of a pain.

      As for nuts, you are welcome to eat most nuts as long as you have no specific sensitivities. Also, nut consumption must be in moderation or a handful to the max a day because most varieties are high in omega-6 (which would you imply you need to greatly boost up your omega-3 intake to counteract).

      Regarding supplements, do not worry about synthetic composition. As you are in a stage desiring the fastest recovery (I’m assuming), supplements although may not be as effective as from food consumption, but are still beneficial. I recommend probiotics, digestive enzymes, omega-3. These are the top three I recommend. However, they can all be accessed through natural food – fermented vegetables; pineapples, papaya; fish, respectively.

      Harrison

  10. Hi Harrison

    Thank you so much for all your tips
    I have suffer eczema for some years and it has affected my relationship with friends and specially girls
    I do not know how to approach a girl because they look at me like I am some kind of freak because all my free time I am trying to get my eczeme better
    Have the same happen to you, were you able to have a girlfriend with your eczema?

    If you could give me tips to have my normal life, I will be really thankful

    Thanks man

    1. Hi Adam,

      I just want to say, try not to stress out too much about relationships and friends with the non-sympathizing eyes. I know it’s generic advice but I don’t want to comment on social problems because that’s not something I can change alone. People are people. They decide how they behave. Your only option would then have to eliminate your eczema ASAP. Even though a healing crisis may look unappealing at first, but once the symptoms are gone from the skin, people will not hold a long-term grudge against it. It will pass away with time. So I advise you to take the natural approach and eliminate it ASAP for real.

      People where I reside, may find it unappealing, but won’t discriminate against. GFs are no problem.

      Cheers,
      Harrison

  11. Hey, I’m a Sophmore in High School and my tests are coming up. I’m losing sleep, doing badly in school, so on because of my super bad eczema. I think I get the idea of your diet and exercise, but I have a bad problem: I’m allergic to majority of nuts, fish, and oddly enough cortisone creams. Do you have any tips so I can shape up before testing starts? I don’t want to experience this ever again, and I especially don’t want a break during testing.

  12. Hi Harrison

    I have been suffering from eczema for 16 years and nothing seems to help. I want to try the restriction diet and I have tons of qns to ask. I am now slowly cutting down on acidic and unnatural food in preparation for the diet.

    My eczema is way more serious than yours and I have it from head to toe. What is your advice for me before I start the diet? Should I begin it with a water fast?

    If during the period of diet, I were to have a cheating meal, would I have to do a water fast after?

    How long did it take for your eczema to exacerbate after you begin the restricted diet? And how long did that last?

    How long did it take for you to see obvious improvements?

    Thanks for taking the time to read through my queiries.

    1. Hi Yanyong.

      1. A water fast as you know is done for detoxification. It is not easy to do for people who have never done it. Hence, I only advise to those who can and are looking for the fastest approach to recovery. Answer is yes.

      2. No. Additionally, a cheating meal will depend on what you have eaten. The body is able to tolerate periodic fluctuations and an ideal/perfect diet (like the one in my first recovery) does not mimic real life, in which I have later found that my body was too adapted to a perfect diet that a slight shift became hard to respond (in terms of digestion and symptoms re-arising).

      3. To be honest, before the 2-3 months intensive restricted dieting, I’ve occasionally but not gradually attempted to eat healthy. Perhaps those may be of some help. But time-wise, I would say in the first few weeks, and then the symptoms stopped getting worse (in terms of itches and dry skin). It’s hard to locate a specific date, as the symptoms gradually died down.

      4. Again, no specific dates. But I did certainly noticed that this dietary approach was working because I worked out in the gym every other day. And as you might know, sweating exacerbates the itchiness. But this itchiness from sweating gradually decreased. I found my skin to be less itchy over time. And eventually up to a point, I was able to sweat normally without feeling the need to even touch my skin where I would use to scratch due to sweat.

      Cheers,
      Harrison

  13. Hi Harrison,

    I know you may not have the right answer for me, but ive been to a few dermatologists and their answers are always the same. Im 32, and last summer developed some minor skin irritations, itchy dry on my eye lids and ear lobes. Next thing i was treated with oral and intravenous antibiotics and antihistamines for a staph infection on my ear (this happened for about 2 months)
    And i broke out in a huge body rash after the intravenous antibiotics. After it subsided a bit, the dermatologists kept giving me steroid creams to help me heal from the rash. After a couple of months of steriods they say i have atopic dermatitis. But instead of my ear and eyelids, its on my whole face, whole ears and parts of my arms and legs.
    I went to a naturopath and they had me on a similar diet for about 6 weeks… it seemed to help a bit. But i still have flare ups and still use a non steriodal (immunosuppressant cream). Do you think this is an internal imbalance or something else? Ive NEVER had a skin issue like this before and never had any allergies. I am at the most stressful point of my life though.
    Any suggestions would be helpful
    Thanks

    1. Hi Lynne,

      I’m sorry to hear about your condition. Fortunately, your situation is not one of those cases with complicated histories. But at this point, you will have to begin making life-long changes such as the diet that your naturopath sets you, perhaps a less restrictive version in the future.

      I understand how you’ve jumped from never having this disease into acquiring it. But you should know that autoimmune diseases are not like flus, flus are acute and die away in a matter of weeks. But autoimmune diseases are caused by damages done through a long period of time. In other words, you’ve now accumulated enough stress to your body that it can no longer handle it like it used to.

      To fix something like eczema that’s not caused overnight, you will have to change your past habits before the eczema arose. Eczema has various stressors. Most of the problems (sources of accumulation) would lie in irritants to your immune system – 80% is in your digestive system, like gluten, dairy, sugar, chemicals etc. (even if they seemed fine back then) and your goal is to cut the stressors for a time long enough that your immune system goes to better health, and then finally eczema will not manifest as a sign of strong internal imbalance (i.e. digestive damage).

      I hope that cleared up why and how you got eczema, conceptually.

      In practicality, the really only suggestion is to commit to your naturopath’s diet (it takes a while), and try to drop the cream too because it… suppresses the immune system. Doesn’t fix the problem.

      Best regards,
      Harrison

  14. Hello, my name is Martin and I am from Czech republic. I am today coming through second day of my 7 days fast to recover from eczema. I must admit that I before I used cortizone cream to help my skin look better cause I tried 3 days banana island but the result was that body was coming through massive detox and as you may know eczema always get worse when there is detox. One can cure by only raw meal but it takes really long time to recover and eczema looks terrible so from this reason much faster and much effective was is fasting that is like miracle. At day 7 I will see if prolong till 10 days or not based on results but I feel that if each people who suffer from eczema would fast then they would be healthier earlier than coming through slow raw detox diet.
    I wanna ask you – do you eat dates?
    Then what about chicken meat – does´t it make eczema worse?
    And also I would like to ask about bread, and I mean just heath bread from wholemeal or if you like puff pastry?
    And what about making cakes from dates and cashew – like you mash them and then mix together and you have perfect raw dough and you can then prepare healthy cakes for breakfast with banana filling covered by carob chocolate. This may contain of a lot of sugar but healthy sugar no?

    I am just trying to realize what will I eat cause vegan people prefer doing a lot of things with dates and cashew for sweet meal and they also do cooked meals but vitarians not. And do you eat spaghetti from white corn? or from whole grass corn? or you don´t eat anything from corn only from rice?

    thank you much

    1. Hi Martin,

      Glad to hear that you have the courage and determination to embark on water fasting, as this is not an easy feat.

      It is true that a fully raw meal is much slower than fasting, but it is not the only method. Just thought I had to point that out, because my first time was mostly on cooked foods.

      I don’t eat dates. Usually they come in dried forms at my place, so I try to avoid the sugar concentration. But otherwise, it’s a personal choice of taste because there’s not much downside to it.

      As for chicken, I do eat it occasionally, perhaps 2-5 servings per week but it depends on what other meats I might have eaten like fish. The key is a tolerable quota. Some people are concerned about grass fed and grain fed animal products. While it makes sense that grain-fed animals would be contaminated with gluten and all, I’ve had success without distinguishing between the two when I eat chicken because of the lack of choice.

      Bread is a complete no. Even if it means gluten-free, grains should be avoided in general because of similar molecular structures with gluten grains that may induce cross-reactivity.

      Cashews are known to be high in FODMAPs (groups of carbohydrates known to known to be poorly absorbed). This means minimal consumption is okay.

      Cakes in general require grains, so I guess I have answered your question about the problems with grains in general. As for sugar, the more you restrict, the better it is. The closest example of “healthy sugar” refers to sugars that have a chemical composition of 1:1 ratio between glucose and fructose. This ratio varies from fruit to fruit. Overall, you shouldn’t be straining your digestive system with the burden of sugar metabolism if you want to speed up recovery. Plus, you will probably be off craving after the fast.

      My approach to healing eczema is not the same as veganism or vegetarianism. Reason for example: 1) these two diets do not contain sufficient nutrients even for a non-eczema individual (like B12, Vitamin D), 2) they permit grains and legumes that are filled with gut irritants, 3) they do not emphasize the promotion of anti-inflammatory foods, 4) eczema is not a diet-heal-alone condition (e.g. sleep, stress). In other words, don’t follow these two diets. You want the best approach, not semi-workable solutions that hinder your recovery.

      Best regards,
      Harrison Li

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