The Hardest Part of Eczema Recovery (I Failed Many Times)

The Hardest Challenge.
The Hardest Challenge.

I’m a very obedient person. When I get told to follow rules, I follow them as is and without questions asked.

This requires GIGANTIC amounts of discipline.

I write on this blog to teach people how to cure their eczema with the maximum efficiency.

Sorry, I failed.

In this post, I want to tell you about the biggest challenge I faced during my recovery from eczema and ways I found to work around it.

What do you always hear me preach about?

Dieting.

I can’t stress enough how important your diet will affect your skin improvements (or worsening).

For all questions or doubts you have, I recently wrote the truth about dieting for eczema, I urge you to read that first.

So, what’s the hardest part?

Where the most important part lies – because of how limited our food choices become when we follow the restrictive diet (the one I set for maximum efficiency), we’ll eventually break the rules and eat something we’re not supposed to.

The Breaking Transformation of My Diet

I started out with the maximum efficiency diet, and that meant extremely tasteless meals – for more information, check out the shopping list I first used for the fastest recovery.

Then I gradually added more choices.

Phase 1: ginger, garlic, onion, cucumber, zucchini, ginseng powder.

Phase 2: white rice, kimchi, spices, condiments, apple cider vinegar.

Phase 3: glutinous rice, Brie, cottage cheese, milk, soy milk (contains soybean oil), chocolate, peanut butter.

There are sometimes meals outdoors I let myself off, I minimized eating the really bad foods, and I still aimed to eat a balanced plate of 50% veggies every plate of something else I ate.

And following the days after the “freedom meal” I ate maximum healing food choices – raw vegetable juice.

How do we break the diet?

I mean, c’mon we don’t break rules for no reason. These are the most common places (for me, at least).

  1. breakingAccidental – enough said.
  2. Temptation – this is the biggest challenge, because we always want to eat something that taste awesome but out of our range.
  3. Social pressure – friends, family, public places, conventions (being “normal”).
  4. Little bit is okay – I hate falling into this excuse…
  5. Premature reintroduction – it’s true that once you’re healed up to a certain point you can reintroduce previously sensitive foods into your diet without causing a problem, but most of us get too excited and do it way too early before we’re ready.

How can we prevent ourselves from these traps?

1. Accidental

  • This is why you should always know exactly what you put into your mouth – ask!
  • Always read the labels before you buy or eat anything.

2. Temptation

  • Make a deal with people who are often around you, pay them $20 every time they catch you going off your diet.
  • Drink as much of anything as fast as you can, because it helps make you full the fastest way.
  • Eat something very filling but safe – I always have a surplus of bananas ready to shove them inside my gut anytime (sounds harsh but true).
  • Use anti-appetizing techniques such as seeing disgusting pictures, thinking about rotten food, watching a sad video or exercising.
  • Divert your attention: watch TV, play games you can’t pause, read.

3. Social pressure

Learn to say no.
Learn to say no.
  • Learn to say NO/reject/deny/drop out.
  • Buy more groceries so you’ll cook more yourself because you won’t want your food to rot (well, it works for me).
  • Understand not following what everyone else is doing doesn’t mean you’re weird or abnormal, it just means you’re doing what’s good for your best interests and should be confident for.
  • Announce your goal to everyone individually, so that you can get support from other people when needed, without awkwardness or misunderstandings (fear of social disconnection).

4. “Little bit is okay

  • This makes sense and I find that letting yourself off for a little bit is okay, unless you’re just starting the diet then you should follow the tips from problem #2 – Temptation.
  • If you let yourself off, it doesn’t mean you should eat everything out of your scale, enjoy a little bit and find gratitude.
  • Finding balance is important – the next meal you have after your luxurious meal, make it a full blast alkalizing repairing raw green juice boost.
  • Rather than eating a little bit of everything that you’re not supposed to, add new stuff once per week and not multiple food choices all at once.

5. Premature reintroduction

  • Reintroduce one new food choice at a time (for a duration of at least 1 week) because certain foods can take up to 3 days later to show up symptoms.
  • If you’re in the first 3 months of the diet, I urge you to just follow your diet and allow no reintroduction.
  • The best way to counter the unwanted inflammation caused by premature reintroduction is by consuming a maximum healing meal after (more better to be the next few days) – this means highly alkalizing raw vegetarian non-acidifying meals = raw green vegetable juices.

The Easier and Smarter Solution For Good Food

It's actually quite tasty.
It’s actually quite tasty.

Just because we can only eat within a list of foods doesn’t mean only the foods we can’t eat will be delicious!

We can make our existing choices better. We can’t change WHAT we eat, but we can change HOW we eat.

My original eating habit: I used to aim for maximum efficiency meals, which means I crammed everything into a single pot, boiled them, and just ate them plainly with nothing added. It’s off-putting to most people but it’s a sure-fire and lazy way to eat healthy!

New eating habit ideas:

Unfortunately I’m not a master of cooking, so if you are looking for delicious recipes and are healthy at the same time (of course, you’d have to inspect the ingredients every time), here are some resources:

But here are some tips:

  • Use organic sea salt as a condiment, it’s acceptable to the eczema diet.
  • Make fermented veggies. I learned how to make homemade veggies from the guide on Choosing Raw.
  • Go for a raw juice, not only because it’s healthier, but because the tastes will be a lot stronger, which will definitely stimulate your taste buds.
  • Introduce new types of cooking such as baking. You can bake your dairy-free, gluten-free breads and cookies!
  • Fast for a day or two, and then eat again, you’ll begin to appreciate the tastes again. This is more of a manipulative trick but it works, and it teaches you about being grateful for what you have.

Final Thoughts To You

Normally whenever I’m about to cheat, I think of the worst consequences of my past eczema and what everything that would lead into: social embarrassment, itchiness, pain…etc – which really motivates me to stay on track.

As for the solution, I’m a man of efficiency and I really don’t have the time to tackle with new ways of cooking, so at the end I stick with my strict and lazy but fast and healthy eating habit and just find other ways to compensate for my appetite loss (games, socializing, sports, business, entertainment).

Remember, your diet means a lot!

43 thoughts on “The Hardest Part of Eczema Recovery (I Failed Many Times)”

  1. Hi, I’m suffering from eczema for many years and I used steroid ointment without knowing, that is really harmful to my body… Until my last strong return of eczema. Since then, I read a lot about it and decided to change my lifestyle and diet. Your blog gave me a lot practical informations and I’m very thaknful to your work!
    I have a few questions for you, because I’m a little bit confused with some things:
    1. When I start a restricted diet I can eat only maximum safety-foods. How long is gonna past when I can reintroduce some new ingredient, for example cucumber or spinach? Or because they are alkalizing, I can eat them as well? How many foods i can reintroduce at one time? It’s pretty confusing to me, to do it right :/
    2. Can I bake on rye flavor?
    3. What were you using to wash your face and hair?
    Thanks for all your answers and engagement into this :)!
    P.S.
    Is this O.K. to you, to aks some questions here or do you prefer e-mails 🙂

    1. Hey Fryderyk, first thanks for your willingness to make a comment online (not many people are willing to). It’s great to hear that you have finally been able to transit from steroids to a natural lifestyle.

      1. I understand your pain point, it’s mine too. Of course, having to eat a diet with these strong restrictions is almost impossible to begin with for many people (even though I did). It’s a matter of speed and effectiveness – eating according to the list ONLY will give you the best results but the more you deviate, the little bit longer it’ll take you to heal. Plus, many high chemical content foods are possible to be sensitive-prone – I’ve heard someone who had a sensitivity on bananas, imagine his life…

      What I recommend you should do is, use the list as the basis (try to avoid the highly acidic section), but if certain foods just can’t seem to be avoided, don’t worry, just eat it. However, never eat certain foods such as nightshades e.g. tomatoes, pepper, eggplants as they increase inflammation. As for when to reintroduce, follow your list for around 2 months – by then, the results will be obvious.

      2. No. Rye is one of the most common gluten grains. You can reintroduce (to test), after a complete avoidance of it after around 2 months.

      3. My answer shocks some people. I use only water. In the first few weeks, it was oily and hard to adjust. But since then, no one knows it unless I tell them, in other words, I remain completely fine.

      I’m fine with these questions, it can provide insight to others too.
      Keep it up!
      If you have any questions, I’m always here!

      1. Thank you very much for reply! You’re very helpful 🙂 Life without banana must be horrible, I eat them a lot now..

        1. That’s strange with rye, because I’ve written that no-gluten bread made on rye is o.k. So is there any bread that I can buy?

        2. Can you also tell me, what were you using to wash your face and hair?

        3. Is it o.k., if I use some no-steroid drugs prescribed by dermatologist for my skin, while I’m on a diet? For the first weeks my inflamation will still grow, so before it “falls” a little bit it will be hard to me walk in the winter.. Can I use some ointment, e.g. only for the face. Is there some big risk, that any drugs will complicate my healing process?

        🙂

        1. Oh, I’ve read that you don’t use shampoo at all 😛 But I have to, because i use some cosmetics to improve my look, you know. And on the next day they don’t feel so good :/ What kind of natural shampoo can I use?

        2. Nice to hear from you again. For bananas, make sure you eat bananas that are ripe (with some black spots) rather than partially raw, as it interferes with digestion if not completely ready.

          1. Although rye has lower gluten content than wheat, there still is. Complete avoidance would have to be none of it, unfortunately. You can eat any bread that is made of non-gluten grains – check this out: http://www.wheat-free.org/wheat-free-flour.html

          3. Although I cannot say for sure since I don’t the know drug you’re using, but as long as the creams have no steroid content, it’s fine (you’ll know by your body’s reaction after all). If you are planning to go from steroid to suddenly 100% steroid-free, you must face some challenges, you’ll see. If you can’t handle it, you could gradually decrease the dosage.

          As for natural shampoos, I’d say as long as it’s made of no chemicals (make sure to read the labels), choose one that best suits your personal preference!

          Keep in touch 🙂

      2. Hi It is margin again – I am a bit confused – you write here that it is not good to bake on rye flavor but you write that • Introduce new types of cooking such as baking. You can bake your dairy-free, gluten-free breads and cookies – So can you please just help me from what source could I start to bake please? Thank you much 🙂

        Martin – Czech republic

        1. HI Martin,

          Rye is part of gluten grains, as part of the grasses family. Gluten consumption must be completely eliminated. Some people who really need grains for taste should consume slight amounts of gluten-free grains like rice, but knowing that it can slow down recovery. When I refer to introducing new types of cooking, I apologize if that suggested making pastries and bakery-goods. My point was to introduce new varieties of cooking (rather than simply water-boiling) because it would be boring.

          Best regards,
          Harrison

  2. In the first period (maximum health diet) can I eat rabbit? I can’t find any information about influence of rabbit meat on eczema.

    1. I personally don’t have too much experience with rabbit meat, but I suppose most of them are grass-fed, so that’s a good source of meat. But as always, stop if you notice abnormal symptoms.

  3. Hi Harrison!

    Thank you for sharing with us.

    I do have a few questions for you.

    1) What is your diet like after you have healed your eczema? Are you still on a restrictive diet?(Can I go back to my usual diet but with the addition of fruits and vegetables) Are there foods to avoid?( For example, seafood?)

    2) What is the duration of the different phases you have mentioned for reintroduction? When did you start having kimchi?

    3)How was your eczema during the restoration period? Does it flareup once or several times before it starts to heal?

    Appreciate your help!
    (:

    1. Hey Limin,

      No problem, as long as I can help!

      1) To tell you the truth, there’s a difference between the diet I want to be in and the diet I am currently in. I obviously want to eat as healthy as possible, of course, it doesn’t have to be as restrictive as it used to be in the maximum safety food list, I just avoid eating too junky and let myself off every few times in a while with outside food (but still try to avoid chemicals e.g. most packaged products, ketchup, mayonnaise and stuff that you know must be processed). If I stare up right after, I just go back to a highly alkalizing set of meals for a few days and cut down the let-myself-off-load less. I was surprized to find out that I was actually fine with eating gluten products, though I try to eat alternatives if I had the choice. So, as for which to avoid, I’d say anything that you know would trigger flare-ups with personal sensitivities.

      2) As for my reintroduction, I didn’t have too much control over it because I could only cook my own healthy meals in the vacation at home, but now that I have school I sort of have to choose the cafeteria food. And so I eat a lot of probiotic-rich foods like kimchi and natto to supplement myself, it helps! As for the dates, I’ve been on my restrictive diet for around 3 months and since October I’ve been on cafeteria food (rice, veggies, fried stuff sometimes, meat) along with probiotic foods.

      3) During my restoration period, it was… dehumanizing. My skin flared up so much I had to constantly cover up with Vaseline. Otherwise, my skin would crack open just move the slightest movements, which also disallowed me from playing something I loved – basketball. I think it sort of jumped up and down, but overall initially it’d get worse and worse, and at one point it begins to get better – like a bell curve. Also, it depends on what you call a flareup, to me if it’s intense itching sessions – I’d say twice a day for a couple of months and begin to get better (considering I had it for 10 years).

      Hope this helps, if you have more questions please don’t hesitate to ask me!

      🙂
      Harrison

      1. 🙂
        What about quail eggs? I’ve written they’re ok for eczema and they can prevent allergies.
        Can i bake bread based on no-gluten flours? Or is there some tricky part :P?

        1. I’ve had quail eggs before, they are actually really tasty when roasted! As for their some “special healing power” I’m not too informed about that, perhaps people get better with their allergies because they switch to quail eggs from regular chicken eggs, perhaps it’s just an effect for cutting out normal eggs.

          Yes, you can bake bread as long as their no gluten in it. Don’t use oat though, pure oats have no gluten but almost all of them are contaminated with other gluten grains, e.g. from machinery use.

          Keep it up 🙂

  4. Hi Harisson,

    Big thanks for sharing your experience in healing eczema and for this post since I have been guilty of falling of the bandwagon of discipline and succumbing to societal pressure and the little bit is ok situations.

    Had a quick question on how do you differentiate between healing reaction and flare ups and have you come across any situations of healing reactions in the past whilst detoxing from steroid based medication?

    Since currently I’m following Origin Point Medicine (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1424319607790821/) and been drinking loads of ginger water to promote circulation to my system and currently not sure if what i’m experiencing is a flare up or healing reaction.

    Btw the list that you had on acid alkaline food charts is a big help (cant wait to implement it), quite excited to see your book on healing eczema since I have tried various modalities like Liver& Gallbladder flush and they have given some relief but I’m still working on finding the permanent solution to eczema

    Thanks
    Regards
    Skye

    1. Hey Skye,

      No problem with that, I love sharing advice with others. It’s okay, I have that sometimes too.

      1) This is easy only if you can take a fully restrictive diet for example like I did for around 2 months straight. And that means completely following the rules – this way flare-ups must be caused by recovery. However, if you mix in a little bit of “exceptions outside-meals” then it’d definitely hinder your progress, and it’s difficult to distinguish between what reaction is caused by what while it’s definitely both (because the body is constantly trying to work it out so both is always happening at the same time until it disappears).

      2) Yes! In fact, I visit my parents in HK every year and my dad always brings me to the Western clinic (he really believes in drugs) and gets me steroids to fix my skin. But as soon as I stop, they flare-up again, and usually worse than before. And of course, the detox reactions I had after switching my diet must definitely be contributed by my steroid withdrawal.

      Gingers are quite rich in nutrients and beneficial. However, in an eczema patient’s perspective, gingers are high in natural chemicals – because I used to drink water with ginseng every day as well, but when I stopped my skin seemed better – so I suspect it to have a sensitivity on me. As for you, if you drink for a period of time and then suddenly stop (while not deviating much with your diet lifestyle) then you should be able to distinguish the confusion.

      Thanks, I’m still working on it but school has been busy lately but I’ll get it out I promise! Would you mind sharing your experience with the flushes you had? I once considered it but never did it. How is it to eczema?

      Cheers,
      Harrison Li

  5. So I’ve been healing my eczema since about december through a diet change. For three weeks I just juiced, then I began to re-introduce cooked foods while still having a fruit juice in the am and a green juice before bed. It was bad for the first two weeks and started to heal really well. It just kept getting better. I take a few diff supplements like slippery elm, blue green algae, omeg 3679, etc. I make my own kombucha and my skin just started to become smooth again and a lot brighter. But over the last two weeks ive been getting a rash again and I’m sort of terrified. I trust God and I know I’m on the right path but I’m confused. Did you have flare ups on your journey even when you were putting the right things into your body? I’m nervous because I really want to get back in the gym. I eat fish, organic Egg whites, and organic ground turkey starting today. I still aim to eat More greens a day than anything and Ive cut out the sugary fruits that you suggested even though I don’t normally have a reaction to them. Should I really be worried or should I just keep going?

    1. Hey Lenna,

      Good to hear that you’re doing a diet change! Juicing is great! But blending is even better! Out of curiousity, what did you mix into your green juice? Well, I see all that you’ve done is great, the Kombucha and the supplements. If you suddenly get rashes again when it was already in recovery, then it must mean there was something wrong (not with your diet changes, you were definitely on the right track). Yes, I have experienced a massive worsening symptoms that followed recovery, my healing crisis (as it is called) was painful!

      Since you were doing fine and improving with your diet changes, something must have been added to your casual routine that shouldn’t be in it. Can you think of any sudden additions of foods (you might not have noticed)? Just to be safe, I recommend cutting down on egg whites. Even if it’s cooked, I’d cut it down because a study was conducted that people were fed a diet with raw egg whites and fats for several weeks and those people who never had eczema developed it. It’s great that you eat fish, from what I know about you so far, I don’t see a distinct problem. The simplest way to check what is causing the issue is by reverting back to your most initial diet, and slowly adding in certain foods. If your diet never really changed much, then it could be symptoms of your healing crisis. So wait for a couple of weeks, and the rashes will tell you.

      By the way, since when did you have eczema?

      Keep in touch,
      Harrison Li

  6. Hi there!
    I’ve been on restrict diet since January. After 2nd month there were no flare ups until beggining of the third. And they came up twice in between two weeks. I don’t know what’s going on 🙁

    1. Hey Fryderyk,

      Great to hear that you have solid progress!

      Assuming your diet control is well done, there’s still a slight possibility of your detoxification signs coming out depending on how long you’ve had eczema before (for me it was 10 years and at least 3 months for the ups and downs).

      Apart from dieting, there are still other factors: physical activity, stress and sleep. Are there any changes you’ve been into lately? Maybe something you’re sensitive to has been brought into your house? Deadlines? Late-nights?That might be work a think. And for exercising, do it regularly! Sweating is crucial!

      Let me know about your progress 🙂

      Harrison

  7. Maybe there was something that I added to my diet, but occasionally :/ I rarely drank yerba mate drink, dates, almonds or smth like that, so not very irritating foods. In last two weeks I haven’t got much stress or little sleep, so I wouldn’t blame these elements. I caught a little cold some week ago, so maybe drugs that i used had impact on my skin.

    Thanks again for your support and advice :)!!

    1. Perhaps yet some things you reintroduced may have had an impact. This is why it’s nice to keep an elimination journal in mind. And yeah, the drugs probably did something too. Try not to use drugs you catch a cold, for me I just eat healthy and exercise!

      No problem, it’s my pleasure 🙂

  8. Hello there,
    I have to say, that I’m really depressed 🙁 After my last message flare ups were coming up every 7 days for three weeks. Now they came up after 5 days 🙁 I don’t know what’s going on, because I’m still on restrict diet.
    The only difference is that I can’t prepare healthy drinks with beetroot, Mung sprouts and so on, because I don’t have much time for this right now. Also i eat thawed meat, beetroot, green and gold beans, because of the resaon I mentioned above (but which I cooked befor by myself). Could this really be the trigger for my flare ups..?

    Fryderyk

    1. Hi Fryderyk,

      You mean your body gives you flare ups routinely every 7 days?

      If the healing comes with flare ups, the most common reasons 1) you’re still in the healing crisis 2) you’re doing something wrong with the restrictive diet (eating unknown foods with sensitivities, not enough certain nutritions) 3) other factors e.g. sleep, stress, exercise are affecting you.

      Well, it sounds like we’re going to need some personal analysis; mind you answering these few questions?
      1) how long have you been on the restrictive diet?
      2) how well do you follow the rules? how often do you cheat? (if you do)
      3) tell me about your daily meal plans – what you eat; e.g. meals of the average week.

      In response to your question:
      1) fresh meats are always better than thawed meats, and they often have preservatives
      2) remember the 80-20 acid-alkaline balance; which means 20% meat!
      3) beans – remember fresh; not frozen
      4) well, time is always the problem, but healthy drinks shouldn’t be the reason why you’re flaring up, these are only supplementary uses; your natural healing would continue anyway w/o such drinks (in fact, I didn’t have any back then)

      Let me know if you have further questions 🙂

      Harrison

  9. Yes, flare ups appears every 7 days.

    1) I’m on restrictive diet since January
    2) I do not eat any foods, which are off the list (except spinach once for a while and almonds, but flare ups never appeared, when I ate these). But there is something that could be the trigger. I took psychoactive substances twice.. After the first time nothing bad happened. But could this reallybe the cause of my flare ups, which now appears every week :/?
    3) my average meals are – gold and green beans, cooked potatos, chicken, rabbit. Salade made of lettuce, chinese cabbage, carrot. A lot of bananas and some rice crackers. Beetroot and sauerkraut. That’s the core of my every day diet. I remember about the proportions and eat less potato and meat.

    Thanks for help again!!

    1. It’s my job to help! 🙂

      Well, I’m not so sure about the 7-day systemic flare-ups, but all I can say for sure right now is that if it is so systemic there is probably something in your lifestyle specifically that triggers the reactions. Like you say, the drugs you take, perhaps you could cut them down to zero? Drugs definitely increase the load of inflammation.

      Your meals seem quite promising, I like it too. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
      1) Beans – they must be fresh; never the ones frozen from the shelves.
      2) Try to cut potatoes completely; they are a type of complicated starch that hinder intestinal digestion. (Some people have this as their main trigger)
      3) In terms of meat; nothing frozen too. Now, try to incorporate fish as your main type of protein, at least once every two days. Because fish is high in omega3 fatty acids – which you can also find in almonds (so sometimes eating it so beneficial). In fact, fish nutrients boost skin recovery in many ways.
      4) Apples are great! Unless you live in a place China, pesticides shall not be a problem.

      If I were you, I’d try to look for something you do different each seventh day to find out about the trigger – or the sixth day, because the inflammation tends to flare up the next day after. If nothing seems obvious, it’s fine.

      Apart from dietary changes, how are you managing you’re other 3 main factors: stress, sleep and exercise? Why did you take psychoactive drugs?

  10. O, and I eat apples! But flare ups didn’t appear when my healing process advanced week by week.

  11. Thanks, I’ll try to put your ideas into practice.
    I excersie regularly and sleep long enough – about 8-9 hours.
    With the diet I wrote you my healing process advanced – the periods in between my inflamation appeared systematically expanded (up to 1 month of silence). After that everything crushed and now I’m waiting when it’ll be better.

    1. I understand how you feel about school, because I’m in it too! IB has tons of work..
      Well then your lifestyle seems promising and shouldn’t pose any problem. If there are special flare-ups, I would label them as detoxification symptoms that your body is ridding the last few batches. If not, there must still be some sort of hidden trigger.
      Let’s see how you go. Keep pushing 🙂
      P.S. Drink at least 2L of water a day!

  12. Oh, but there is some problem with stress – this semestere is really tensed for me on my studies (intelectually and mentally).

  13. Hi Harrison!
    I have to admit that it is better right now, but not as wonderful as it would be. First of all the main flare ups from my face disappeared some 3 weeks ago but my healing process proceeds much slower than before. Could it be possible that my organism addapted to the diet and now it doesn’t have such positive impact?
    Unfortunately I still have some little inflammations on my chest and there appeared some new itchy flare ups on my head 🙁 Also some tiny changes occurs in random places once for a while.

  14. Hello Harrison,
    I’m writing really sad, because new inflammations appeared on my body – even in areas I haven’t got for a very long time.. I don’t know what’s the trigger, since I’m still on restricted diet for such long time 🙁 Maybe I’m sensitive to some ingredients in safe food?

    1. Hey Fryderyk,

      Sorry for the super late reply. I’ve been real busy with end of year school exams! Hope you understand. 🙂

      Anyway, great to hear that you are definitively making progress, this is awesome. As for adaption to diets, this does exist. However, progress slowing down doesn’t necessarily mean the diet is less effective, it means other factors that are stopping you from healing are still present and are limiting your recovery. This whole idea of having the disease “moving around” is a very clear sign that there is still 1) toxins that are present in your body from previous eating habits (which is unlikely to since you’ve been on the diet for some time) or 2) some of your habits are limiting your healing:

      First, as I always tell people, improve your three other main factors affecting eczema: sleep, stress, exercise. And also as you suggest, it is probable that you are sensitive to food items in the safe eating list. This could be a rare exception. This restricted diet chooses foods that are more “neutral” meaning least likely to cause sensitivities. Of course, a tiny portion of people may still find disfavorable reactions to seemingly safe foods. For example, several months ago my aunt suddenly got an extreme allergic reaction to wild black fungi, she never knew this until like few weeks later. But it was unlike the ones in the market because it is handpicked in the wild. Anyway, the point is anything is possible.

      As for now, I recommend you do an elimination diet, this is the simplest way to know what you can’t eat, by keeping track of the level of your symptoms by what you eat. Also, you may boost your healing process by cutting down on sugary foods (even natural ones) such as oranges, apples, or fruits entirely (which I also did recently – the nutrients in them can be found elsewhere, fruits are not mandatory to life). Oh, and the 3 main factors.

      Cheers,
      Harrison Li

      P.S. Keep pushing! You’re almost there 🙂

  15. Thanks for your reply :)!
    Would you tell me, what are the rules of elmination diet? How long should I wait until I reintroduce some ingredient to check its effect? And how long should I wait after I eat reintroduced food to see what happens?

    1. No worries!
      It’s as simple as it sounds. Start with a neutral diet like something you know you are not sensitive to. Then, around every 3-5 days (the longer the more certain), test yourself with a new plant, you should be able to see results right away, if your body is sensitive to something it will respond to you. For me, I remember when I eat green peppers, kiwis or papayas, I get a rash above my lips, in fact, itchy lips. So then if one plant has no obvious effect, it’s OK. Then put this on your safe list and move on to test the next.
      But again, how are you managing your 3 other factors (sleep, stress, exercise)? They can impact a lot too!
      Cheers,
      Harrison Li

  16. I don’t think that other 3 factors have so big impact on my skin. I have exams right now and I sleep less than before, but still, immflamations appears very regularly – within a week or two. If allergic reaction should be visible almost right away, than if I’m sensitive to some ingredients, it will be hard to find what could be trigger. That’s because I’m eating the same things every day and 2 months earlier my healing proccess advanced and my food habits were identical.

    1. So based on what I know about you, your healing seems to have reached a plateau. Obviously, there’s something stopping it from reaching the top. Having a sensitivity is different to an allergic reaction, this is why I use different terminology. Allergies are almost immediate, but sensitivities may not appear until several days later because complete absorption and assimilation has not been finished internally. Yes, it’s hard to grasp which itch is from which. The elimination diet is the most straightforward way. By the way, the 3 other factors actually do matter. When I was in my recovery stage, I exercised every 2 days (part of my workout). I didn’t have too much stress in the summer vacation and sleep was adequate. So unless you could mimic similar conditions, I wouldn’t say you have reached an optimal point for recovery. But overall, your dietary habits have shown improvement so that’s an outright positive sign 🙂
      If you really want to speed up internal healing, I suggest you do a 3 day water only fast. It’s been medically researched to heal the immune system (because the stem cells are redirected into recovery mode during fasting). But since you are doing exams, I advise not, but you should definitely try it. I’ve done it and it is nothing harmful and the skin completely stops itching.

    2. Hey Fryderyk,
      I knew about this blog few weeks ago and started the diet. Would like to hear from u how r u today? R u still following the diet? Is your eczema still there?

  17. Hi, Harrison first off I wanna say thanks a lot for making this website and helping people! Unfortunately my eczema has started to spread. I never had eczema until I was around 15 years old I got a small patch on my cheek and it has now spread from that cheek across my face to form a butterfly rash. It is extremely uncomfortable, itchy and it burns sometimes :(. But that’s isn’t what bothers me the most, for me it’s the red inflamed spot that everyone sees and makes fun of me for. It makes me really self-conscious and I don’t even want to go out in public anymore. I did everyhing the doctors too me with the steroids and creams but I am 16 now and it isn’t getting better. In fact it has started to spread to my back and now I’m having trouble sleeping. I hadn’t thought about diet until I saw your website and I bought lots of good healthy alternatives to what I was eating to begin this eczema clearing journey! But is there any way to stop the spreading??

    1. Hi Joey. I understand your pain because I’ve had inflamed skin in the form of a butterfly rash before too. Unfortunately, you will have to endure it because the rash appears as a sign of internal imbalance. Steroids only provide short-term relief and will always come back worse than before when you stop them. My advice is to stop it immediately, and fix your diet ASAP. This is the fastest way for the rash to go. No other option. Sorry to inform you.

      P.S. Sorry for the late reply. I had exams and couldn’t squeeze time out. Please let me know if you have more questions!

  18. Harrison,

    Are there any store bought vegetable juices or smoothies that would fit in the restrictive or lightly restrictive diet? I want to make sticking to the diet as doable as possible.
    Thanks
    Alejandro

    1. Alejandro.

      You will have to do detective work on the nutrient labels. This is a habit all eczema sufferers must have. I can’t give you specific brands because I don’t know about your location (I’m in HK). But in terms of a blend of taste and restriction at the same time, consider coconut juice, nuts juice. Any form of juice is fine as long as there are no artificial sugars included (for best results).

      Cheers,
      Harrison

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